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Data Enhancement
Data cleansing
Data enhancement
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Data cleansing

The best techniques to counter data decay- How inaccurate and missing data stops marketing teams in their tracks

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  • Marketing Database Cleansing
  • Add Information You Don’t Have
  • Cleanse Prospect Databases
  • Purge/Replace Inaccurate Data
  • Cleanse Customer Databases
  • Cleanse Bought-In Databases

Data cleansing is a daily activity at More Than Words Marketing. Offering our clients the most comprehensive and accurate marketing databases available is our unique selling point.

This commitment to data quality allows us to call ourselves one of the country’s leading suppliers with legitimacy.

Every marketing database we sell is our clients’ passport to generating leads and making sales from businesses, schools, and the public sector.

We use the same high quality data when we run managed email marketing campaigns or managed telemarketing campaigns for clients.

Incomplete or inaccurate data, duplicate records and inadequate research would mean substantial information gaps on our databases. Our clients wouldn’t enjoy the success they have from telephone and email marketing campaigns. Clearly data accuracy matters.

And there is another upside – we can cleanse our clients’ customer and prospect databases against our master database.

We can check every record you own to make sure that you’re working with the very latest information.

Bad data is your own “sales prevention squad”

What happens when you work with bad data?

You might face things like:

  • phone calls where the receptionist doesn’t know who you are,
  • emails which are returned saying that the server does not have a record of that person,
  • postal mail addressed to a company which moved last year,
  • personalised emails to the wrong person, and
  • personalised postal mail with spelling mistakes

The first disadvantage of using inaccurate data is that you miss out on multiple opportunities to stay connected to your customers.

You won’t be able to cross-sell or up-sell to your clients because the contact details you hold are incorrect.

Everyone in business knows that it’s much easier to generate revenue from customers and decision makers who:

  • already know you.
  • the value of your products and services, and
  • how you look after you’re them post-purchase.

The second disadvantage are the missed opportunities with prospects on lists you have bought in, and from prospects you have generated yourself. Each business suffers customer churn and it’s imperative to constantly replenish and add to the number of clients they serve.

The third disadvantage is that inaccurate and missing data frustrates sales and marketing staff.Your sales and marketing team is the beating hearts of your business.

Without your sales and marketing team generating the enquiries and revenue they generate, there is no company.

These staff members arguably have the hardest job in your business and they’re under constant pressure to perform. It’s the duty of every business to remove as many obstacles in the path of their sales and marketing professionals.

With accurate and complete data, you can squeeze even greater revenue from your team without hiring extra staff.

What type of data can we cleanse?

Use More Than Words’ professional services for data cleaning, replacement, and validation services on marketing databases. We can cleanse, validate, and replace supporting information for businesses, schools, and public sector organisations.

We can work with:

  • existing customer databases – lists of companies and organisations which have bought from you in the past,
  • self-generated prospect databases – lists of companies and organisations which have left their contact details with you for follow-up but which have not bought from you in the past, and
  • bought-in databases – marketing databases you have purchased from a 3rd party like More Than Words Marketing.

High data quality is crucial to any company which proactively markets its products and services to businesses, schools, or public sector organisations. As well as our own database, we have direct access to the databases of some of Britain’s leading media partners.

They have their own comprehensive, precise, and constantly-updated marketing databases.

More Than Words Note: Did you know we can offer a specialised CRM database cleaning service? Contact our team for more information.

Data cleansing benefits

Refresh brought-in and prospect lists

Every business churns clients – they cease business, they’re tempted to another supplier, or any number of other reasons.

We strongly encourage all clients to stay in touch with their existing clients but you should constantly use bought-in lists and prospects lists to open new accounts.

  • Email marketing – regular email marketing produces a return of £42 per £1 spent .
  • Telephone marketing – two-way conversations with your clients of the future
  • Postal marketing – offering the best return on investment in years with an average of 29%
  • Direct marketing needs accurate data – make every email, phone call, and letter count and reduce your cost per lead and cost per sale

Monetise your customer base

Stay in touch with the decision makers within businesses, schools, and the public sector who have already bought from you.

Use email, phone, and postal marketing to greatly increase the chance of significantly growing revenue. This will also increase profitability, and preventing them from defecting to a competitor.

To do that, data quality is key.

How does the service work?

What is data cleansing?

