Tag Archives: Direct Mail

Enough of you said you wanted more hints on clearing up your data. So here’s another one


Enough of you said you wanted some more hints on clearing up your data.  So this one is: how not to insult Paul by calling him ‘Mrs’ and Sue by calling her ‘Mr’. 

Right here in fact….
 
I’m sure you look through your data regularly.  I do.  Well, my poor team do if I’m being accurate.  But when you’ve got a database and alert system, you might as well use it. 
 
So, in this tip I’ll tell you how to find out how many of your contacts are missing a prefix (Mr or Mrs for instance), or where you’ve got the prefix wrong.  A while back I listed a number of names within a company name that could describe which sector it was in. 
 
Simply do the same with firstnames. 
 
Now, you can either guess at loads of female names, like… Kate, Katie, Katy, Katherine, Catherine, Sarah, Emma, Susan, Bob, Sally etc etc.  The eagle eyed amongst you will have seen the reference to Black Adder – showing my age there dear reader, and stupid sense of humour.  But guessing girl firstnames will take you an age. 
 
So get your database (and MS excel) to do it for you. 
 
Simply download all the firstnames where the prefix is ‘Mrs’, ‘Miss’, ‘Ms’ and dump them into Excel. Then get excel to count the instances of names.  So, Sarah will be in your database 283 times, Emma 107 times, etc etc.  Take the top 100 names and do a search of your database where those names appear and the prefix is ‘Mr’.  You’ll gasp at the errors you spot.  Unless you are a real goodie goodie.  Easy huh!  And then do the same search where there is no prefix.  And then set up that report to run weekly or monthly, and you’ll have a super up-to-date database in no time.  And that’s just one small step. 
 
Be wary of male/female names that could be the either a chap or a girl though….

Hope you found this CRM tip useful, and all the best,
Simon

Simon McNidder

 

PS:  I also write a regular email on CRM tips, tricks and a few secrets.  Get them here  http://www.databasefirstaid.com/crm_hints_tips_help.html

PPS:  On LinkedIn?  Like this blog?  Then you’ll like this group: “CRM databases in professional services”: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/?gid=2051556

 

CRM Blog tags: CRM databases, CRM advice, CRM news, eMail, Direct Mail, Mailshots, eMarketing, Digital Marketing, CRM data, marketing data strategies

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You can’t implement your CRM with rotten data


You can’t implement with rotten data (even more)…
 
No, you really can’t implement your CRM system without all your data.
 
And do you know what.
 
Your users couldn’t care less.
 
Annoying it is.  Very.
 
Many of your user won’t even respond to your ‘please send me details on your contacts’ requests. 
 
So make it your mission to chase those, and even when they do, be aware that the data they give you will age very quickly. Be honest with them..  Tell them that you are aware that data is a pain, a load of hassle, not much fun…
 
Good data is underrated, but good data is vital for the long term success of the project / any marketing activity.
 
One more hint on this before I bore you to death … when you get the information, and when you are playing with it to put it into a standard format, resave it as different versions, not overwriting.  Someone somewhere will have a whinge.  And you need to go back to the stages to double check them / yourself. 
 
It will be them I’ll bet.  Most people don’t actually realise the quality of their own data until you show it to them in a clearer format.  i.e. prefix, firstname, middlename, lastname, suffix , job title, etc etc
 
And you’ll get the blame
 
Put on your thick skin for this project. 
 
My old boss used to call me Rhino skin!  Amongst other compliments 😉

Hope you found this CRM tip useful, and all the best,
Simon

Simon McNidder

 

PS:  I also write a regular email on CRM tips, tricks and a few secrets.  Get them here  http://www.databasefirstaid.com/crm_hints_tips_help.html

PPS:  On LinkedIn?  Like this blog?  Then you’ll like this group: “CRM databases in professional services”: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/?gid=2051556

 

CRM Blog tags: CRM databases, CRM advice, CRM news, eMail, Direct Mail, Mailshots, eMarketing, Digital Marketing, CRM data, marketing data strategies

If you tweak your CRM system – it’ll slowly cost you a fortune over time


If you tweak your system – it’ll slowly cost you a fortune over time.  It’ll also mean supporting your system is harder.  And upgrades will be harder still.  

