When it comes to marketing spend, it’s safe to say most marketers are looking to achieve the best possible results for the best value. In a recently published survey from Ascend2, 88% of marketing professionals reported their email marketing as successful, with 31% of the group calling it very successful. It’s no surprise then that 85% of respondents are planning to invest in email marketing in 2020.
At OMI we know quality contact data is the cornerstone of an effective email campaign. When your data is fresh and accurate, you can reach prospects at the right time, with the right message. Before investing in third-party data, marketers need to know what they’re investing in. A recent report by Forrester found that 21% of media spend is wasted due to low quality.
With that in mind, here are three steps to fuel email campaigns with accurate, current data.
Consider this: each record of contact data represents a real person -- and like people, data changes. That’s why at OMI we view data as a “Living FileTM” that needs to be regularly maintained and updated to accurately reflect the contact person it represents. Data decays or “dies” as people move, change companies or get promoted, or switch email providers, among other things. Roughly 30% of people change their email addresses every year and it’s estimated that B2B data decays up to 70% per year.
“Dead” data is a waste of time and money with sent emails that don’t reach the right audience. The outcome is poor campaign results and low ROI, but worse than that, bad data quality can lower the send score and land a brand’s email activities on the blacklists for spam and data watch dogs.
With those risks, it’s vitally important to select a quality-focused data provider that understands how data changes and works to keep data alive and healthy. Look for a data validity guarantee of 95% or higher for the first 30 days. And if a vendor doesn’t provide a written guarantee, keep looking.
As part of our Living FileTM approach, data should be regularly cleansed to proactively address data challenges. Data cleansing is the process of removing, correcting and replacing inaccurate data to provide increased deliverability and engagement. The results can be a night and day difference for email campaigns. OMI uses data cleansing to maintain the quality of our records and we offer it as a service for clients’ databases. In one case for a large telecom provider with 35 million records, data cleansing improved their email validity and accuracy by 37%.
The only way to ensure your messages reach the intended audience is to keep your email data accurate. When investing in email marketing this year, ensure the third-party provider has a system in place for data cleansing and, ideally, choose a vendor that can offer the service to keep your internal data healthy, too.
It’s clear today's data needs to be continuously updated to deliver the most effective results, like a regular data check-up. Look for a data partner that provides ongoing data maintenance and automation capabilities to streamline your email marketing. At OMI we’re constantly checking the validity of and improving our data. With real-time lead delivery and automation, hard bounces are confirmed and bad contacts are replaced with the updated address for future use.
The main takeaway is this: email marketing is only as strong as the data you’re using. The best way to fuel healthy, successful campaigns is with healthy, accurate data. And a Living FileTM approach is the key to unlocking quality data.
If your data provider doesn't agree, turn to another source.
Outward Media’s proven data cleansing services and targeted, accurate email data can enable you to achieve better email marketing ROI and, ultimately, convert more prospects into customers. Take a look at our video tutorials to find out how you can optimize your acquisition email marketing initiatives.