How Old And How Effective Is Your CRM Data?

Old is subjective. You can be 44 and your kids will likely think you’re old. But your aging monther-in-law will think that you’re young, hip and trendy. So old depends on your situation. Is your data out-of-date? It depends on you and your data.

It’s tempting to keep every single contact you have met in the last ten years of business. We seem to do it at home with loads of stuff – my creaking attic is testament to my wife’s ability to buy stuff, then store it for ever. And out of sight. Imagine you are a law firm looking after a person’s will that was written 20 years ago. Information on the 20 year old will isn’t old data and should be kept. If you are selling water coolers, that contact you’ve had in your database for 10 years might well be your best repeat customer. They’ve been buying from your for 10 years after all. If they are still at that company, that is a good contact and should be kept. If they’ve left, bin it or find out where they moved to. And who replaced them.

Got an old list of contacts you bought in 1995? Bin it straight away. 95% of the contacts will not be there anymore. Got a list of people who signed up to get your newsletter via your website 18 months ago, and you’ve not done anything with it? Probably too late to use that now. They’ll have forgotten about you, and may well wonder who you are if you email them today and mark your email as spam. Be careful if you are tempted to use this. There could be nuggets of information, but you may well have missed out on their buying cycle anyway.

What I’m saying is – depending on your situation, the out-of-date-ness of your data varies depending on what it relates to. The Data Protection Act says if you are not using data, you need to get rid of it. And rather than thinking it’s hindering your marketing activities, it might well help you. And going back a few lines, if someone tags your emails as SPAM because they can’t even recall giving you their details, the internet spam filters will start to blacklist your domain name and start sending all your general emails straight to junk. And that will stop your marketing and general email communication dead in it’s tracks. And if you get rid of all your out-of-date data (i.e. ‘old’), you can focus more time and energy on ‘in-date’ contacts. And you’ll no doubt get far better results too.

Article ‘How old is your CRM data? What is old data. And is it helping you sell stuff?’ Written by Simon McNidder from Database First Aid 


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  • a couple of years ago
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