How should I handle adding replacement contacts when an old contact is no longer with their company?

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lstemley
Participant | Diamond Partner

Hi,

 

When a contact has retired or left their company and leaves a replacement email address in an Out of Office email, what's best practice for adding (or not adding) that replacement email in your database?

 

I've thought of three ideas that I keep going back and forth on, and would love some advice (or if there are different ideas!). Here's what I've been debating:

 

- Should I make a new contact record for the replacement (but then they wouldn't have opted into receiving marketing emails from your company)?

- Should I make a Note in the old contact's record with the new information (but that could cause unwanted clutter in your database)?

- Or should I delete the old contact and not worry about adding the replacement's info (but maybe the company these contacts are from is an important one to work with and you might loose your new way "in")?

 

Thank you!

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Accepted Solutions
AdamLPW
Solution
Key Advisor

Hi @lstemley,

 

Interesting questions...

 

My opinions would be as follows:

- Should I make a new contact record for the replacement?

 

No, probably not.  As you note: they haven't opted in.  IMHO personal outreach is always the best option, so perhaps a quick, direct email saying "I've previously been dealing with X  [+context and history]... I've just got an email saying he's left Company name - is this something you're interested in picking up on?"

If they reply positively, create the contact and move forward.  If you don't get a response, maybe try once more or give up!?

 

- Should I make a Note in the old contact's record with the new information?

 

I generally retain old contacts in my database, but opt them out of email and set lifecycle stage to a custom value "Left company".  If they later crop up again at a new company, I'll pin a note to the top of their file with a hyperlink to their previous HS Contact record and vice versa, which allows me to jump to any previous correspondence.  No harm in pinning a note saying "left company, replaced by Joe Bloggs - joe@companyname.com"...

 

- Or should I delete the old contact and not worry about adding the replacement's info (but maybe the company these contacts are from is an important one to work with and you might loose your new way "in")?

This is probably the hardest bit - you don't want to lose your "in" at the previous company.  Per my first response, I think personal outreach is the best option, here.  Could always temporarily add the new contact to your CRM, design a short sequence and, if there's no response during the sequence, have the last email state that you'll remove their data from your system.  


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2 Replies 2
AdamLPW
Solution
Key Advisor

Hi @lstemley,

 

Interesting questions...

 

My opinions would be as follows:

- Should I make a new contact record for the replacement?

 

No, probably not.  As you note: they haven't opted in.  IMHO personal outreach is always the best option, so perhaps a quick, direct email saying "I've previously been dealing with X  [+context and history]... I've just got an email saying he's left Company name - is this something you're interested in picking up on?"

If they reply positively, create the contact and move forward.  If you don't get a response, maybe try once more or give up!?

 

- Should I make a Note in the old contact's record with the new information?

 

I generally retain old contacts in my database, but opt them out of email and set lifecycle stage to a custom value "Left company".  If they later crop up again at a new company, I'll pin a note to the top of their file with a hyperlink to their previous HS Contact record and vice versa, which allows me to jump to any previous correspondence.  No harm in pinning a note saying "left company, replaced by Joe Bloggs - joe@companyname.com"...

 

- Or should I delete the old contact and not worry about adding the replacement's info (but maybe the company these contacts are from is an important one to work with and you might loose your new way "in")?

This is probably the hardest bit - you don't want to lose your "in" at the previous company.  Per my first response, I think personal outreach is the best option, here.  Could always temporarily add the new contact to your CRM, design a short sequence and, if there's no response during the sequence, have the last email state that you'll remove their data from your system.  


Did my post help answer your query? Help the Community by marking it as a solution
"The rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this experience... now!"

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lstemley
Participant | Diamond Partner

Hi @AdamLPW ,

 

A simple outreach does sound like a good idea, though I think I might try it through my own email. Thanks for your thoughts!