Data cleaning (sometimes called data scrubbing) is the process of finding duplicated, incomplete, or inaccurate fields within a database with the goal of either replacing the data contained within a field with new, clean data or deleting the data in that field if there is no accurate data to replace it.

More Than Words Marketing’ data preparation service provides clients with clean data for sales and marketing purposes.

When we’re data cleansing for a client, our job is to:

  • identify data errors,
  • replace fields duplicated, inaccurate, and missing, and
  • update contact and organisational information with the latest, up-to-date information.

Why is data cleansing important?

Data cleansing is important to any company using a database to reach prospective customers or keep in touch with their existing customer list.

Additionally, it is important for data analysis at the end of any direct marketing campaign, ensuring that your marketing team does not make irrelevant observations, caused by incorrect or duplicate data. Marketing and customer data accuracy deteriorates over time.

A report from Gartner indicated a decay rate of around 3% per month. Informatica estimates that the data decay rate is around 70.3% per annum. Both of these estimates are on the high side in our experience of B2B, education, and public sector data cleaning.

In the UK, around 25% of every data set we cleanse for clients is either duplicated, incomplete, or has missing values or inaccurate fields after one year.

If the data you hold, whether you generated it yourself or you have bought marketing databases from other companies, is up to 25% inaccurate, you lose opportunities to sell to new companies and organisations on marketing lists. You could also lose the opportunity to maintain good customer relationships with your existing clients.

There is a financial cost to dirty data if your data analytics reports are skewed and, in the era of GDPR, a reputational risk too if the data you’re using is deemed by the IO to be inaccurate or missing values.

How do you organise the data cleansing process?

While data cleansing software exists and offers a basic data cleaning process, we believe that cleaning data requires the human touch. When a client contacts us to deal with a data quality issue, there is a multi-step process to mapping, refreshing and appending the information on their customers and their prospects.

First, we ask you what you want to achieve from your dataset.

  • How do you intend to use it?
  • Do you wish to use the data to contact clients by email, phone, or post?

We’ll need to examine any dataset you currently hold.

After examination, we’ll be able to determine whether there are structural errors to your database and how much information it’s missing (in other words, fields which have not been added yet, duplicate records or fields which exist and which are currently empty).

We’ll then “hex” the database and compare it with “hexes” on the databases we hold and the databases of our suppliers.

At this point, we’ll have a clear understanding of how to do data cleansing to the specification you require.

At this point and by understanding the marketing and sales routes which are most important to you, we can provide you with a variety of quotes.

Here, the smallest quote would be for the work we need to do to achieve your minimum goals, and the largest quote would enable you to use your data in ways you currently can’t, to generate leads and make sales.

Following the presentation of our quote, the work may take between two days and two weeks depending on its size and complexity.

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Data Enhancement

Find out more about our data cleansing service

Your customer and prospect databases are assets which will generate leads for your sales team and revenue for your company.

Please call 0330 010 8300 or fill out the contact form to discuss updating any missing or inaccurate information from your customer and prospect databases.

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Data cleansing

How do you clean data?

The five main data cleansing steps we undertake in our process are:

1. Removal of irrelevant or duplication notes and observations

Although we’ll store them safely and add them back to the cleansed data if required, we’ll remove any notes and observations created by your staff to create the raw database. We’ll also remove companies, organisations, and decision makers whose data does not require cleansing – for example, if your database is UK wide but you only want the data for the North of England cleansed, we’ll first agree on what you define as the North of England and then remove them from the data file to be cleansed.

2.Structural error removal

Database cleansing works best when there is standardisation across all fields. For example, if you use your customer database for telemarketing campaigns and your reps use a variety of different methods to denote that a contact is not available, we will standardise all such occurrences. Other areas in which structural errors often appear are titles (Mr, Mrs, Ms, Dr, etc) and address details.

3,Missing data

To be effective for direct marketing purposes and for customer follow-up, your database needs to contain contact name details (including job title), areas of purchasing responsibility, the company or organisation contacts work for, and their contact details (email, phone, fax, and postal address). Where any of these fields has no data contained in it, we will check our own and multiple databases held and maintained by media partners all of which are members of the Data & Marketing Association.

In addition, we will search for the information you ask us as part of your data cleansing project to the relevant records. To see which additional fields we have available for businesses, schools, and public sector organisations, please click on the “+” buttons to the right of the three questions below.

