Dirty data can give you incorrect information about your audience which will affect your messaging, cause you to leak revenue, and essentially mess up all your numbers because you’re chasing dead-end leads who will never convert. To take the right steps in your marketing and ensure that your statistics are correct, it’s important to keep your data clean.

Here are examples of dirty data and how it can affect your business.

Outdated Information

Even if the information was right to start with, after a few months the information could be outdated and wrong. For example, if you collect company information from your website visitors and someone quits their job or changes jobs, that information becomes outdated. In addition, some people purposely give wrong information. This could be the reason you never get them to open an email in the future, or why every email you send them bounces.

Fake Names

Freebie seekers are known to give a throwaway email address along with fake names, I know I have at times. These people may use various names and email addresses each time they get a freebie from you. There may be nothing you can do to stop it, but if someone hasn’t opened an email from you in years, delete them. You can also try adding another field to collect something that may not be faked, such as a Twitter handle.

Old Out-of-Date Data

Anytime you collect information from people, the information will be old and out of date within a year at least part of the time, most especially if it’s B2B information. That’s the reason you need to clean the data you collect at least yearly, if not every six months. Usually you have a sign, which is low conversions when they used to be higher.

Personal Contacts

Sometimes, our friends end up in our database even though they’re probably not going to open the emails or read anything. The reason this happens is due to the import function available with some platforms. Delete the personal contacts that aren’t buying or opening. And in the future, don’t important contacts that aren’t real leads.

Dead Leads

A dead lead typically will bounce. The business went out of business. The individual deleted their account or never answers that email. Most autoresponder services will delete bounces automatically. If your database doesn’t work that way, clean out bounces after no more than three bounces to avoid deliverability issues.

Duplicate Data

This is very common due to how we collect data. For example, if you’re giving a freebie, anyone can use any email address that works, plus any name. If you can’t use tagging in your system, there may be no way to tell that some of the data is duplicate. But, when you can tell, try to use tagging to avoid duplicates.

Incomplete Data

Not having enough of the right data can affect personalization a lot. If you like to personalize emails with the person’s name, it requires real names. The way incomplete data gets on your list sometimes has to do with the person signing up. If they’re allowed to skip fields they often will, especially if they’re bots. Enable CAPTCHA, refresh your API key, and ask for a little more information to allow the form to be sent.

Dirty data will cause your bounce rate to be higher, your conversion rate to be lower, and will make you frustrated with the results of all your hard work. If you really want to be successful, try to collect clean data to start with by improving your targeting and collection methods.

What Is a Dirty Lead Database?
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