E-mail signatures, the unused gold of inventory data maintenance

Comment by Michael Rachel

We urgently need to talk about e-mail! And I don't mean the content for the new mailing of the marketing campaign, or the topics of the newsletter. Today, I'm concerned with what you actually always find under the content of an
e-mail in the business context: the signature.

For me, the e-mail signature is one of the highest quality sources of inventory data you can get. It usually contains the name, the position, various telephone numbers and the address of the company. It is easy to maintain and the data is usually up to date. Since each of your colleagues always nicely performs a data reconciliation with the inventory data in your CRM system after an e-mail has been received, the problem with outdated data is a thing of the past, even for you. Congratulations, you do not need to read any further! Unfortunately the reality looks different. Although each of your colleagues receives an average of 21 e-mails every day, according to Statista, there are probably a lot of records in your CRM system in a miserable state. At this point I would like to analyze the problem in more detail and offer you a solution by using e-mail signatures for data maintenance.

In my consulting work, I have already found the problem described in the first section at numerous companies. The truth is, e-mail signatures are usually ignored. However, at some point you need information that is contained in them. So let's assume I want to call a person who wrote me an email two days ago. Now the search for the number starts. First open Outlook and then search for an email from the contact that contains a signature. This costs a lot of time. The problem becomes bigger when another person from your company has to contact the contact person, for example in case of illness. Then the number is not accessible at all. In this case, all that remains is a call via the switchboard. Here the loss of time can be even more extreme. The consequences of a colleague leaving the company are inconceivable. I wish the successor a lot of patience and strength in working on the projects #thoughtsandprayers.

Many companies are already aware of the problem. However, from my point of view the wrong measure is taken to counteract. For most of them the easiest solution is to sensitize the employees for data maintenance. When an e-mail arrives, briefly open the database and run a comparison. But let's be honest: If anything, it works for a week or two and then we're back where we started. This is mainly because it is quite time-consuming to check the whole thing manually. And if you have to create a new record, the copy-paste process starts. On the left side of the monitor the e-mail, on the right side the CRM window, we all know it. In the long run, no colleague will be able to do that. Maybe you even have some highly motivated colleagues who are happy to take care of the data maintenance. Sometimes, however, it is simply not possible to synchronize with the CRM, e.g. when retrieving an e-mail on the smartphone.

I mentioned at the beginning that I would also like to offer a solution. One way to successfully counteract the problem is to use the snapADDY Grabber. This can be linked to the e-mail account and from this point on it automatically captures all e-mail signatures that arrive in the mailbox. An artificial intelligence decides which signatures are relevant and which can be discarded. The read and relevant data records are collected in a list and can then be written to the central CRM database with just a few clicks. This works both for completely new installations and for updates of existing data records, which are identified in advance by an integrated duplicate check. The process would then be limited to a few minutes per day and the work itself would not be so mindless.

Thus, an enormous improvement in data quality can be expected from the automation and simplification of data maintenance from e-mail signatures. Not immediately after the snapADDY Grabber is introduced, but with every incoming e-mail it gets better. The consequences will not only affect the sales department, which will spend less time sifting through old e-mails for contact data. Also the marketing department will find a better maintained database for campaigns. Current contact persons including their correct position are worth their weight in gold. Thanks to the centralization of contact data, no complications due to missing or incorrect data are to be expected even in the event of a colleague's illness or departure.

So you see, unused e-mail signatures can make a real difference in your company. Thanks to tools like the snapADDY Grabber, the potential of mailboxes is within reach and processing problems are a thing of the past. If you are curious, then sign up for a free trial period, or simply send me your signature by e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you!

Michael Rachel

Senior Sales Manager at snapADDY GmbH

Michael Rachel has been a sales representative at snapADDY from the very beginning. Since 2015 he has successfully supported a large number of customers in the digitalization of their sales processes. His technical understanding, which he brings with him from his studies of business informatics in Göttingen, is particularly in demand.