March 13th, 2015 | by

There is nothing like a good spring clean. Open all the windows, clean under the couch cushions, and dust the ceiling fan. Go all out. This way, you won’t have dust bunnies arriving as surprise guests at Easter brunch.

In order to be effective, marketing databases need a good airing out, too. Well-executed email prospecting is an incredibly cost-effective revenue generation method. In fact, according to the Direct Marketing Association’s 2013 Statistical Fact Book, email campaigns generate a staggering 4,300% ROI and earned on average $42.08 for every dollar spent on them. That is hard to beat, but you are not going to get those results from stale data. Full of contacts and email addresses that may have gotten stale through the winter months – it is high time to dust off that data and inject some spring in your sales efforts.

Clearing the way for new growth is exciting – although some may not think of data maintenance in that way. Dirty data won’t help you reach your best prospects with the most timely and targeted offers. Worse, what sales person gets excited about working from data they know is stale? People change jobs, take on new roles within companies, and companies adopt new technologies. Your sales and marketing data can be easily cleaned up by following a few best practices. These steps are critical to maximizing results from email marketing campaigns.

Here are the 3 steps to take to get a good refresh of your data, and banish the dust bunnies permanently:

  1. Append and clean. Using a well-respected source of reliable data, revisit each organization in your database to add all available information on region, budget, employee sizes, phone numbers, titles, company types.  If you have find information on recent executive moves, make sure to add these and remove anyone who is noted to have left. Building effective campaigns is only possible with reliable data. This step is critical to your success and growth in the new season.
  1. This can be a big project, but roll up your sleeves and get it done. Investing the time to verify that database information will ensure that your marketing efforts will actually reach their targets. There are a variety of reliable online tools available to help with email validation, including our partner NeverBounce.
  1. Keep it clean. Data maintenance should be an ongoing process within your team’s efforts. Just as it is important to weed throughout the season, data also requires constant maintenance. Implement a process within your sales flow where sales reps can flag a record as having bad information such as a contact moving to a new position. This could be through a “lead status” or “contact role” field in your CRM or these flagged leads could be assigned to a queue for review by your research analyst or sales operations staff.Constantly integrate the data you receive back from your outbound campaigns and monitor the soft bounces. Some marketing automation platforms have fields to indicate the deliverability of an email. Addresses that show one hard bounce or three soft bounces will be flagged as “email invalid” and should be reviewed by your sales support team.

Creating processes that will poll for bad data during real-time use requires effort, but will ensure that you’ve got access to continually appended leads in your database. With proper maintenance, your database becomes more accurate and more successful with each successive campaign. Consider incentives to get everyone on the team invested in the accuracy of your database. Lowest bounce rates and high open rates are great metrics you can use to measure team efforts.

DiscoverOrg is in the business of supplying constantly-refreshed, clean, and highly accurate data to our subscribers, so we know what it takes to get and maintain clean data. These steps are critical and the process is ongoing – but the rewards are the growth you will realize from using a verified and accurate database in your prospecting.

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About the author


Lisa has a background in international business and over 15 years of technology marketing and she helps to develop strategies to enable a successful sales effort.