Holiday communications abound, but are they reaching consumers?

The holiday season is upon us. It seems like everywhere you look these days you see signs of the season: stores have started to trim the halls and holiday emails are landing in inboxes. Marketers are looking to entice consumers early with offers and promotions during the busiest shopping time of the year.

While there are many factors that go into these marketing messages, like segmentation and content creation, marketers need to remember data quality at all times, especially during the holidays.

No matter the channel, accurate contact data is the basis for any communication. Without accurate customer information, marketers may not be able to deliver communications, segment customer information or gain valuable analytics and intelligence for customized interactions.

With today’s data-driven evolution, marketers need to be sure they are collecting and maintaining accurate customer information. Unfortunately, many retailers feel that a quarter of their contact information is inaccurate.

Retailers spend months preparing their systems for the influx of holiday shoppers and many technical changes are prohibited at this point in the year. However, there are two quick steps that marketers can still take to improve their customer contact information before the bulk of communications are sent.

Clean bulk lists of contact data

Contact data is one of the most important pieces of information a marketer can have about a consumer. Marketers should check the accuracy of their contact information, including email, mailing address and phone number.

Contact lists can be exported and sent to trusted partners for cleaning. Bad information can be corrected or identified. If errors are minor, like an @ symbol in the wrong place in an email or a misspelled city, most systems should be able to correct those changes, allowing marketers to reach more subscribers.

If information can’t be collected, marketers can be made aware of poor data before wasting resources or budget on a message that will not be delivered. Marketers can then use other channels for communication based on that intelligence. While an email address may not be accurate, a mailing address can be used to send direct mail campaigns to ensure holiday messages still reach that individual.

Depending on the size of the subscriber list, these projects can be completed within a few days, allowing marketers to take a small step that can materially impact their holiday marketing performance.

Remove duplicates

With the cross-channel environment, information is coming in through more channels than ever before. While the increased interaction is very helpful, it can cause challenges related to data quality, especially around duplicate contacts.

Before the holidays, marketers should do a quick clean of their marketing database to make sure it is free of duplicates and account information is consolidated. This affects segmentation and analytics, but also keeps customers from getting annoyed by too many duplicate holiday messages.

Cleansed contact data can be a strong ally in helping with this process as it can help identify individual users. While smaller retailers can execute duplicate cleansing on a more manual basis, the majority of retailers will find that their lists are too large. In these instances, engage a third party to identify duplicate information. Experts can process these files relatively quickly and provide back consolidated information based on pre-established guidelines.

While a long term data management strategy is a best practice that retailers should consider putting in place, list cleansing and duplicate removal are two quick ways marketers can have a material impact on message delivery this holiday season without installing or affecting processes that have been in place for months.

To learn more about these services, please visit our Data Hygiene Services page.