Your company’s revenue most likely depends on having accurate, genuine and up-to-date contact data. In fact, this is probably one of the biggest factors in the overall ROI of your contact database. In light of this, it is essential to have a clear understanding of how and why contact data decays – and more importantly, what you can do about it.
Contact data decay: a fact of life
A widely held figure nowadays is that business contact databases decay at a rate of about 30% per year on average. And much of this decay takes place for reasons that you have no control over. For example, look at some of the things that can happen with B2B contact data alone:
- People move and change jobs
- Contacts get promoted to new responsibilities
- Your contact’s organization moved to a new headquarters across town
- Life goes on and contacts get married, change careers or retire
- Corporate changes such as layoffs or downsizing impact your active contacts
- Product lines or service areas change or become obsolete
- Even when people’s jobs stay the same, their phone numbers or email addresses change
And when you look at marketing to consumers, issues such as data privacy compliance and business reputation come into play as well. That phone number you contacted for your last marketing campaign may have opted in at one point, but now it has changed hands to a new wireless user who didn’t give you permission to contact them – and now you have run afoul of the US Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), with liability for stiff fines. And then there is the question of reputational damage from using outdated contact data – no one likes to receive unsolicited marketing messages.
This means that good data hygiene is no longer an option for companies of any size. Aside from risks such as compliance penalties and reputational damage, data decay has a real competitive impact on the return on your marketing efforts: for example, in 2017 the ROI of email marketing alone was $41 per $1 spent, with other channels such as mobile marketing also in double digits.
Today’s contact data needs to be seen for what it is: a perishable asset that requires regular maintenance.
Managing changes in contact data
Thankfully automated validation tools can help make solving contact data decay a regular part of your business process. Here are some of the options that you have with our products:
- Individual component validation products such as DOTS Address Validation, DOTS Email Validation and DOTS GeoPhone can validate component contact information and verify that it is still accurate.
- Bundled validation tools such as DOTS Lead Validation cross-validates and corrects your contact data against numerous data points, returning a quantitative confidence score that alerts you to changes in this data.
- For important contacts that you wish to maintain correspondence with, our USPS-approved DOTS NCOA Live product links with official change-of-address data to keep your contact addresses up to date.
Our data quality tools are available through API interfaces that integrate directly with popular CRM and marketing automation platforms, as well as through cloud connectors, batch list processing and quick lookup options. Want to learn more about how to solve your own specific contact data issues? Our knowledgeable data quality professionals are happy to help: contact us anytime for a friendly, no-pressure consultation.