4,Inaccurate data

Where a field in a record on your database is completed, we’ll compare it against the latest information we have and the latest information held by our media partners and replace it if it is out-of-date or inaccurate.

5.Database presentation

At the end of the project having used all of our standard data cleansing tools on your database, we’ll present our result to you together with statistics from the cleansing letting you know how many missing fields we found information for and how many inaccurate records we replaced.

Data cleansing for business customers – what can you find and replace (if necessary)?

We’re able to data cleanse (including replacing and appending) on the following records:

Contact details

  • title for salutations (for example, Mr, Mrs, Dr, Miss, and Sir)
  • name (separate fields for first and last name)
  • job title (the job title reported by the contact)

Company details

  • company name
  • line of business
  • legal status

Contact details

  • postal address including 2 lines for the address, town, county, and postcode
  • telephone number (main switchboard number)
  • the email address given by the contact as the address they’d prefer to receive emails at

Other information included

  • number of employees
  • number of branches
  • type of premises
  • website address
  • level of turnover (banded)
  • year the original company began trading
  • company registration number
  • incorporation date
  • net worth
  • profit or loss making?
  • %age increase or decrease in profitability YOY
  • turnover increase or decrease YOY (shown in pound sterling)

We’re also able to run checks on purchasing responsibility in addition to “most senior contact” for the following areas:

  • engineering procurement,
  • facilities management,
  • finance,
  • fleet,
  • health and safety,
  • human resources,
  • marketing,
  • operations,
  • general procurement,
  • sales, and
  • telecoms

Please let your account manager know which records you’d be interested in cleansing and, where possible, appending or replacing when you get in touch.

Data cleansing for school customers – what can you find and replace (if necessary)?

We’re able to data cleanse (including replacing and appending) on the following records:

  • contact names (normally the head teacher)
  • school postal addresses,
  • school telephone numbers, and
  • school email addresses.

We can also perform this work on over 100 different variables on each school – please call us to let us know more about the database you wish us to cleanse for you.

Data cleansing for public sector customers – what can you find and replace (if necessary)?

We’re able to data cleanse (including replacing and appending) on the following records:

Personal information

  • Salutation – Mr, Miss, Mrs, Ms, Dr – etc
  • First name
  • Initial – first name abbreviated to the initial letter
  • Last name
  • Job Title–official job title
  • Seniority – level of management within the organisation they work for
  • Qualifications – educational or vocational qualifications the contact is known to have
  • Town or city – the town or city in which the contact is based
  • Postal address – The postal address at which the contact is based
  • Contact email address – the email address of the contact
  • Contact phone – the direct number for the contact (if this is not available, please use the switchboard number contained in the organisation fields)

Organisational information

  • Annual spend – the organisation’s spend over twelve months shown in millions.
  • County – the postal county in which the contact is based
  • Internal department – the name of the internal department which the contact works in
  • General organisational grouping – Local Government, Regional Government, Central Government, NHS, QUANGOs, etc
  • Main email – the main e-mail address for the organisation
  • Main phone – the main telephone/switchboard number for the organisation
  • Main site – indicates is the person is located at the headquarters or main site for the organization they work for
  • Name of the organisation – The official legal title of the organisation
  • Staffing level – Number of Employees employed across the organisation
  • Organisational notes – Useful information we find about the organisation including forthcoming changes/mergers and so on
  • Organisation Type – includes a top level description of the type of organisation a contact is working for (for example, an NHS Trust, Local Authority, and so on)
  • Organisation Type Additional – used to further clarify an organisation or to describe a specific department within an organisation (for example, an Acute Trust, Metropolitan Council, and so on)
  • Postcode – the postcode of the location at which the contact is based

Specific organisation information

  • parish/town/community councillors,
  • population covered displayed in bandings.
  • care homes
  • the type of home and
  • the capacity of a home.
  • FE and HE institutions
  • number of students by banding
  • Housing Associations
  • the type of tenants,
  • the type of housing,
  • the number of units or houses owned or managed,
  • whether the association is currently building new homes or units, and
  • the name of a parent organisation (where applicable).

local government

  • the population served,
  • the controlling political party,
  • the last time political control changed hands,
  • the next election date,
  • the official LA code,
  • the number of seats within an LA, and
  • the name of the ward represented by a councillor.


  • the population covered (shown in bandings),
  • the number of GPs within a practice, and
  • the official code for the practice.
What are our 4 main aims in data cleansing?

