One thing that E-mail, Web 2.0, and social media enables us as marketers to do is become far more personalized in our communications. E-mails don’t have to read ‘Dear Investigator’, communications can be relevant to consumer interests, landing pages and personalized URLs (PURLS) can enable an extremely personalized experience with a brand. BUT nothing ruins it faster than when data is not carefully monitored for accuracy.
Our biggest asset as a marketer is our database. We work hard generating leads and compiling a house list of contacts that we hope over time will turn into customers that will turn into repeat sales. It is critical that we take the time to monitor our data for accuracy. While this seems so elementary, I received an email this morning that made me stop and think about how many marketers might continually push this to the bottom of the to-do list. It doesn’t take too long for an ignored database to become riddled with errors and inconsistencies. The email displayed below showed up in my inbox this morning – and it jumped right out at me – not because the content was so relevant (it’s not – I have a job) or the design was pleasing – but rather because it used personalization with the wrong name. I’m not Don! This turned me off and I hit delete.
We can get so caught up in crafting finely tuned, relevant content so please don’t overlook some of the most basic details – your customers name! After all, no matter how relevant the subject matter may be, if you start with ‘Dear Don’ and I’m not Don, I may not read the rest and be quick to hit the delete button. Thinking about some of our own personal assets that we treasure so dearly (house, car etc), we wouldn’t think about not setting aside time, resources or budgets to keep them maintained. Why then do we as marketers often overlook the importance of database maintenance?
I cleanse my list every 3 months. At a minimum, I encourage you to export your database as an excel list so that you can see if the email address appears to match the name. If not, remove it quick and strive to run an update profile campaign. And PLEASE, stop calling me DON!