Summertime is the Right Time to Give Your CRM Some Love

The education market is constantly shifting, especially during summer. Institutions and personnel use the months while students are on break to restructure, change roles and make changes for the year ahead. Schools consolidate, open and close. Teachers switch jobs and administrators transfer to different districts. And with every change, the educator data you’ve painstakingly collected gets more outdated.

Chances are, you’re among the 97 percent of organizations that power your business with data. It’s one of your most valuable assets year-round, but it takes on significant importance during back-to-school season when you’re attempting to build strong relationships that will carry you through to summer purchasing.

Every school year, our team at Agile Education Marketing works daily to make sure we have the most up-to-date data available about K-12 institutions and their personnel.

A significant number of changes have already taken place just in the second semester of the school year. Now imagine what those numbers will look like as we head into back-to-school, when we typically see a surge in educator data changes.

Clean Education Data Powers Marketing and Sales

When an educator’s data changes, their responsibilities often shift with it. This ultimately affects the way you need to market to them. If you want to position yourself for a strong back-to-school season, clean your data now to make sure you’re reaching the right educators with the right messages in the fall.

The months of August and September are already hectic, for both you and the educators you’re trying to reach. The right data can save you time strategizing sales territories and can help you craft compelling messaging and sales presentations that get to the heart of what truly matters to your specific district and school contacts — no wasting time discussing things that aren’t going to lead them to the next step in the sales process.

Without clean, accurate data, you can’t create the type of tailored, personalized experiences that generate qualified leads and help you retain loyal customers. When you’re working with dirty data:

  • Your sales team wastes valuable time attempting to reach educators who are no longer in a school or district or have switched jobs.
  • Your marketing team throws away money on campaigns that get sent to inactive emails or mailing addresses.
  • Your campaign performance suffers because you aren’t reaching the right groups of educators.
  • Your business misses out on connecting with promising prospects and potential revenue opportunities.
  • Your brand recognition falls because you’re not reaching the right educators — or reaching educators at all.
  • Your email reputation takes a hit because you aren’t delivering the messages that matter to the educators you’re attempting to engage.
  • Your future marketing and sales messages suffer because you aren’t gathering accurate analytics to inform messaging strategy and decision-making later on.

That’s not how you want to start the school year.

Advice for Cleaning Your Education Data

It’s smart practice to invest some time and money in regular data maintenance, but this is especially important leading up to fall. Focus on cleaning your CRM data this summer so that you can begin building stronger relationships with your key educator audiences.

Here are some things you can do to clean up your list by back-to-school.

  • Eliminate duplicate contacts. Avoid sending multiple messages to a single contact, or trying to decide which of two or more of the same contacts is the most up-to-date.
  • Clean your list to remove wrong numbers, incorrect contacts and outdated work locations or job titles.
  • Leverage the clean data Agile has been compiling all year to keep educator information accurate by having Agile append missing information in your CRM such as phone numbers and email addresses.
  • Add valuable information about each institution and contact in your CRM, such as Title I dollars, student enrollment, ethnicity percentages, and state-specific ESSA-reported test scores, to start building more detailed audience personas and precise targeting strategies.
  • Develop a process, if you don’t have one already, for removing bounced addresses after every send.
  • Develop a re-engagement campaign for leads who have gone cold. Schedule times throughout the year to review your list to identify these educators. If they aren’t moved to interact after receiving the messages, remove them from your list.
  • Standardize your gated forms so that you’re asking for the same information every time. Building in this consistency will help eliminate duplicate and incomplete contacts.

One Last Piece of Advice

Last, but not least, look into third-party sources that can do this work for you. Data cleaning is tedious, but it’s also necessary. Save your team the time and headache of manually inspecting your contacts. Agile Education Marketing not only offers the most accurate, up-to-date database of K-12 institutions and personnel available, but we also offer custom database services to help you scrub your in-house files. Combining our comprehensive database with your clean data will help you make a bigger impact this back-to-school season.

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About the Author

Mike LeClare is the Compilation and Data Quality Manager at Agile Education Marketing. Skilled in operations and data analysis, Mike leads a team of experts who compile complex information and conduct quality control to ensure Agile’s database is comprehensive, accurate and accessible to clients through a variety of convenient tools. Mike also applies his extensive knowledge of education information & data initiatives to lead special compilation efforts that require working closely with various state departments and districts to create information sets that are unique to Agile. Reach Mike at mleclare@agile-ed.com.

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