Marketing database cleansing
Purge/replace inaccurate data
Add information you don’t have
Cleanse customer databases
Cleanse prospect databases
Cleanse bought-in databases

How inaccurate and missing data stops marketing teams in their tracks

Data cleansing is a daily activity at More Than Words – and it is for our media partners too.

To be able to offer our customers the most comprehensive and the most accurate marketing databases available in the UK is our unique selling point – a commitment to quality which 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 3,300,000+ decision makers in businesses, in schools, and in the public sector.

We also use the very data we sell when we run managed email marketing campaigns or managed telemarketing campaigns on behalf of our clients.

If that data were incomplete or inaccurate and if our research wasn’t good enough meaning that there were substantial information gaps on our databases, our clients wouldn’t enjoy the success they have whether they do their own telephone and email marketing campaigns or whether we do it for them.

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 cell on every database 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? Bad 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
  • personalised postal mail with spelling mistakes

We could go on but as a sales and marketing professional, you recognise that there are three major disadvantages to working with bad data.

The first disadvantage to using inaccurate data is that you miss out on multiple opportunities to stay connected to your existing customers. You won’t be able to cross-sell or up-sell to your clients because the contact details you hold on them are incorrect. And everyone is business knows that it’s much easier to generate revenue from customers and decision makers who already know you, know the value of your products and services, and know how you look after your clients post-purchase.

The second disadvantage are the missed opportunities with prospects on lists you have bought in and on data you have generated yourself on potential clients where they have no bought from you yet. Each business suffers customer churn and there’s an imperative for every company 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 – the sales and marketing teams are the living beating hearts and souls of every business. Without your sales and marketing team generating the enquiries and revenue they generate, there is no company.

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

With accurate and complete data, you can squeeze even greater revenue from your sales and marketing teams without the need to hire extra staff to sift through dead records.

What type of data can we cleanse?

We offer data cleansing, replacement, and validation services on marketing databases.

In addition to cleansing postal addresses, email addresses, fax numbers, and telephone numbers, we can cleanse, validate, and replace supporting information on businesses, schools, and public sector organisations and purchasing responsibilities of target decision makers.

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.

Call to action

Clean, accurate marketing data is the lifeblood of any company which proactively markets its products and services to other businesses, to schools, and to public sector organisations.

As well as our own database, we have direct access to the databases of some of Britain’s leading media partners with their own comprehensive, precise, and constantly-updated marketing databases.

Data cleansing benefits

How does the service work?

What is data cleansing?

Data cleansing (sometimes called database cleansing) 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, correct data or deleting the data in that field if there is no accurate data to replace it.

More Than Words provides clients with marketing database cleansing. When we’re data cleansing for a client, our job is to replace fields duplicated, inaccurate, and missing contact and organisational information with the latest, up-to-date information.

Why is data cleansing important?

The importance of data cleansing to companies using databases to conduct direct marketing campaigns or to keep in contact with their existing customers is significant.

Marketing and customer data accuracy deteriorates over time. A recent 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 the data we cleanse for clients is either duplicated, incomplete, 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 and you lose the opportunity to maintain good customer relationships with your existing clients.

There is a financial cost to inaccurate, duplicated, or incomplete data and, in the era of GDPR, a reputational risk too if the data you’re using is deemed by the IO to be unnecessary or incomplete.

How do you organise a data cleansing project?

When a client contacts us to complete a data validation exercise, there is a multi-step process to refreshing and appending the information on their customers and their prospects.

First, we ask you what you want to achieve from your database. 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 the databases you 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 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 with the smallest quote being the work we need to do to achieve your minimum goals to the largest quote enabling 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.

Data cleansing FAQ

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

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.

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.

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.
  • NHS
    • the population covered (shown in bandings),
    • the number of GPs within a practice, and
    • the official code for the practice.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Contact us about our data cleansing service

More Than Words continues to work with thousands of companies supplying them with the highest-quality, most accurate marketing data available for their campaigns to other businesses, to schools, and to the public sector.

Your customer and prospect databases are assets which will generate leads for your sales team and revenue for your company. It’s much easier and cheaper as well to sell to the decision makers within businesses, schools, and public sector organisations who already know the quality of your products and services and the reliability of your company.

Let us check your customer and prospect databases and update any missing or inaccurate information. We’re available on 0330 010 8300 or you can click here to email us.

We’re based in North Shields town centre if you want to come and visit us. There is plenty of free parking outside and we’re only three minutes’ walk from North Shields Metro station.

Call 0330 010 3495

Unlock the sales in your customer and prospects lists with data cleansing

To speak with one of our account managers, please call us on 0330 010 8300, click here to email us, or fill in the form below and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can.