How to Identify, Investigate, and Re-engage At-Risk Database Contacts

You've got data quality issues. Who doesn't? But you also have Motiva's Dark Pool. Here's how to use it to re-engage contacts you're at risk of losing, before they're gone forever.

What's the best way to investigate contacts at risk of being lost or becoming unreachable? 

Signing up for Motiva's Dark Pool Cleanup is a significant first step toward maintaining a healthy contact database. It shows you at a glance your overall database health.

It's also a great way to boost ROI: since you'll be reducing the number of contacts in your database, you'll be lowering your CRM/MAP costs while getting more accurate engagement metrics. It's a win-win.

So you've already signed up for Motiva's Dark Pool cleanup and have your overall score and contact breakdown.

For the contacts at the far ends of the spectrum ("Nurture" and "Keep Sending" on the healthy side, and "Stop Sending and shift to a different channel" and "Remove" on the unhealthy side), the path forward is pretty straightforward.

But what about those contacts in the "Investigate" or "Throttle and Investigate" categories? What should happen with those contacts?

Contacts who fall into those at-risk categories have engaged in the past, so they're not bots, but they are starting to disengage.

There are several possible reasons for their disengagement, some of which you have control over and some you do not.

For instance, your prospects may be feeling the effects of "contact fatigue," which can be caused by simply receiving too many emails from you.

Or it could be your messaging fails to hit their pain points.

Or your messages don't stand out in the vast expanse of their inbox.

But it can also be other factors outside of your control. For example, it could be that your prospect now prefers to be contacted through a different marketing channel.

Or their company's IT department has implemented new rules for email messaging, and your messages end up in Spam or some other folder.

Or the contact is no longer in the same position within their company.

Or your contact is no longer with that company, and their company's IT department hasn't shut off their email address. (Side note: This form of "data decay" — where contact profiles are no longer accurate — is pervasive. Depending on the industry, data decay can happen at a rate of up to 75% a year. So if you still buy email lists, you should feel chills now.)

So for the contacts that fall into these categories, we need to figure out which are salvageable and which are not.

First, we'll need to export these contacts out of Dark Pool and into an Eloqua Shared List. Check out this article for step-by-step instructions. 

After you've imported this data using Shared Lists, you can bring those lists into Insight. Once in Insight, other Subject Areas can be leveraged by a user on your team with an Analyzer license to better understand email, campaign, and lead management performance for these groups.

With the Contacts labeled by lists and back in your database, you can leverage other profile criteria like account relationships.

On the Motiva side, Shared Lists can be added into Segments, which allows you to create Persona cards. With all these contacts monitored in one place, you can now devise experiments to see which contacts are reachable and which need a different approach (or removal from the database).

These experiments represent an excellent opportunity to be bold when thinking of new approaches for this group. You already know the messaging or cadence you've been using isn't working, so it's time for some creativity.

Try out new types of content aimed at only this Persona: different tones (in both subject lines and content), new messaging, and create a custom Frequency Management rule just for this Persona.

For instance, if your messaging tends to be a bit buttoned-down, try humor or irreverence to get your prospect's attention. On the other hand, if you're already using a playful approach, then go for the more traditional, straightforward messaging.

If you're experimenting with messaging, are there other pain points you can address? For example, what keeps your prospect up at night? What message would be a relief to your contact?

You're looking for any signs of life with this audience segment. And by creating a new FM rule for this Persona, you'll avoid further fatiguing them, pushing them closer to unsubscribing or moving into other "unhealthy" categories.

Also, check out what attributes they have in common, if any. It may be that your message isn't resonating because it's better suited for a different audience segment. For instance, the troubles faced by a startup will be vastly different from those problems faced by a Fortune 500 company.

With a little investigation, you'll be able to gain clarity on which of your at-risk contacts can still be reached via email, and which need a different channel or removal from your database.

Ready to see what Motiva can do for your data hygiene? Schedule a Demo!


Back to Blog

Related Articles

Worried About Data Compliance? Motiva's Dark Pool Can Help

There are really two different types of compliance with which email marketers should concern...

How Healthy is Your Contact Database? Our Update Shows You At a Glance

If you've been involved with email marketing strategy for any amount of time, you already know that...

How to Stop Inactive Contacts from Destroying your Marketing Campaigns

Say you have a few thousand inactive contacts in your database. They may have opened one or two...