OAnd here’s a bit more text on the subject….

 
If you have to tweak a few areas, make sure it’s future proof and that you can alter the values in the field (or whatever) yourself.  A long time ago, I was asked to add ‘x’ field into one area of my system.  Then a few month later, another, and some time after that – another.  All within the same feature.  Each time I ended up having to go back to the database suppliers – and each time, a nice little hit on my budget. 
 
Now, if I’d set up one new field, and called it something generic – like ‘Misc tags’, then all I would have needed to do is update the pick lists.  I’d have still been able to query on the values.
 
But. 
 
Users might have got a bit confused, and downloads of that field would have looked a bit funny to the average ‘non techie’ user. 
 
Swings and roundabouts huh! 
 
Often the way. 
 
User ease verses cost.  Although not always.  I’ve seen some very expensive systems that are so complex they don’t get used at all.  Make it easy for your users – to use and get info back out…. or they won’t use it anyway.

 

Hope you found this CRM tip useful, and all the best,

Simon

Simon McNidder

 

PS:  I also write a regular email CRM tips, tricks and a few secrets.  Get them here  http://www.databasefirstaid.com/crm_hints_tips_help.html

PPS:  On LinkedIn?  Like this blog?  Then you’ll like this group: “CRM databases in professional services”: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/?gid=2051556

 

CRM Blog tags: CRM databases, CRM advice, CRM news, eMail, Direct Mail, Mailshots, eMarketing, Digital Marketing, CRM data, marketing data strategies

 

Automate and schedule your data checks


Automate and schedule your data checks
 
Why make a human do something that a computer can do? 
 
Your CRM database can do the rotten task of checking for data integrity issues for you.

And you should be able to schedule it on a regular basis.
 
If you have an automated alert system bolted onto the side of your system, you can run all sorts of data checks each day / week / month.  Maybe Crystal Reports (http://bit.ly/hDJF6I)?  There are others, but this is a popular one.  Orbis is another good one.  Bit better if you ask me (http://bit.ly/gNq4tu), although I realise you didn’t.  Look into these two if you want to make your CRM database really fly.
 
I think I’m running at about 150 different data integrity alerts and activity alerts each month these days.  It’s allowed our team to manage many times the amount of data we did ten years ago, with less people.  Now that’s a case for a database if ever I heard one.
 
For instance, you could run a monthly report on how many female firstnames have ‘Mr’ as their prefix.  Illuminating I think you’ll find.  I’ll tell you an easy way of finding those female names as well soon – one for a later tip though.

Hope you found this CRM tip useful.

 

All the best,

Simon

Simon McNidder

 

PS:  I also write a regular email CRM tips, tricks and a few secrets.  Get them here  http://www.databasefirstaid.com/crm_hints_tips_help.html

PPS:  On LinkedIn?  Like this blog?  Then you’ll like this group: “CRM databases in professional services”: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/?gid=2051556

 

CRM Blog tags: CRM databases, CRM advice, CRM news, eMail, Direct Mail, Mailshots, eMarketing, Digital Marketing, CRM data, marketing data strategies

Spam filters look for this stuff, don’t you know


Arh, dearly beloved reader,

Why do perfectly good email campaigns get blocked and not delivered (spam filtered)?
 
Now, unless you are sending anything a bit, err, lets say, close to the mark, why oh why should your perfectly good email get filtered out?

It all boils down to automated SPAM filters and what they ‘think’ is not worthy of their readers.  So be careful what you put in your email subject header (and main content area).
 
They score each email you send (and probably build up a score if you send a lot).  Then, once you hit a score, your email is barred.
 
That’s it.
 
No warning it will happen.
 
No warning it happened.
…Other than open and click rates falling off a cliff
 
And no advice on how to stop it happening.

