Nearly a century ago, US President Calvin Coolidge – a man of few words – came back from church and was asked what the sermon was about. He replied, “Sin.” Then he was asked what the preacher said about it, and Coolidge replied, “He was against it.”
Now, think back to the last meeting with your director of marketing. What was it about? Coolidge would probably say, “Sales” – and that she was for it. Right?
At the same time, it is too easy for marketing operations to not pay enough attention to what really makes these sales happen: accurate and up-to-date lead and prospect data. They reach out to many prospects who will never buy and miss opportunities with prospects who want to hear your message but never receive them.
As we navigate these unprecedented times, genuine and accurate contact data is more important than ever. Let’s break down some of the data-driven reasons your contact data goes bad, and how to fix them.
What’s lurking in your lead database
Here are some of the most common issues we see with marketing lead data:
Fraudulent leads. This tops the list, because it is one of the most common problems with new inbound leads. The lead generation process is often a quid-pro-quo: give us your name and contact information, and we’ll give you some useful information or a bonus for free. The problem is that too many people want the “quid” without the “quo” – and to get your goodie, they provide bogus names and contact information that could stay in your database forever.
The march of time. Leads are a perishable asset. Over the course of a year, over two-thirds of them will go bad as people move, change jobs, get new contact information, or retire. And the consequences of these changes often go far beyond stale contacts: in an era of strict new data privacy regulations, you risk compliance penalties for lapses such as contacting wireless phone numbers that have changed hands, or marketing to “role” email addresses with new recipients.
Malicious leads. These are less common than bogus or fraudulent leads, but some people may get on your list to facilitate committing fraud against your business. These may include leads with inconsistent contact data, or that originate from high-risk countries or known fraudulent email addresses.
Data entry error. Any touch point for manual entry of lead data is a potential source of error, whether it originates from prospects themselves, third-party lists or your own team. Incorrect contact information can easily create leads that will never convert, because they never reach a real recipient.
How to supercharge your marketing
There is one simple solution to all of these problems: improving your data quality through automated contact record validation. Using simply cloud-based tools, which integrate with your business and marketing automation platforms via API interfaces, you can help ensure that your lead data is ready to use.
Service Objects data validation products range from component tools that will validate, correct and update data such as addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers, all the way to bundled lead validation capabilities that cross-check data against over 130 data points to provide you with a quantitative score for lead quality. Each of these tools leverage continually updated resources such as USPS and Canada Post address data, phone line and owner information, and known email spammers and spam traps. The result is a painless way to keep your lead data genuine, accurate and up-to-date.
By using data validation before initiating a marketing campaign AND at the time of data capture, you are making sure that your marketing efforts reach your desired audience, eliminate bad and/or fraudulent prospects, and save promising leads with data errors – so that you are seeing the true results of your efforts, which in turn helps inform future campaigns. Not to mention that your sales team will thank you (and save a ton of time) for making sure the prospects they are reaching out to are legitimate, contactable, and more likely to convert.
We are here to help! Contact our product experts for a demo of our services and insights into how they can help ensure contact record accuracy.