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Keeping a Clean Database

As new events come aPeople and Laptopnd go and our databases become bigger and bigger, we need to remember to maintain and clean up our databases. Whether we get bad duplicate contacts, have formatting issues or there is a lead that bounces, there are bad leads that can enter our databases. However, that doesn’t mean they have to stay. Here are 5 ways to keep a clean and organized database.

1). Identify Duplicates

Often times we meet the same person at multiple events. You want to make sure that when you delete duplicates that you are not deleting notes or their records because these are things you will want to keep when contacting them at a later date. Having duplicates is going to happen no matter what, but if you keep on top of it and keep updating the lists, you should diminish this issue.

2). Validate your leads

When sending out your emails make sure to keep track of all the leads that bounce back. There are two main things to look for when the email comes back as a bounce. One is if the person no longer works there and two if the reader marked it as spam. When you do this you are able to keep tally of what goes out but also can go back later and check what the exact problems.  If the reader marked it as spam, you can find another way to contact them such as giving them a call.

3) Make Sure There Are No Formatting Issues

When you get new leads it is easy to jump right in and throw the leads into the already existing database but we tend to forget the format and all the columns might not add up. When this happens, it might not affect us right away, but when we want to export the data or narrow it out and create a folder of a specific event we will be unable to easily do this because the formats do not match.  Also, make sure everything is uniform. When the column for ‘country’ comes up, make sure all entries say either ‘US’ or ‘United States’ or ‘USA.’ Don’t let these slide because later when narrowing down subjects they will not be filed together.

4). Get Rid of Junk Contacts

At shows we accumulate all kinds of leads from scanning multiple badges. After the show, go through and get rid of all the emails that are not relevant. Personal email addresses or email addresses that are not pertaining to work are probably not the ones you need to be sending important messages to. You don’t need a [email protected] or an [email protected] As simple as that may sound, we do let them slide and they complicate things later when we need to use our leads.

5). Set Alerts to Keep Up With Your Records

There are times when we can stay right on top of things, but more likely than not, things slip and we get super busy. If we set alarms or reminders in our calendars we will be reminded to consistently look over our records. When you get this reminder, just look through and see who has been contacted recently, who has open projects going, and who does not. If you look and see that someone has not responded in months, you can re-evaluate keeping them. This also can be the time to look over duplicates.

All in all, we use databases for everything. They tell us all we need to know when it comes to our clients- from when we first contacted them to the last order they placed with us. Be mindful of the Can-Spam Act. It is important for you to make sure that when you’re emailing customers from a database that you abide by all of the laws. With databases being so important for our business, we need to make sure we are keeping them clean and organized. By keeping these 5 tips in mind, it is certain that you will find your databases looking in better shape than they ever have before!