Obviously don’t put words in the subject line or text like ‘sex’, ‘under 18’ (e.g an email I sent about the ‘sex discrimination act’ flagged my on SPAM filters nicely) stuff in CAPITALS

And this will shock you…. I heard on the grapevine that  “Dear”, “click here”, and “unsubscribe” all score the same points on SPAM filters as FREE in the email body

 

SPAM filters don’t particularly like pictures either.

 

Yep

Pictures!

That’s logos and images to your in-house branding police.

Yep – I heard you swear! 
 
yes really !

The worst offense is of course not clearing out your bounces.  SPAM filters don’;t like that more than anything.

After all,  how else can emails with FREE
 
Don’t whatever you do have “under 18”, “sex” “viagra” etc etc and even “specialist” .. why, because cialis are the makers of Viagra and those letters make up specialist

See, I’m not as stupid as I look.
(thanks Granny)

 

Hope you found this CRM tip useful.

All the best,

Simon

 

Simon McNidder

 

PS:  I also write a regular email CRM tips, tricks and a few secrets.  Get them here  http://www.databasefirstaid.com/crm_hints_tips_help.html

PPS:  On LinkedIn?  Like this blog?  Then you’ll like this group: “CRM databases in professional services”: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/?gid=2051556

 

 

CRM Blog tags: CRM databases, CRM advice, CRM news, eMail, Direct Mail, Mailshots, eMarketing, Digital Marketing, CRM data, marketing data strategies

 

eMail look and feel: Pictures or text


In one of my email CRM hints, I mentioned that the first thing a reader of your email communications needs to see.
 
And it isn’t going to be a white box with a red square in it.
 
That’ll just put them off.
 
And are your emails like this?
 
Do they have a lovely logo or image at the top of the email when you send them out?
 
Did you know they don’t always arrive like that?
 
Image your logo or picture as a white box.
 
Then design your email style around that horrific thought.
 
i.e. the first thing a reader needs to see is something interesting, and that may even be telling them what to do.
 
It’s not a blank white box, that’s for sure.

Hope you found this CRM tip useful.

 

All the best,

Simon

Simon McNidder

 

PS:  I also write a regular email CRM tips, tricks and a few secrets.  Get them here  http://www.databasefirstaid.com/crm_hints_tips_help.html

PPS:  On LinkedIn?  Like this blog?  Then you’ll like this group: “CRM databases in professional services”: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/?gid=2051556

 

 

CRM Blog tags: CRM databases, CRM advice, CRM news, eMail, Direct Mail, Mailshots, eMarketing, Digital Marketing, CRM data, marketing data strategies

 

If you are starting to look for a new CRM system…. here are some major hints in how to save some of your budget.


If you are starting to look for a new CRM system…. here are some major hints in how to save some of your budget.

Find them out here….
 
If you aren’t planning on checking and enhancing your data,
use a spreadsheet instead
 
If all you are going to do is send mailings and emailings out to your contacts,
use a spreadsheet instead
 
If all you are going to do is log who is turning up to your events,
use a spreadsheet instead
 
If all you are going to do is have one person adding to, updating and seeing the information in the database, 
use a spreadsheet instead
 
Can you see where I’m going with this?
 
In fact, you only really need to spend your budget on a great big expensive database when you want to share information around your organisation and track historical and future activity with your contacts. 
 
And if you and your users are not planning on doing that, don’t waste your time and budget. 

 

Hope you found this CRM tip useful.

 

All the best,

Simon

Simon McNidder

 

PS:  I also write a regular email CRM tips, tricks and a few secrets.  Get them here  http://www.databasefirstaid.com/crm_hints_tips_help.html

PPS:  On LinkedIn?  Like this blog?  Then you’ll like this group: “CRM databases in professional services”: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/?gid=2051556

 

 

CRM Blog tags: CRM databases, CRM advice, CRM news, eMail, Direct Mail, Mailshots, eMarketing, Digital Marketing, CRM data, marketing data strategies