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Increase Your ROI: Keeping A Clean Database

Increase Your ROI Keeping A Clean Database-34

Data cleaning, also known as data scrubbing, data cleansing, and more, is the process of taking your customer database and ensuring that it is up-to-date, accurate, and valid. Regularly cleaning your database is important as it makes sure you are racing your customers and prospects and not wasting time and resources reaching out to outdated numbers or addresses. As it costs 20x more to get a new customer than it does to keep an existing customer happy. It is expensive to allow current customers to slip through the cracks and not have a clean database.

The data cleaning process is typically done by a third-party data provider. The reason it is best to let a third-party data provider perform your data cleaning processes is that they utilize multiple data sources to ensure their data is the most up-to-date. They also leverage specialized tools to perform this process on an ongoing basis. 

What Causes Dirty Data?

There are multiple ways your data becomes dirty over time. Even if you have a strict housekeeping to-do list when handling customer data, your data will, in time, become dirty. Dirty data is any data that is unable to be used by your business for a number of reasons. 

Formatting errors can be one of the more difficult errors to fix depending on what caused the error. These could be from different data entry standards across sales reps, exporting and importing data into a new data management tool. As well as buying or procuring data lists and uploading them into your database for prospecting, and more. 

One of the more frustrating errors is human error. Even if you have tight standards when it comes to data entry, there is bound to be a typo, a wrong number, or a missed entry because no one is perfect. 

Also, customers move, change their phone number, change their name, or provide incorrect information. This one can be more difficult to correct as it is out of your hands, but it is up to you to correct it. 

These are all common business practices and problems and regardless of how meticulous your data entry practices are, your data will become dirty in time.

Why Clean Data Matters

A clean database is important for various reasons and for multiple departments. Businesses rely on a clean database to make decisions in every department and if your data is dirty the various departments risk making decisions based on false information. 

Sales & Marketing

Marketing and sales are on the front lines and are typically the first to be affected by dirty data as their direct mail, emails, phone calls, and other campaigns begin to perform worse. With dirty data, the effort poured into personalized outreach campaigns falls short on deaf ears and looks bad when the wrong person is on the receiving end. As it costs considerably more to acquire a new customer, that expense is only increased by dirty data as money you are spending on customer retention is wasted. 

Product/Service Development

Clean data is crucial to making informed decisions as clean data is accurate data and accurate data makes informed decisions. When management, product/service teams, and other departments look at the data, response rates, interest, and other metrics to make decisions, it’s not telling the whole story when your data is dirty. This could affect where funds are allocated for future development.


In today’s modern business format, we rely heavily on automation for communication so our human agents can focus on high-priority and high-value interactions. If your data is dirty then the feed going into your automation is incorrect which can drastically affect the outcome of your efforts. 


Reducing the amount spent on sending messaging to invalid destinations is always a good idea. Why would you send a piece of material to the wrong house on purpose? You wouldn’t, so don’t do it by accident, it’s the same outcome. Increasing your ROI on campaigns could be as easy as cleaning your database to ensure you reach the correct person, the first time. You could have the best copywriter, the best graphics, and the best hook, but if you don’t reach the intended recipient, it doesn’t matter. 

How To Clean Your Data

There is no shortage of ways you can approach your data with the sole purpose of cleaning, standardizing, and formatting your data. Some of the most simple data-cleaning steps you can take to prolong the life of your data are de-duplication, data entry standards, and structural errors. 

If you Google data cleaning software or free data cleaning tools you will be bombarded with hundreds of tools that claim to clean your database. From experience, these tools do not work nearly well enough to be recommended. It’s difficult for a “plug and play” tool to work for everyone’s database when there are so many standards, custom-built databases, and fields in the world to work with one tool. These tools often have no claims to correcting addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, names, date of birth, and other more complicated fields. 

What works best is to have a team utilize tools and clean your data for you. This way you can have an impartial team following the guidelines you specified and return with a clean file for you to implement. 

How Cleanlist Can Help

This is where we have seen services such as Cleanlist come out on top. Having specialists utilize regularly updated databases, having dozens of sources of data, and custom-built solutions is the most effective and fastest way to clean your data. Not only will your data be clean but there are also options to enrich your existing data or acquire additional data. 

Cleanlist is Canada’s largest customer data company and solely focuses on Canadian data. This gives Cleanlist the immediate advantage in Canadian data. With full coverage of the Canadian population, you can rest easy knowing that your data is up-to-date and accurate. Cleanlist offers solutions to regularly update your data so you don’t have to think about when and how often to update your database. 

When you are dealing with customer data security is of the utmost importance and Cleanlist takes this extremely seriously. Cleanlist is the only Canadian data company with SOC 2 certification. This is a third party that goes through Cleanlists’ policies, practices, and data handling to ensure the highest level of security. 

Enriching Your Database

Enriching your database is the next step after you have cleaned your data. After the cleaning process, you can look at adding additional data elements to your database to reach your customers and prospects on additional channels. Or, you can acquire additional data on them to help you understand them better thus understanding their wants and needs better. 

As part of this enrichment process, you can also acquire additional data and approach new prospects in your ideal customer profile. These new prospects may not be aware of your offering but could be in need of it. But, because you understand who your ideal customer is you are able to seek out additional data that matches your ideal customer and increase your prospecting reach. 

Now What?

Now, it’s the fun part. You can begin your journey to understand what you need out of your data, create your ideal database structure and begin to clean your data. With businesses like Cleanlist, you can dictate your structure and have Cleanlist ensure they return your clean data in the same structure. The best part is you don’t have to take my word for it, you can inquire about a data assessment and have Cleanlist show you how dirty your data is and what your data would look like after they clean it. 

Your organization, your data, and your needs are unique. To find out what’s possible Cleanlist offers a free assessment to qualified organizations.

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