Database shrinkage

Remember the “Seinfeld” episode when George exclaimed that his less than impressive package was a result of a cold water swim that resulted in “Shrinkage!” and that it was not a true representation of his usual self?

Sadly enough, databases suffer from shrinkage, and although database developers like ourselves like to say it ain’t so, it is an undeniable fact of life.

What causes shrinkage? The minute a database is published, it begins to degrade. Someone has quit. A business has closed. A company has moved. That guy got a promotion. Shrinkage also occurs when you work in a database and change the status of your records: from prospects to lead, lead to client, prospect to unsubscribe, client to referral source.

How do you know that? You know that when you email, call, fax, mail or meet someone in your database and their information doesn’t match up. Or when you make a sale! The key here is to change the information (add to it, correct it, delete it) so that your database is current and accurate.

How can you prevent it? Work with a reputable source who can provide a verified and vetted list that has been developed to meet your specific needs. Even though there may be several companies that sell what you sell, do what you do or know what you know, you each have unique needs – whether it be geography, company revenue, employee size or contact title – so your list should be as unique as you are.

How do I grow it? The fertilizer of databases is simple: more records. Continue growing your territory, expanding your market and reaching out to more people to grow your database. Because businesses hire new people, fill vacant positions, and open new locations, and you want those in your database, too.

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