Throughout the summer, we’ve been blogging about the sessions from this June’s Annual Rainmaker Event in Las Vegas. Since not everyone could join us in person, we thought; why not bring them to you?
To read all the past articles, and for links to the presentations, click here. This week, we’ll be covering Rainmaker Dan Smith’s session about managing your data.
In a previous role Dan built his company’s database from scratch, using a very limited budget to create it and Data.com Connect contacts to fill it. We thought he’d be the perfect person to talk to the group about data management.
To start, Dan knew that he’d need to buy data, but he didn’t have cash. He turned to Data.com Connect. Using the site for free Dan became a contributor, starting out by finding an online directory of equipment dealers in his industry, and uploading it to Connect for points he’d later use to purchase lists. One thing he cautioned us about though is paying attention to the source of this information. Sometimes directories can be very outdated, so he advised everyone to use a directory that’s frequently updated.
Once Dan knew which companies he wanted to pursue, he used the company filter on the Connect (formerly known as Jigsaw) search page to upload a list of companies and see contacts only at those companies.
Now that he had the data, he knew he needed to keep it fresh. Dan shared four ways he made sure his company’s database was always clean and accurate:
Mass email to test – Dan used ConstantContact to email targeted messages and promotions to more than 10,000 contacts. Beyond connecting with them, this also allowed him to test the email addresses for accuracy.
Bounce reports – After the email blast, ConstantContact sent him a “bounce report” telling him which emails had bounced and why. Dan then tried one more time with any email addresses that had bounced, sending those emails from Outlook. This gave him double assurance of which contacts were incorrect so he could update his database, as well as report those contacts as incorrect in Connect, earning five points for each.
Salesforce custom fields – Dan set up custom fields in his Salesforce page layout to allow him to track the accuracy of his contacts there as well. All Dan needed to do was upload his bounce report, and the fields were set to populate with not only whether an email had bounced, but also a description of why it bounced. For example, was it marked as spam? Did the email address not exist?
Cross reference validation – The majority of the contacts Dan dealt with were current, and he cross-referenced the data with complementary tools and sites. For example, he checked LinkedIn to find any changes to contacts, verify their locations, or to get a better sense of their history.