If you’re like most companies, leads are the lifeblood of your business. While lead generation has become common practice, there are certain techniques that separate the best marketers from the rest-among them regular list hygiene and lead validation.
As Silverpop notes in its latest Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study, “top performers most likely are more vigilant about verifying email addresses before adding them to the database and about doing list hygiene to remove undeliverable addresses.”
This advice jibes with that of many marketing experts, including Joe Smith, who offers five ways businesses can drive improvements in lead-nurturing campaigns to boost conversions and increase revenue. Number one on his list is, “Capture and validate key data to identify, understand, and prioritize leads.”
LeadJen in its “Cost of Not Validating Data” study reported that seemingly carefully planned sales campaigns can have limited success because managers often overlook one of the most important contributors to success: quality of the data or list. When it comes to return on investment of lead-generation campaigns, said LeadJen, “investing in clean and accurate data positively influences both the Return and the Investment of ROI.”
Why the need for such vigilance in maintaining clean lists? As Marketo relates, customer lists undergo substantial “information rot” that typically will cause email and phone numbers to degrade between 1% and 10% per month. Thus, Marketo advises email marketers to, “Recognize that the best list to email to is the one you have been nurturing and cleaning all along.”
Likewise, Peggy J Meeks advises that, “There are a couple of things you would want to ensure are happening in order to keep a clean list and keep running a successful email marketing campaign.” It is highly advisable, says Meeks, to use email validation services to determine validity and metadata information about email addresses.
As we discussed previously, validating leads in real time can save you the trouble and expense of doing so later. Chris McArdle is firmly behind this practice, arguing in “Why Verifying Identities Is Mission-Critical To Lead Generation” that, “Real-time verification will do your business wonders to improve your interactions with your customers and prospects. It will be a better experience for them and more profitable for you.”
Marketo also strongly urges real-time validation, asserting that “it is imperative” that your company’s Web page uses forms to collect users’ email addresses and validate them. As Marketo advises further, “Email addresses are essentially the only universal identifier that exists on the Web…so collect this information and validate it as early as you can.”