There comes a time when the data becomes too much; it starts off innocently enough – keep everything in the CRM and in your automation platform so that there’s a record for all activities concerning each lead you’ve engaged with.
Nice, sensible and controlled…no?
Then you hit a record ‘limit’ and your software provider starts smacking their lips as they go in for the proverbial kill by offering you more and more space; which you’ll then proceed to fill with more data, wholeheartedly believing that it’s simply the nature of the game.
Fortunately it isn’t.
For businesses that have lead records in their CRM (such as Salesforce, etc) synchronised with an automation platform, there is a solution for the constant issue of limited space taken up by records that may never eventuate into commercial success. And while full deletion from both the automation platform and the CRM is not recommended, it’s often the former that holds the key to keeping record count in check.
So I was talking to a Marketing Director the other day who was trying to reduce the count of records in his instance of Marketo. The business was importing leads in the thousands but only a small percentage were graduating to MQL status, meanwhile the rest were taking up valuable space in the Marketo record quota.
Key to the solution is understanding this remaining base and what sort of opportunity could ever be mined from it; simply speaking, those without email addresses, or had emails but were consistently bouncing or had ultimately unsubscribed were never going to be plausible leads for marketing however the treatment of each group needed to be compliant from a legal perspective (we couldn’t just proceed to recommending the deletion of these records).
First cab off the rank is segmenting the base into what can be salvaged and what can’t be brought to commercial viability. There are two main ‘buckets’ to consider; those who are marketable and those who are not. Sometimes it is simpler to work backwards by defining who is not a marketable lead. They often fit into one of these sub-segments:
- No email address
- Email address is invalid
- Email address has bounced
- Contact has unsubscribed from all communications
Any lead or contact found to have any of these aspects is most likely never going to be marketable unless you were to physically pick up the phone and call them – this isn’t efficient by any stretch of the imagination.
So once you’ve created your list of records who fit the above, it’s time for some validation. Normally this would be a process that involves spot checking at least 10% of the records showing in the list to ensure no-one is there who shouldn’t be. After you’ve looked at it, it’s time for your marketing operations or sales operations person/team to review the list and perform a sanity check on those leads in the list. This will guarantee that the leads you’re seeing as ‘unmarketable’ from an automation perspective are also found to be ‘unsellable’ from a business point of view.
At this stage, you can also capitalise on having a ‘big picture’ of these contacts at hand and go about confirming that they aren’t entering the database through a form or other entry point that allows them to fill their details without an email, first name or company at the very least. At times, there could be a manual import occurring from other sources causing leads to populate in your automation platform without these vital details.
Depending on how thorough you would like to be, these lists can be grouped together or built out separately.
Our next post will focus on how to process these lists and the key aspects to look out for…