Why You Should Clean Out Your Databases

Why You Should Clean Out Your Databases

Is it spring cleaning time? If things are looking a little dusty around your databases, it's time to brush them off, clear them out, and get organized. Incorrect customer data can be a serious problem if it's clogging up your databases: here's why.

A Cluttered Database is a Problem for Your Insurance Agency 

You send out an email. You get many emails back in return, all stating that those addresses are incorrect or no longer exist. This is just one example of a required database update. While people will change their email addresses, incorrect customer data doesn't just lead to annoying bounce-backs. It also interferes with your ability to truly understand your customers.

An email bounceback is indicative of a larger problem that may affect many more of your customers. Over time, your customers or past customers forget to stay in touch. They drift away from your business. Why does this happen? If you don't keep your databases up to date, you'll never know. According to Marketo, sending repeated emails to those who don't want them could have the opposite effect than the one you intend: "…if those inactive leads are simply not interested, marketing to them may hurt your brand’s reputation."

Database Problems Can Lead to Larger Problems 

While a small error in a database may not seem like it's very serious, it can lead to larger problems for your clients and your company. Let's say you have a new employee who's been trained and educated well. However, you have not trained your employee on the way that you insert certain abbreviations for specific areas of the city. If there's a north part of your city, do you abbreviate that with an "N," or do you keep it as North? Small database errors like this can actually impede your ability to reach out to specific customer groups or understand these groups. Cleaning up your database not only fixes these problems but reveals gaps in practice or training that must be addressed.

You Could Get In Trouble 

What happens if your past customers are irritated or you have a lot of bounce-backs? Failing to clean up your databases could also have consequences for your email provider. According to Outbound Engine, "Too many spam reports and unsubscribe requests can raise a red flag with your email service provider, possibly resulting in account suspension."

How To Clean Out Your Databases

You want to get the right message to the right individuals through the right marketing channels. If your databases are clogged up with incorrect or outdated information, you can't do this effectively. How can you clean out your databases? 

  • Remove email addresses that bounce back.

  • Look for duplicate contacts. Make sure that they are actually duplicates before you make deletions: some people have the same name.

  • Make sure people want to get your emails. Examine what contacts actually reply to your emails or are active customers. Reaching out to them is one of your insurance jobs.

  • Ensure that the way you enter information into the databases is consistent so that you can market to different segments of your customer base. Look for trends in your errors, and address these through staff training.

At American Agents Alliance, we strive to be a resource for independent insurance agencies across the country. Whether you're struggling with data management or you need to post insurance jobs, we can help. Contact us today and learn more about our membership benefits.

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