How To Let Your Database Contacts Clean Up Their own Data
After 20+ years in business, you accumulate some dead weight in your database. Even though we are in the business of knowing the best ways to update and refresh a database, there’s just more of “them” than there are of “us.” We need automation help.
So I decided to let my database update itself. Here are the steps I took:
1. I segmented my list into 6 parts, based on how well I thought that recipient knew me (ie., customer, prospect, networking contact, friend, family and “no clue.”)
2. I wrote 6 versions of the form letter shown here, with the first paragraph of each explaining how I thought they would recognize / know me.
3. I added an incentive. Since it was January and before Mardi Gras, I offered a colorful mask ($1.00 each from Rhode Island Novelty) to the first 50 responses. (I pay Hannah, my part-time telemarketer $9.00/hour to make database update calls for me. This freemium offer was a no-brainer.)
4. I set up the survey form to automatically import into my database and update existing information (self-reported data is more valuable than anything I may have collected).
5. Sent all segments.
My email metrics are below. The response was overwhelming in terms of actionable feedback.
* I was able to code about 300 contacts who had escaped my coding system up till now, essentially adding 300 fresh leads to future mailings* I was invited to speak to 3 organizations* We processed about 25 sales leads and inquiries* I asked recipients to “tell me something good that’s going on in your life” and I received the most heart-warming stories (better than Facebook!)
* We eliminated a lot of dead wood from bounces and opt outs