[Podcast] 'Inbound & Down' S05 E02: Deduplicating Contacts & Maintaining Your Database
It's important. End of blog!
Okay, I'll give you a little more. Database management is one of the most important practices when working with a content management system (CMS). You have to remember that there are people behind those email addresses, so each contact must be treated with care.
An email marketing database degrades at approximately 22.5% annually, according to HubSpot.
Degradation, or the loss of contacts, results from old, changed, or abandoned email addresses, and people simply opting out of your communications.
22.5% is a pretty high rate. While you can't avoid this natural decay, you can be proactive about how you keep your database updated. One great method, and our focus for today, is by deduplicating contacts.
Deduplicating is the process of merging two like contact records into one. There are external tools and software that can accomplish this, but more conveniently there's the simple option of the deduplication tool in HubSpot.
Ah, HubSpot to the rescue again.
In June 2019, HubSpot rolled out the duplicate management tool. It takes the labor and guesswork out of the process by comparing contact records using artificial intelligence (AI) technology, and looking for similarities based on name, email, country IP, phone number, zip, and company. When you open the tool—which can be accessed by navigating to Contacts > Actions > Manage Duplicates—you're given a list of up to 2,000 contacts that are likely to be duplicates. From there, you can navigate through and either merge or dismiss.
- Every contact in your HubSpot database costs money. With every tier, there is a contact limit (and additional limits negotiated per-account). Having two duplicate contacts serves you no purpose and wastes money.
- User experience matters. If a contact is receiving the same marketing emails more than once on the same day, they're likely to get annoyed. This risks an unsubscription of a potential customer or contact on both of their accounts.
- User experience matters. Wait, did I already say that? Well, it does. Merging contact records ensures that all information on an individual is kept in one location. This eliminates the possibility of two sales reps unknowingly having identical conversations.
Deduplication Best Practices.
- Check for spelling errors. If there are two contacts—firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, for example—it's not difficult to figure out which of these is correct. You can follow this practice with names, as well. If both contact records presented have the first name listed as Sage, and one email address is firstname.lastname@example.org while the other is email@example.com, it's safe (😉) to assume that the former is the correct email.
- Use the HubSpot records to your advantage. If there isn't an easily discernible mistake in the email address, click into both contact records and compare. Has one email address hard bounced from the beginning? That's probably the one to eliminate.
- Use your discretion. If both contact records look fairly clean but one email is a work address and the other is personal, decide which email feels more appropriate to your circumstance and proceed from there.
"Bad data costs companies around the world $3 trillion per year," states Hubspot, citing Harvard Business Review.
While we're more partial to Jon's fake, "Pew Research Center Quinnipiac Polls" in house I&D, a stat like that is hard to ignore. We believe in you. Go dedupe.
This Week's One Thing
- Mike is excited to record our first interview of the season. Season Five is the season of interviews.
- Sage is attending LOCKN' at the end of August, and she gets to see her beloved boys from moe.
- Danielle is excited for all the cuisine possibilities that come with team lunch.
- Jon loves The National, and the short film I Am Easy To Find directed by Mike Mills, featuring six songs off the band's latest album sharing the film's name.
Here is where I would typically let y'all know what beer was imbibed during the episode. We happened to record this in the morning, so none was had. Out of the goodness of my heart though, I'll make a personal recommendation for you: Fat Orange Cat Brew Co.'s All Cats Are Gray In The Dark. This is a white stout, which was a personal first for me. The light color threw me off initially, but there was still plenty of coffee notes in dat body. I rated it a 4/5 on Untappd.
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