I have been seeing some activity lately related to CRM databases and migrating to different or new platforms. While there are great solutions out there, the value of these solutions is really in how it helps you reach your target audience. The first step in reaching your target audience is having clear and concise data.

Additionally, there are robust solutions that will add even more useful data to your donor and prospect feeds. Since it can be overwhelming when trying to determine how to best manage your data to streamline your processes and reduce your CRM costs, here are some things to consider:

  1.  Order your prospects and donors by priority. This priority order might be by affinity, value or even a combination of both. The key to productivity in any CRM is prioritizing your workflow so that you are focusing on those that you can reach and will have an interest in your message. The focus on this affinity is a strong pathway and reason for migrating contacts over.
  2. Screen your data to determine if the information for your prospects and donors is even accurate. While this may seem obvious, our clients run into this issue all the time and have inaccurate data for the people they are reaching out to. We call donors and prospects that will actually engage, “right-party contacts.” When screening, some key questions to ask are: Is your data current? Are the demographics for the donor or prospect even complete? How accurate is the information? One way to ensure that you have the right-party contact is to periodically cleanse and append your email data for your existing donors.
  3. Use data management as a housekeeping measure. Look for ways to proactively screen your donors and prospects for those records that are no longer valid. For example, screen for deceased individuals or even screen for litigious consumers so that you don’t waste time reaching out. Additionally, you can standardize addresses so that you have standard address fields in your demographic data based on USPS specifications.
  4. Set standards for potentially stale information. Just like anything else, donors and prospects can become stale over time. Set timelines for how long you are going to pursue a prospect or trying to reach a past donor. Just because you might have loaded a prospect or donor that once donated to your organization, it doesn’t mean you should load them from one database to another unless they actually have value.

Finally, if you elect to work with a vendor to help you with segmentation and data hygiene, please make sure that they follow security standards applicable to your industry. Data services must be secure and encrypted even though some pieces of information might not be sensitive. You should consider all your data private and sensitive.

Brightway Data can help you with data segmentation and data hygiene if you are contemplating pre-screening your prospects or even migrating from one CRM to another.