Planning data fields to allow segmentation
No matter whether you have a short list of contacts or a huge database, you need to get the right message to the matching recipient. To do that, you have to segment your list to select those recipients.
But when setting up their list or database, many people forget to plan ahead and set up fields without the proper format. And worse: add fields or columns “on the fly” whenever the existing fields don’t quite seem to fit what’s needed right now.
If you want to segment your leads and clients easily without having to look at long lists before every mailshot and event invite, you must standardise the relevant fields. There is no way around planning the normalisation of data if you want to select contacts e.g. by industry, department type, hierarchy level, leisure interest, etc. And then stick to it as closely as possible!
Best is to format the fields so, that nobody can accidentally add another category by entering data. The same applies to contact forms on websites and landing pages: When you give users text fields to enter what they like, you will get an endless amount of segments – also thanks to typos! Picklists will not always provide 100% accuracy for each user, but ~95% will keep your data clean and segmentable.