The Importance of Data Quality in Your Email Marketing

The Importance of Data Quality in Your Email Marketing

Email’s popularity remains undisputed. Nearly everyone uses it – in fact, 92% of online adults use email, with 61% using it on an average day. (source) As a marketing channel, ROI tops the chart with a huge return on investment. For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42 (DMA, 2019).

Take a look at some of these additional statistics on email performance:

While email has the potential to boost your business success, as with any marketing channel, email is only as successful as the data that drives it. Many marketers put the time and resources into optimizing copy, graphics and design, but something as basic as data quality may be overlooked.

Recent research by Validity examined the correlation between email and data quality. To begin, Validity looked at where organizations are storing their customer and email data.

Most respondents stored data in 1 or a combination of three systems:

The good news is that the majority of organizations (77%) are monitoring the quality of their data and many organizations placed importance on data quality.

In comparison to other aspects of email marketing, 9% said data quality is most important, 53% stated its highly important, and 33% stated data quality is moderately important.

Marketers also understand the importance of data quality is relation to how it affects aspects of sender reputation. However, according to Validity’s research, the two factors that experts generally agree are most important for reputation are the two lowest scored (spam traps and complaints) – highlighting the need for some further education on their role and importance.

Organizations have a variety of systems and policies in place to manage data quality with the most popular being compliance (43%).

The most popular metrics organizations use to measure data quality are engagement rates (40%) and sales/revenue (37%).

Where are brands sourcing their email lists? The most popular way is through their website (53%), followed by in-person or virtual events (34%), point-of-sale or e-receipts (33%), direct outreach from a sales team (31%), or social media platforms (28%).

The most popular method of verifying data is through database cleansing (39%), using double opt-in (38%), and challenge-response tests (37%).

Brands should be engaging in a regular system of database cleansing to ensure email quality. Email programs are often crippled by both bad data or incomplete customer data, both components of data quality. While a record may have a postal addresses, a customer’s name or other information, they may be missing a recent, reachable email addresses. Email appends are a way to fix these problems.

Email appending is a process which uses data from a known customer record such as a person’s name and postal address. This is then matched to a vendor’s database to add missing emails (or other information) or correct bad emails.

Take a look at the example of an email append program V12 ran for a national retail chain:

Issue: Lacking emails on a portion of their 10 million record CRM database.

Goal: Append as many emails as possible and condition them for email marketing programs. Have the appended emails ready for the Holiday Season.

Solution: V12 performed the append and matched 26.7%. Strategized, developed and executed an email append “warming” program to introduce emails into the inbox and minimize opt outs. Measure ROI.

Results: After 5 email deployments, the opt out rate was under .5% allowing the majority of emails to be merged into the CRM database and used for the holiday mailings. The V12 appended records outperformed CRM emails by 2.1 times.

As stated earlier in Validity’s research, more brand are using customer data platforms as a means to store and clean data.

Take a look at some of these statistics on data quality:

Customer data platforms can integrate and increase data quality through a series of built-in processes to ensure high quality data can be accessed at any given time.

Additionally, according to Validity, “the growing number of businesses with a customer data platform (CDP) in place (33%) to store customer data also emerges through the findings as a key indicator of organizations having a more developed approach. These organizations are more likely to have a preference center in place (25%) and use it to collect additional information on their customers (31%) – directly connecting to the pillar of completeness and ensuring brands have all the information they need.”

Learn more about Email Marketing Best Practices. Download V12’s Email Marketing Success Kit – full of blogs, articles, webinars and resources to help you learn the latest trends and best practices to boost your email marketing success.