Our four main aims in our data cleansing strategy for each client are:

Accurate information – accuracy which conforms to the accuracy guarantees we supply with our own marketing databases

Consistency – where applicable, all data will be presented in the same way on each record (for example, titles, company records, financial information, contact details, and so on).

Uniformity – the information on your database will be contained in the correct fields on each record

Completeness – we will use our database and all of the databases of trusted media partners when correcting inaccurate data or adding data to fields where there is currently no information

What are the five main benefits of investing in data cleansing?

The five main benefits of investing in data cleansing for your marketing and customer databases are as follows:

Maximum value from your customer database – your company’s most valuable asset – the asset your competitors want more than any other – is your customer database. Statistically speaking, if you sweat your customer database, you’ll make 60-70% more sales than if you invest the same money in marketing to companies and organisations which have not bought from you yet.

Connect with more existing customers by email90% of customers state that they prefer to receive updates from a company or supplier via an email newsletter with only 10% choosing Facebook. Our email list cleaning software first asks, “does the email exist?”, and, if it doesn’t, it removes those incorrectly-formatted addresses from your file and then we use an email address checker to compare what you have on your database with what we and our media partners have. Our newsletter list cleaning service offers email verification and email validation for your entire email list of customers.

Maximum return on email marketing campaigns to bought in lists – email marketing returns up to £42 turnover for every £1 spent on it, according to the Data & Marketing Association. Generate the greatest possible return on lists you’ve bought in by using our email verifier data cleansing service to ensure that more decision makers see your email marketing messages than ever before.

More quality calls from your telesales teams telemarketing is one of the most effective but labour intensive forms of marketing. If you have a bought-in list or a customer list which has not been updated for a long time, let us provide you with our full data validation list cleaning service meaning less wrong numbers and less wrong decision maker names for your telemarketing staff.

Less money wasted on postal marketing campaigns – postal marketing is effective but expensive. Regardless of whether a company has ceased trading or the decision maker you’re targeting has moved on, you’ll pay for the data, the printing, the packing, and the posting. Decrease waste and improve response rates across each mailing by making sure that the database you’re working from (whether customer or bought-in) is accurate.

Do you offer an email appending service to data cleansing clients?

Yes. We can append email addresses to your records during data cleansing projects if the field is empty. We can also replace or add to an email addresses you have on your database if we have an alternative one.

Can you cleanse the data I have by telephone?

Telemarketing is a highly effective way of both making sure that your database is up to date plus it gives you an opportunity to ask additional information from each client or prospect. For more on our telemarketing services, please click for B2B telemarketing campaigns, telemarketing campaigns to schools, and telemarketing campaigns to the public sector.

What is the difference between data cleansing and data transformation?

Data cleansing is the process of finding duplicated, incomplete, or inaccurate fields within a database and replacing those fields with accurate information.

Data transformation is the process of converting data from its current format to a new one for a different purpose. During that process, inconsistent, imprecise, and repetitive data might be removed in order to make the database created as part of a data transformation process more useful.

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Google Reviews

Michael Peake

Excellent Quality Data delivered promptly with great service. Has been a huge help during the current pandemic and will be using them regularly. The best I have ever dealt with. Account Manager Lisa Kinghorn is an asset to the business. Great company with superb customer service.

Paul Thomas

We've recently worked with Scott. He was outstanding from our initial conversation, through to data acquisition and subsequent email marketing campaign. I have nothing but good words to say about him, the company and the service they provided. I should add that we were a little hesitant before agreeing to work with Scott due to a bad experience with another provider. He was extremely empathetic towards our predicament and ultimately guided us through the onboarding and service delivery. He clearly knows he's stuff.

Chris Brown

Having a very specific need for B2B marketing we decided to use More than Words. We spoke to Clare Tweed who was very knowledgeable and made the whole process very easy. Clare is easy to speak with, happy to help and I  could not recommend her enough, she got our order sorted very quickly and delivered to us as agreed. A huge thank you to Clare and the team at More Than Words.

Tom Grainger

On behalf of myself and DOM UK, thank you to Clare and the team for making our customer survey process as straight-forward as possible. Reached out to the company after finding them using a Google search and was contacted back straight away. They used expert knowledge to help set-up our survey to achieve the best result possible. Would recommend and will be using More Than Words Marketing again.

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