Friday, May 27, 2011

Start-Up Watch COD: Ample Media drives better contact acquisition, maintenance, and insights

Many companies spend a large part of their digital budgets for the purpose of acquiring contact information to power CRM programs. But as these contacts are acquired, a sizable portion of them have errors that snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. By which I mean that you spent all that money for the click and visit, got them to the form, but because they made errors in their data entry, their input makes them unreachable. You’re out all that money, and they are out the opportunity to hear more about your business and what it can do for them.

I met someone from Ample Media at ad:tech and was fascinated to learn more about their service. There are a variety of components, but the part that was most compelling to me was their ability to help users correct mistakes that they make in entering their data – and correct them in real time.

Let me explain with an example. Let’s say I reach a contact for and enter my email address as:

The platform analyzes my input and recognizes that it is an invalid email address. So it alters me to that fact and gives me the opportunity to correct my error. But by now you know me well enough that I am fully capable of making two mistakes in a row. So I type…

Notice the extra e after old. Their platform checks the Yahoo database in real time and discovers that is not a valid email. So it gives me the opportunity to get it right again. And with any luck the third time will be a charm and I will finally get it right.

It also works on phone contacts, recognizing invalid area codes and numbers and giving users the opportunity to correct an entry. For postal addresses, their solution can check to ensure that an address exists, and append the consumer-delivered entry with additional info like zip plus four that can significantly reduce your mailing costs. Their platform also monitors for obviously bad phone, email, and postal addresses submitted by malicious actors so that you aren’t carrying bum entries in your data that increase email serving and data management costs.

Those are all what they call the Point of Entry services. But their offering also helps improve the validity and value of an existing database by refreshing existing entries with newer information and appending additional data that can empower segmentation and research insights.

For some, these services may seem like nice-to-haves rather than need-to-haves. But depending upon your customer base, the losses and additional costs mitigated by services like those of Ample Media can make a significant difference in both valid acquisitions and the usefulness and economic value of a database over time. If you are going to the trouble of BUILDING a database, it should be fairly simple to understand why those types of benefits can make a real difference in your bottom line.

As I said, the whiz banginess for me was the real time aspect that helps users ensure that they input correct data. We all know what a tremendous savings having user-submitted data provides. But more accurate data entry will naturally drive even more value from this important marketing resource.

Thanks to ad:tech for publishing this first

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