With email marketing metrics and analytics becoming more complex, new measures are being done to keep up and stay ahead of the game.

All that data, however, can make one’s head spin. It can be both promising and overwhelming.

Bad data can undermine all of your email marketing efforts if you let it stay bad. And just like people, data changes over time and must be updated. This is called “Dirty Data” in the marketing world, and it’s up to you to keep it clean.

What is Data Hygiene?

Data hygiene is making sure the data for your email marketing use is free from errors. As you might guess, the more data you have, the more errors there might be.

There are a few common signs of poor data hygiene:

  • Outdated Information
  • Missing Information
  • Typos
  • Duplicate Entries

Cleaning your database is important for the simple reason that cleaning your list is far less expensive than refusing to clean it.

Many email marketers see cleaning data as too time-consuming or costly, unfortunately. That’s why all of your email marketing efforts should be fully backed by a culture of cleanliness.

Launching a data quality program is an effective way to do this. Assigning someone whose responsibility will be to ensure the cleanliness of your lists is the first step!

Then, it’s time to dig into your data and find out what’s dirty and how to clean it.

What Problems Does Dirty Data Cause?


The most common problem listed above is sending an email to the wrong address (typo) followed by sending multiple emails to the same customer.

Not fixing these problems leads to, you guessed it: spam.

We’ve all been there, and it’s the worst. Spending so much time and money on a campaign only to have a high rate of undeliverable emails trigger spam filters. It makes the whole campaign a waste of time.

Besides, it could make future campaigns’ deliverability suffer.

Cleaning your list helps to prevent these mistakes before they happen which, in turn, helps improve your next campaign’s success.

Data Hygiene Best Practices

Human error is the main cause of most data hygiene problems. To fix this problem, we recommend these steps:

  • Train your staff to look for these errors
  • Identify your data entry points
  • Utilize data appending processes (like us!)
  • Automate your data appending process

But let’s dig a little deeper into solving some of these data hygiene issues.

Get Rid of Duplication


As we mentioned above, having duplicate addresses is one of the biggest dirty data culprits. If you mail someone multiple times, it’s much more likely you’ll lose their business than gain it.

To fix this, duplicate records for each individual must be identified, and the mismatched data resolved to achieve a single correct record.

Duplicates must be purged and measures are taken to keep the problem from recurring, including limiting and controlling the points of entry.

By standardizing the way you acquire data, you can decrease the number of duplicates. For instance, two-factor authentication is a great way to ensure that the subscriber actually wants to receive mail from you, but it gives your system a chance to make sure they’re already not in your database.

This way the subscriber now knows they’re going to be receiving emails from you, they can choose what kind of emails to receive, and you know that they are going to be more receptive and that they’re not already in your system.

Append Your Data

If you don’t know, appending means to add to something. Therefore, data appending means to add to data.

In a business environment, it’s imperative to know just about everything about your customers. From what they bought, to when they bought it, to what time they bought it—every single piece of information is crucial to effectively market your brand.

Businesses that have many customers or have been in business a long time have troves of customer information—but is it all correct?

The accuracy of your data is just as important as the size of your data.

And that’s where data appending comes into the fold.

Data appending fills the gaps in your database and reverse data appending gets rid of incomplete and inaccurate information.

For instance, some customers might be missing a home or work phone number, an outdated email address, gender, job title, etc.

Regular appending of your customer data list can make all the difference in your next email marketing campaign.


Pairing Email Verification and Data Appending

Data appending is great, but sometimes your data just needs a bath—especially your emails.

Emailing is one of the most effective marketing campaigns a business can run.

Even with all your information being correct, customers can still fatigue from your emails or ISPs can start to blacklist your company and your emails may never reach your customers in the first place.

It’s therefore prudent to make sure your appending service includes email verification.

You don’t want your emails to be a soft or hard bounce, and you don’t want to send an email that your customers don’t interact with.

Your email sender reputation can make or break your email campaign. But with proper and verified customer data and a verified email list there never should be an issue, to begin with!

Contact Email Oversight’s data append and email verification experts to find out how to implement real-time appending and verification services to your client list today!

There you have it. If you take the proper steps to ensure your data is accurate, your email marketing efforts will be more successful.

On top of that, the bond you have with your subscribers will grow even stronger. Knowing your audience builds trust and trust hopefully leads to affinity.

You’re always more effective when you’re more accurate.

Happy sending!

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