Cleansing Customer Data

Cleansing Customer Data Is Pertinent to Customer Retention and Decreases Your Waste of Resources

With the public becoming increasingly aware of their rights regarding spam and junk email, as well as the environmental impact of direct mail campaigns, it is more important than ever to keep your data updated. DealerSocket has released a new tool, DataRefresh, to allow users to validate and append their customer data. DataRefresh is a monthly service that performs NCOA, CASS, DNC flagging and appends addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. DataRefresh helps elevate your CSI and online reputation by allowing customers an opt-out option, in accordance with the Anti-Spam Act of 2003. Increase your marketing delivery efforts, promote business efficiency and improve customer satisfaction and revenue with DealerSocket DataRefresh. Help avoid the destructive effects of bad customer data, as outlined below.

Wrong Email and Direct Mail Addresses Are Costly

Direct Mail

The USPS estimates that between 25 and 35% of third class mail sent does not reach the intended destination. This is due to poor data entry and a lack of keeping abreast of address changes. USPS notes in a press release: “In fiscal year 2004, the Postal Service handled 9.7 billion pieces of UAA [undeliverable-as- addressed] mail at a cost of $1.8 billion.” The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) states, “Poor quality customer data costs US businesses a staggering $611 billion a year in postage, printing and staff overhead.” TDWI’s estimate does not take into account lost customers and resulting negative reputation effects, such as sending mail to deceased persons, which may upset surviving family members who receive such mail. Thus, this cost is likely much higher. In addition, poor data quality resulting in direct mail not being delivered may result in a mail carrier decreasing or canceling postal discounts.

In addition to the cost of printing and staff overhead wasted due to bad data, there is an environmental component that should be taken into consideration. Research shows that increasing numbers of consumers are becoming eco- conscious. The BBMG Conscious Consumer Report found that 87% of consumers polled are more likely to buy from companies that commit to environmental friendliness and that close to nine out of ten Americans say that the words “conscious consumer” is an accurate description of themselves. Hence, double mailings may be construed as eco-unfriendly, potentially costing you customers.


Lost revenue by auto dealers due to bad customer email data is unavailable. Comparable studies have been conducted for online retailers, so we will look at their results. According to MultiChannel Merchant’s Outlook 2010 study, e-retailers lose millions of dollars each year due to bad data. A study conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by Pontiflex states that 96% of online users provided email addresses for receiving special offers and information, and consumers prefer email 3-to-1 when compared to all other marketing efforts.

We should deduce that consumers want to be emailed information; thus, auto dealers should do everything possible to ensure their email campaigns are effective. Bad data hinders such success and can annoy current and prospective customers. You also risk losing current customers due to lack of communication. A highly detrimental effect of bad data is being labeled a spammer and ending up on Internet Service Provider (ISP) blacklists. Being on an ISP blacklist means that the sender (your dealership) is no longer permitted to email that ISP address, much like being blocked from telemarketing. You may not be alerted that your dealership has been put on the blacklist. It is extremely difficult and costly to undo such damage. By not keeping up with email cleansing, you will lose customers and damage your online reputation.

Increase Revenue with DealerSocket DataRefresh

DealerSocket’s new tool, DataRefresh, is an enhanced data validation and append service for auto dealers. The monthly service validates and appends customer addresses, phone numbers and email addresses for all prospect and sold customer records in the database. By verifying your customers’ email addresses and allowing prospects/customers to choose their individual communication preferences, you stay in compliance and keep your online reputation positive.

DataRefresh increases revenue by connecting with a higher percentage of your consumers more often by:

  • Increasing valid email addresses and phone numbers
  • Limiting email bounces and spam complaints
  • Managing opt-out preferences
  • Identifying phone numbers that are DNC (do not call) listed
  • Decreasing postage, print and overhead by removing incorrect and outdated addresses
  • Reducing the costs related to list-marketing initiatives

How DataRefresh Works:

  • We send your prospect and customer records to be scrubbed according to the USPS Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) requirements. Addresses are case-corrected, properly parsed, and corrected to CASS standards.
  • We verify your customer and prospect records against the National Change of Address (NCOA) records. Records are checked on an individual level, as well as a household level. This ensures your records contain the most up-to-date addresses available.
  • The cleaned records are matched against DealerSocket’s records. We append any missing data to build the integrity of your customer records, including DNC preferences. In addition, missing phone numbers
  • (landlines and mobile) are added to your records. When multiple phone numbers are found, the one used most recently and frequently is appended to that customer’s record.
  • Records are then scrubbed for email addresses and appended if available. We append email addresses for prospects and customers whose email address failed validation or that do not have an email address.

Keep the Spam in the Can

DealerSocket’s Spam Policy is in compliance with the Anti-Spam Act of 2003. As such, a broadcast email is sent to all individuals on the email append list, allowing them to opt-out. The email is customized with the dealership name and contact information, so customers understand they have done business with the dealership. Note that this email is sent only to customers whose email addresses have been newly appended to their records; it will not be sent to existing email addresses belonging to customers or prospects that have already specified their communication preferences.

A customer database is an auto dealer’s most valuable asset. When accurate, it is a revenue-generating goldmine. If not kept up-to-date, it can turn that gold into lead. Utilize DealerSocket DataRefresh, and answer one of the oldest questions of alchemy: yes, lead can be turned into gold… As long as it’s in your customer database!

Once all the above stated services are completed, both DealerSocket and DMS sold customer records are updated (exclusive to ADP, R&R and DealerTrack DMS)

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