It is important to get your databases right and ready to get the most from your marketing
initiatives. Accurate prospect information including proper name and title, content they viewed on your website, and when they viewed it, all provide valuable clues as to how best to move them to the next phase of the buying process.
While data for an individual prospect is important, the overall health of your prospect database is just as critical. Tending to databases is an often ignored part of the sales and marketing process. Keeping your database healthy and clean helps ensure that you are:
- Focusing on the right prospects.
- Keeping your campaign lists clean.
- Removing clutter from your prospect database.
- Compliant with spam legislation.
Below are best practices and tips to help you maintain your prospect database.
Managing New Prospects
When you have new prospects captured by web forms on your website, it is recommended that you verify that those prospects have consented to be on your mailing lists before sending them emails. The most common approach is implementing a Confirmed Opt-In process.
This approach can also be applied to prospects lists that you have acquired (and were not bought). For example, you hosted a tradeshow where you collected business contacts that were interested in joining your mailing list.
To learn more about implementing Confirmed Opt-In processes, click here.
Managing Existing Prospects
Email Regulatory Compliance and Handling Opt-Out Requests (US-based)
When managing prospects that are based in the United States, you want to make sure that your emails are compliant and that you properly handle opt-out requests.
For more information and insight, click here.
Normalize Your Prospect Database
Keeping database content consistent is an ongoing challenge – especially when you’re working with a variety of data sources. Insertion, update, and deletion anomalies add uncertainty to your marketing efforts. Whether you’re segmenting your prospects for a particular campaign or using a specific piece of data to trigger an automated email, bad data can yield inaccurate and embarrassing results. Normalizing data on an automatic basis goes a long way to keeping a tidy database.
To learn how to configure normalization rules for your eTrigue prospect database, click here.
De-Dupe Your Prospect Database
Duplicate prospect records can add clutter in your database. Duplicate records can inflate your database counts. In addition, having duplicate records increases your risk to becoming flagged as a spammer because you have the potential to send the same email multiple times to prospects that have duplicate email addresses.
To learn about eTrigue's de-duplication tools, click here.
It is recommended that users consider implementing a routine where they periodically examine their prospect database to retire prospects that perhaps should no longer receive emails.
Once you have identified prospects that should be retired, the easiest way to make sure they stop receiving emails is to set their prospect statuses to Inactive. This status automatically prevents a prospect from receiving emails from eTrigue.
To learn how to update the statuses of prospects, click here.
NOTE: Regarding bounced prospects, or prospects that have clicked on unsubscribe links...
Users will not have to manage retiring bounced or prospects that have opted-out from their subscription pages. eTrigue handles these prospects automatically behind the scenes and will set their statuses accordingly to prevent them from receiving future emails.
This helps reduce your chances of being identified as a spammer because you would not be repeatedly sending emails to prospects that have bounced or unsubscribed.
For more details, refer to this resource here.
Before you delete prospect records from your database, there are some factors that are worth considering. For example, you do not want to delete prospects that have opted-out. These records should be kept in order to ensure that they are not mailed again if you were to mistakenly reintroduce them back into your database.
For more recommendations and insight, please click here.