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Part II: Six Reasons Why Your Data Sucks

For those of you who missed Part I of the series, read it here.

There once was a company out yonder
who knew nothing of “the auto-responder.”
Leads entered junk,
Qualified lead numbers shrunk,
“Why don’t they get it?” I ponder.

Reason #4 – You’re delivering your content on the ‘thank you’ page instead of via auto-responder. A lot of people don’t see the value in this one right away, so let’s talk about it. Grab a donut while I wax poetic about auto-responders.

You know that your content online is valuable, so you gate it behind a form. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back, because you’re halfway there to being a good online marketer. (Don’t get donut goo on your shirt). So, Joe Schmoe fills out your form because he’s interested in your infographic on the career advancement opportunities for donut eating Jedi masters of scarf knitting.

But, Joe Schmoe is a bit of curmudgeon and fills out some junk data on your form gating the content. He presses submit and bada-boom-bada-bing, you hand over the content without so much as a glance at whether it was a fair trade for you – he got great content, what did you get? Junk data. That’s what you got. Walter White would be maaaaaad!

What you really should be doing to prevent this ludicrous, unjust exchange of information is telling Joe Schmoe, “please fill out this form and you’ll receive an email with a link to the content”. So now Joe knows that he needs to provide you with a valid email address or he won’t get the content. You sneaky marketer, you. And, on top of that, you can now see if Joe clicks the content link in that email to engage with your infographic. And you can score that click.

Mind. Blown.

And don’t worry, if Joe sees that he needs to actually give you something of value in exchange for something of value and opts not to fill out the form, you haven’t actually lost out on anything. Someone who is really interested in you and your content will be willing to provide quality data. Oh, and a side note: make sure your auto responders are marked as “operational” emails. That way, if someone who has unsubscribed from your marketing emails requests some of your content, you’re not withholding it from them!

There once was a marketer, Dwight,
Who let all his fields overwrite.
The marketing cost
Of the data he lost
Gave not-so-bright-Dwight quite a fright.

Reason #5 – You’re not blocking fields from being overwritten. This.Is.Huge. Seriously, this is one of the most important things you need to be doing in your Marketo. There are some fields that we need to retain the first (original) value of, and if you don’t take measures to block it from being updated or overwritten on a regular basis, you may as well spend your marketing dollars on investing in time travel.

Grab another donut while I preach about the importance of field blocking. Let’s say that you generate a new lead, Ripple Van Winklevoss, in your database as a result of a tradeshow. Well done. You import him (on a sparkling, clean, scrubbed list, of course – and into Marketo, not your CRM, of course) with a lead source of tradeshow.

Now let’s say Mr. VW registers for a webinar. And of course, you’re managing webinar registration through Marketo with a Marketo form on a Marketo landing page with a hidden field for lead source that sets the source to webinar for anyone who fills it out. Whew what a sentence. So, now Mr. VW’s lead source is webinar. So when you’re under the wire to report on leads generated by source, you report that you got one lead from webinars and zero from tradeshow. So you start investing in more webinars and fewer tradeshows, your lead gen numbers falter, and you better start looking for a new job – all because you didn’t block the lead source from being overwritten if there was already a value in it. Tsk tsk.

Poor Al McTool was a pack rat.
It impacted his life, but beyond that –
He couldn’t let go
Of cold leads long ago,
And now all his email metrics fall flat.

Reason #6 – You’re not purging old records. I think there’s a bit of rat-packness in most marketers, and I will admit that I’m one of them. I’m protective of my data, and think, “but but…what if oneeeee day they DO come back to life and turn into a customer?” Sorry to tell you, but it’s not going to happen. You need to take a deep breath, say a few little parting words, and purge your cold, inactive leads. You will have about a 20 percent churn in your database every year, so your goal should be to replace those leads that you get rid of with fresh, new leads. And to eat fewer donuts. That should be a goal, too.

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