Think of your database – you know, all of those names and email addresses that you send marketing messages to. How does it look? Are you sending emails to ROBERT at It’s time to talk hygiene – data hygiene, that is.

Clean data, data that is both complete and correct, is critical so that you are not wasting your company’s time and or money. You don’t want to waste time sitting on hold for someone who no longer works at the business or emailing the wrong address.

Yes, it takes time to log into your CRM and do an audit of each entry, but calling and email the right people with the right name (with proper capitalization, please) will help out both marketing and sales results.

Here are a few steps to help gather clean data:

Understand Your Data

You must first learn your data and how the data was collected. Was a contact collected from a website lead form being submitted? Did you meet someone at an event and take home his or her business card? Knowing this information will help you send the proper marketing messages to the contact to continue to build a relationship.clean-data

Clean Your Current Data

Cleaning your data can be a time consuming step, but it is critical. I recommend dumping your whole current database and removing entries with incomplete information. Go in there and delete duplicate entries and group together contacts that are from the same business. For entries with partial information, try your best to complete them as much as possible (Google works wonders!) as this will help with future marketing and sales activities.

Set a Process

Now that you’ve cleaned up your data and understand where it came from, it is time to start a process that will determine in the future how information is saved. You need to decide who is responsible for uploading new information and how often it will be updated. You will also want to have a process to make sure that no duplicates are added to your CRM. Ringlead is a great option for those using SalesForce.

Make a Cleaning Schedule

Just like you go to the dentist for a cleaning every six months (and brush twice a day), it’s necessary to set time aside to clean up your data. All the time you spent researching information for incomplete leads can quickly become wasteful if you do not have a cleaning schedule developed for the future.

Data is something that is easily collected, but not as easy to maintain. The importance of clean data goes a long way in helping your business flourish.

Simply put, data hygiene is similar to personal hygiene: you may not always notice when you are clean, but you sure will notice when you are not clean.

About the Author

PCG Digital Marketing is an award winning digital agency headquartered in Eatontown, NJ. We help our clients get found online through innovative search, social and online advertising campaigns.