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The Big Cleanup: increase scores by database management

It all starts with your Marketo database. Without (proper) data, you can’t market your product(s) or service(s). Next to that, your data quality has a huge impact on your program and email performance. Therefore it’s important to clean your database on a regular basis. More important, you can maintain this by implementing data quality and database management programs with automatic processes that take care of this. But first, let’s start simple.

Strive for a 100% delivery rate
Soft and hard bounces are responsible for lowering your delivery rate. Soft bounces can automatically be resolved in a few days. However, hard bounces are not going to be resolved by themselves. A hard bounce can have multiple reasons, e.g. a non-existent email address, an email address of a person that’s out of service or a spam filter. Learn more about hard and soft bounces in email.

How to resolve hard bounces?

  1. Create a smart list with the filter ‘Email Bounced = any, in the folder ‘Group Smart Lists’ in the database.
  2. Create a view in the Leads tab and name it ‘Database Management’. Include at least the following columns:
    • Full Name, Company, Email Address, Email Invalid and Email Invalid Cause
    • Leave out the columns that aren’t interesting for database management smart lists
  3. Take a closer look at why these email addresses hard bounced your emails and fix it accordingly.


When you’re done, you’ve reduced the hard bounces will increase your email rates!

Engagement score
The engagement score in a program is calculated by an algorithm that takes into account engaged behavior (e.g.: opens, clicks, program success) and disengaged behavior (Unsubscribe). As you can understand, the lower your open and click rates, the lower your engagement score will be. With a clean and proper database you can aim for higher rates. See here how the engagement score in Marketo exactly works.

How to clean your database?

  1. Create a smart list with the filter ‘Duplicate Fields = Email Address’, in the folder ‘Group Smart Lists’ in the database.
  2. Select the view ‘Database Management’, you’ve just created.
  3. Read here how to merge duplicate contacts, start at step 3.


When you’re done, you’ve cleaned the duplicates, and conserved all history.

In database management it’s quality that counts, not quantity. By e-mailing only people who are interested and relevant, you will achieve much more. That’s important to remember!

Do you have a large database and is manual work ineffective?
Let’s have a cup of coffee and talk about how to automate database cleaning and about the possibilities to contribute to your database quality.

Want to increase the return on your database?

Get in touch with us!