• Results Driven Marketing

5 Signs Your Data Is Poor Quality and Needs Updating

Updated: Dec 7, 2021

It’s fair to say that over the last 18 months or so, a huge amount has changed. Although things are returning to some sort of normality now, the data you have held over this period will have undoubtedly changed significantly.

Without being particularly technical, there are some glaring signs that come up day to day that highlight poor quality data.

1. Response rates are dropping

If you have ever purchased data in the past, you will know that the time to use it is a soon as you purchase it. It will never be more accurate than it is on the day of delivery.

The same goes for data that you are generating in-house.

If you are not generating the number of leads that you once were from your marketing channels, it is a clear sign that your data needs a refresh.

2. Salespeople are complaining about connection rates

Anyone running telemarketing will know that operators thrive on good quality data.

On the flip side of that, if data isn’t providing the necessary connection rate, it damages morale and performance can take a massive hit.

Financially it is a big drain and that isn’t even taking into consideration the lack of new opportunities being created.

3. Email marketing lists are dwindling

B2B data decays at a rapid rate. On an annual basis, you can expect to see a decay rate of around 37% on email addresses alone.

The clearest indicator of this is the number of hard bounces your campaigns are seeing. Companies closing previous employees email addresses is common. A second symptom of this is that your unsubscribe rate will increase. A company may keep an email address live for an employee that has left the company to ensure they do not miss any important correspondence but will unsubscribe from any marketing literature that may have been of interest prior.

4. You are seeing the postman twice

Given the cost of direct mail campaigns, it is essential your list is accurate. If you are seeing mail bags being returned, it’s a terrible sign and a costly mistake.

5. Complaints

Complaints are common when marketing to old or poor data.

Recipients will rightly question why an old colleague or employee is still getting marketing literature from you when the left the company 50 years ago!

The number of years ago the employee left is normally grossly exaggerated to emphasise their point, but they are still not good messages to receive.

The negatives to old data are there for all to see. From underperforming employees to wasted marketing spend. But in general, marketing to old and out of date information just reflects badly on you and your brand.

So, what can you do about it?

Well, the first thing would be to make sure that the information you are getting back from your campaigns is being tracked and logged.

Remove all the hard bounces and unsubscribes from your email lists. Ask telemarketers to remove old information and where possible, replace it with up-to-date information.

Put in some calls to your direct mail campaigns as follow ups to check the mail that didn’t come back was hitting the mark.

DM is a costly exercise, so spending a bit more on following the campaigns up is well worth it and will help you avoid another bag full of mail coming back next time around.

You can speak with a data supplier about how they can help you replace the records that are falling off your system.

At Results Driven Marketing, we have access to the UK’s most comprehensive data and perform suppressions, data appends and data cleanses daily.

If you are seeing any of the problems listed above, feel free to drop us a line on 0191 406 6399 or email

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