Grant Marketing Blog

The Importance of Cleaning Your CRM Database

Posted by Madina Madraimova on Dec 22, 2017 10:35AM

Last Updated on April 9th, 2020

Ensure Your Company Is Targeting the Right Audiences, with the Right Content, at the Right Time

How often does this happen? You unsubscribe from a company’s newsletter or company emails, and STILL have emails from that same company popping into your inbox? Frustrating, right? That frustration is a direct result of a “dirty” CRM database—or a CRM that has redundant or incomplete data.


If you are a company guilty of having a dirty database, know that it can have a deeply negative and long-lasting impact on your business’ credibility and sales and marketing performance. Besides just looking sloppy to people who might otherwise have considered doing business with you at some point (or who do business with you but simply don’t want your newsletter anymore), it can hamper your company’s ability to get email delivered to inboxes—even to trusted customers—and can take a long time to rectify.

How it Works  

We are all familiar with SPAM filters, and we love how efficiently they keep some of the annoying emails out of sight, out of mind. On the flip side, according to web servers, you may unwittingly be sending “annoying” email that gets marked as SPAM if you have not “scrubbed” your database. You see, those SPAM filters are pretty sophisticated and you can get “dinged” on your sender score if your IP address is recognized as sending “bad” emails—too many bounces, undeliverable (aka outdated) email addresses, or unengaged email.

Unengaged emails, which means the emails are not opened, triggers something in the algorithm that says:

  • Your information is irrelevant to the recipient; you are sending broad, untargeted information to a large cross section of people, hoping to hit a mark (which means you do not know them and they did not give you permission to contact them directly—many large companies have very stringent email policies about receiving unsolicited emails, and the response you might get could be from a lawyer)
  • The recipient has no interest in your offering or company—you are an annoyance
  • You have sent too many emails in a short window of time—another annoying practice
  • You “bought” the list (a big no-no!), therefore, the recipient is not a willing participant in this relationship
  • Something in the subject line, content, or sender email address of the email is dinged as “SPAMMY” and gets sent to the junk box unopened—these rejections can be initiated from the recipient’s internal email server, or from the general server’s SPAM filter

  • Any of these or the perfect storm of all of the above = SPAM

Data Overload

Where do you start? First, you have to look at the quantity and quality of data you have. If you have tons of contacts, but not quality results, then the quality of your data is probably lacking—and can be compromising your sendability and engagement results. Data quality is essential, and if periodic cleaning of the database isn’t done, there will be an accumulation of unwanted data that can pose a bigger issue in the long run. With so much information pouring into your database, maintaining a CRM’s cleanliness is no easy task. Help yourself with a few tips on how to ensure your database gets cleaned up—and remains clean:

  1. Maintain complete contact information: Incomplete contact information is a major sign that your CRM needs to be cleaned. Filling out a contact’s name, email address, mailing address, etc. can seem daunting. However, we recommend identifying the most important fields and ensuring those fields are completed for all your contacts. At the very least, these include contact's first, last, and company names. When you send out a personalized email that includes referring to the person by name, for example "Hi [firstname]", you must ensure that the names in your database are spelled right and don't contain any random words and/or symbols. By doing so, you will not only have clean customer and prospect data, but you will also maintain consistency throughout your entire contact database.
  1. Train your employees: Maintaining accurate data within your CRM is not a one-person job. It takes time and effort. Train your employees on how to input contact information into your CRM. It may seem like a waste of time and resources, but it will give you the ability to maintain accurate and consistent data across your database (and save tons of time on various levels down the road). We recommend providing your employees with workshop sessions and handy guides they can refer to when inputting data into your CRM system.
  1. Remove inactive clients: In order to maximize productivity, it is important to keep tabs on your contacts. Contacts that have been inactive, due to unsubscribed or bounced emails, should be purged immediately. Doing so will allow you to target the right audiences, with the right content, at the right time. As stated previously, this will also help improve your sender score, a score used by email servers that grades the outgoing mail server’s IP address, and determines whether the email can enter the receiver’s inbox.

Keeping it Clean

Keeping a database clean and scrubbing it periodically will help optimize your sender reputation and increase your deliverability quotient. We work with the HubSpot marketing platform—also a powerful sales enablement CRM—and have created a guide to cleaning your HubSpot CRM.

Don’t let all your efforts at pulling in leads get lost in a dirty database! Time is one of the most valuable commodities we have. Wasting time = wasting money. Being aware of proper CRM maintenance and having an actionable plan to do so is a valuable tool that you and your customers and prospects will benefit from. And most importantly, not doing so can penalize and sabotage your progress. Once you clean up your CRM, database management is a breeze, and you’ll maximize the relationships you have with all your important contacts. 

You can download our free guide, “Dealing with Your Database in HubSpot” for step-by-step instructions on how to achieve an efficient, successful HubSpot database.

 Get My Guide to a Clean CRM

Topics: Database Clean-Up, CRM Maintenence

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