10 ways Dirty Data is Clogging up your Marketing Automation Engine

Marketers have learned that the success of any program is more than 75% dependent on the list of contacts attached to each marketing campaign.  The creative, messaging, and delivery vehicle do not matter if it doesn’t get to the right person.

It’s just a name, address, phone number and email address, how hard could that be to get that stuff right?  Turns out with so many different contact entry points majority of us suffer from the same kinds of dirty data.  And we’re using that dirty data to fuel our marketing automation systems.

Below is a list of the most common contact record errors we see when cleansing marketing contact databases.  Pay attention to what happens when you feed this dirty data into your CRM or marketing automation system. These errors and invalid entries make it difficult to deliver the right message to the right person and can dramatically skew your results and ROI.

Here’s a list of 10 things ReachForce sees in almost every single marketing database we clean and what happens when that data is used to fuel marketing automation.

1.   Names that have been updated with other information like - Bob “No Longer There” Smith  OR Jenny (female) Jones  OR Byron (buy-ron) Doe (Dough)

Marketing Automation result:  Personalized emails will go out like this: Hi Bob “No Longer There”, OR Hi Jenny (female), OR Hi Byron (buy-ron),


2.   Web-to-Lead forms really piles on the trash. Examples: the word ‘test’ in all form fields or NA in all fields

Marketing Automation result:  If invalid information is entered in the email field, nothing happens.  You just have trash data stinking up your marketing database.


3.   Customers are marked as Prospects

Marketing Automation result:  Your customers will get irrelevant or inappropriate communications and you don’t look very organized.  Customers expect to be treated better than just another name in your leads database.



4.   Duplicate records, each with different missing information

Marketing Automation result:  Campaign results are posted to incomplete records that may or may not be syncing with your CRM.  Also, these records can be difficult to merge later.


5.   Company employees are marked as Prospects

Marketing Automation result:  Employees are engaging in marketing programs and skewing results.


6.   Place holder records – no name is included, just company name and misc. information

Marketing Automation result:  Nothing.  With no contact information a company name is useless to a marketing execution engine.


7.   Phone numbers missing digits and/or area codes

Marketing Automation result:  Follow up is difficult without a phone number.  Outbound marketing is still possible though.


8.   Invalid or incomplete email addresses

Marketing Automation result:  Everything is based on an email address.  Without one this contact record ages and starts stinking pretty quickly.


9.   Uniform formatting - – company names not in standard format, 2 letter state code is used vs. spelling out the state name

Marketing Automation result:  Segmentation issues and contact exclusion from programs because of record formatting.


10.  Invalid or incomplete mailing addresses

Marketing Automation result:  While you aren’t sending direct mail via a marketing automation system you are able to personalize communications based on sales rep or territory.  No address means missed personalization opportunity.

While no one of these seems all that bad, the impact of all 10 is staggering.  Be aware of your dirty data and have an ongoing plan to clean, enrich and grow this data.  Remember 75% of your success is dependent on these people.

Ready to take on a data cleanse? ReachForce can help give you a jump start by providing you with a FREE Data Analysis.

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