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This cold open was originally featured in the March 24, 2021 newsletter found here: https://www.trustinsights.ai/blog/2021/03/in-the-headlights-march-24-2021-spring-cleaning-3-year-anniversary-content-republishing/

Spring Cleaning Your Marketing Data

As the weather warms up, our thoughts naturally turn to dig out of the winter. Around our homes, that means spring cleaning – getting rid of junk, sending things off to charity donations, eliminating things that don’t help us. In business and marketing, much of the same is true.

With upcoming changes in things like ad tracking capabilities, Google Analytics 4, and the ever-evolving MarTech landscape, part of our spring cleaning has to be taking inventory of what we have and getting rid of what we don’t need anymore.

What kinds of spring cleaning? Let’s talk data. Every bit of data you have that goes unused is a liability. At the very least, it takes up space and costs you money; at worst, it’s a massive security risk if you’re ever hacked. So, what specific tasks should we be considering?

Clean up access. Let’s say you’re in charge of your marketing automation system, or your Google Analytics account, or your sales CRM. Without looking, can you name the people who should have access to it? Now, go look in the user management section of your MarTech tools. How many people are in there that shouldn’t be – former employees, agencies you no longer work with, people completely unknown to you? Verify who should and should not have access to the crown jewels – your data – and remove anyone who doesn’t belong as quickly as possible.

Clean up tagging and tracking. If you use services like Google Tag Manager or other tagging tools, log in and see what tags are running on your digital properties. Are you collecting data for tools that no longer exist? Are you sending data to companies you shouldn’t be? Is there extra code running that’s slowing down your website or conflicting with other software also running? Verify what’s supposed to be running, and get rid of anything that’s no longer in use.

Clean up mailing lists and databases. It’s well-established by now that engagement rates matter in email marketing for deliverability. Send an email that no one opens, and services like Gmail will punish you by reducing your inbox visibility. Send enough emails to non-working addresses, and you end up on spam-blocker lists. Take the time once a quarter to clean your list. Remove old addresses. Process your bounces, and inspect a sample of them by hand. Ask subscribers to confirm their details. The less bad mail you send, the easier it is for your good mail to get through.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of everything we should be cleaning on a regular basis, but these are important first steps towards making sure we’re working with the best data possible, in the most secure ways available to us.


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