What Is Data Cleansing and Why Is It So Important?
Data cleansing tends to be a fearful, overwhelming task that businesses put on the back-burner. Combing through hundreds or thousands of contacts can be pretty daunting. However, database maintenance is one of the most important aspects of retaining your subscribers and growing a successful business in general.
Businesses rely heavily on data, but data on its own can be pretty useless. In order to get the most out of your data, it’s important to have a data cleansing strategy in place.
What is data cleansing?
Data cleansing isn’t a one-time thing – it’s serious business.
Data cleansing is the process of removing any duplicate, incorrect or inactive data from your list. Afterwards, you’ll have less data, but it will be higher quality, so your campaigns will be even more effective.
Regularly cleaning out the inactive and unengaged email subscribers from your list will keep your database warm and healthy, meaning you’ll only be emailing people who genuinely want to hear from you. (That means you’ll have less chance of ending up in the spam folder, too.)
Why is data hygiene so important?
It’s simple, really. Every business relies on data in some way. Ensuring that the data is clean can provide significant business value and make everyone more efficient.
Getting a person’s consent once doesn’t mean they’ll be on your list forever. Even your most engaged subscribers can lose interest at some point, which means they’ll become more of a liability than an asset.
Having a regular data cleansing strategy in place results in an up-to-date list that provides accurate and useful insights. Incorrect, duplicate or expired data would make you much less efficient and less effective. It’s not worth the risk!
Here are the reasons why every marketer should prioritise a clean, up-to-date database:
It enhances your deliverability
Your email deliverability rate refers to how successful your efforts are at getting your emails in the inbox. Low deliverability has a huge impact on your sender reputation, meaning that reaching the inbox will become even more difficult.
You can improve your own delivery rate by maintaining a clean and healthy list (and creating awesome content too, of course). Maintaining a clean and healthy list will improve your sender reputation, so the number of your emails that get delivered will increase.
It increases your engagement
Email engagement is a way to measure how interested your subscribers are in your emails. Disengaged contacts tend to ignore your emails, delete them without opening, or maybe even mark them as spam.
Bad data is inefficient and pointless. With a clean list, you can focus your efforts on the people who matter. Send targeted offers and campaigns to the right people, and you’ll see an increase in open rates, click rates and overall ROI.
It helps with GDPR compliance
Being lazy with database maintenance is no longer an option for businesses. GDPR came into effect last year and it imposes strict rules on the way data is collected, stored and managed, which is why data hygiene is crucial.
By regularly getting consent from your subscribers, you can be confident that your emails are GDPR compliant, all the time.
Re-engaging a cold email list
Once you’ve identified who your disengaged subscribers are, you can work on re-engaging them. They’re still potential customers, after all, so don’t say goodbye to them just yet.
Re-engagement campaigns can win back customers, which is actually more cost-effective than attracting new ones. They also help you identify which contacts in your list you should get rid of. Send your re-engagement campaigns to your contacts who have been on your list for a while, but they no longer open, read or click on your emails. When it comes to your database, it’s all about quality over quantity.
If people aren’t engaging with your content, don’t be afraid to ask them why. Did they expect different content? What kind of content would they be interested in? By understanding their needs better, you can send them personalised re-engagement campaigns with an offer that they can’t turn down. Remind them why they should want to be part of your list.
Decide what you can realistically commit to and stick to it. Deliver value on a regular, consistent basis so your readers look forward to receiving your emails.
Check out this campaign from Emma Bridgewater. They’ve included an offer in their re-engagement campaign to try and win back subscribers who haven’t opened their emails in a while, as well as a simple instruction to opt-in if their readers wish to receive future emails from them.
Struggling to re-engage your cold contacts? You can check out some top tips here.
Say goodbye to bad data with data validation
Protect the authenticity of your data. Data validation checks the accuracy and quality of your data, so you don’t have to worry about making any mistakes.
You can check the quality of your database by running it through our Data Validation tool, so you can easily determine which contacts may cause delivery issues or impact your sending reputation. Just get in touch if you want some more information.