Postcodes And Bad Data – Where Your Data Is Going Rotten

Bad postcodes can destroy your marketing efforts. If someone gives you a postcode which is incorrect you risk not hitting your target audience and hassling someone who doesn’t want to be hassled. Bad data can apply to anything, though, such as emails and phone numbers. These are some of the ways your database can take on bad data and what you can do about it.

Incorrect Entry

Sometimes staff members get tired or lazy and they input information incorrectly. Everyone makes mistakes. Your job is to minimise the number of mistakes. The best way to do this is to train your staff better. If you’re employing a team without any formal training you’re asking for trouble.

The risk of making a mistake increases if you’re using highly complex software. You have to invest in some sort of training programme or incorrect entries will continue to happen.

Customer Input

Some customers simply don’t want you calling them or asking them for their personal details. Certain customers will simply tell you where to go. This is the best possible outcome. Others may supply fake information so you don’t bother them again. If you’re marketing to a group where only half of it has supplied real information you’re wasting a lot of money.

There’s nothing you can really do about this. The best way to reduce the incidence of fake information is to be as unobtrusive as possible. Don’t pressure your audience into giving up their personal details.

Bad Web Forms

There are such things as too strict and too flexible. Your forms where you enter the information might be one or the other.

If there’s a very strict format it can prevent certain customers from entering their information. They’ll give up or supply incorrect or incomplete forms. If there’s a very flexible format it could lead to any old gibberish being entered. Do something about this by creating a support group.

Ask a group of customers what they think of your form and whether it allows them to do what they want to do easily. Keep lifting and adding restrictions until you get the right balance between the two.

Data Erosion

The postcodes you gathered a few years ago might not be valid any longer. Natural erosion of data quality is part of normal business life. People move away, they change jobs, and their companies relocate. Unless you’re their electricity supplier, the chances are you’re not going to hear about it.

Try to update your databases as often as possible. Every year you should comb through it and purge anyone who has seemingly disappeared.

Never Perfect

You should never obsess over protection because it’s simply not going to happen. You’ll always have to deal with a share of bad data. By implementing good data gathering practices in your company you can reduce this number. Bad data costs you money and often leads to you completely wasting your time.

Pay attention to the way you operate and review it on a regular basis. Assume everything can be improved.

Jason Maxwell is the author of this post. He is a professional blogger who writes business and marketing related articles. He says that the postcode finder is really helpful while sending official documents to their clients and customers.

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