Importing leads without email address in your marketing database?

It happened with everyone that we have a list of prospects without email address and we have to get them imported in marketing automation tool. What you do? Do you import the list in the system as is?

Most of the marketing automation tool including Marketo, Eloqua, HubSpot, and Partdot etc has email address as the unique identifier. What if you import a list of 100 people without email address and 10 out of these 100 people already exist in your database with email address? You are going to create 10 duplicate records.

If you are importing a list without email address, you are ultimately creating duplicate records which may result in incorrect scoring, delayed MQL and high database cost.


What to do when you have a list of prospects without email address?

Before importing the list without email address in marketing database, I would suggest to first check how many leads you already have in your database. Surprised, how you can do that? It’s not a big deal if you have some sort of SQL database skill or have someone who can assist you with SQL database OR you can do it with excel as well if you do not have a big size database.

If I got such list, I used to first check the records in marketing database based on:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Company


  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Phone Number

If got a match then we can use the existing record’s email address while importing the list.

How to achieve this with SQL database?

  • Export the data from your marketing database (only export the required information; First Name, Last Name, Phone Number, Company Name).
  • Import this data into SQL database.
  • Import the list, be import in marketing database, in a separate table in SQL database
  • Write some query to find a match based on First Name, Last Name, Phone Number, Company Name and append email address in your list


How to achieve this with Excel?

  • If your database is not too big, you can do this matching within excel
  • Export the data from your marketing automation system (only export the required information; First Name, Last Name, Phone Number, Company Name.
  • Concatenate the First Name, Last Name, and Company in a separate column. Do this in your both lists; your complete database as well as in the list to be imported
  • Do a “VLOOKUP” based on this contaminated column and try to populate email address in the list to be imported from your complete database list

Now you might have a few records for which you could find a match may be 5, 10 or 20 but you still have records in your list that do not have email address. What to do with those records? I would suggest to get the email address appended if possible or try to get email address by try calling these people and then go ahead and import the list in your marketing database.

Sounds a bit complicated and time consuming exercise! But it will ultimately results in reducing your database maintenance cost, highly maintained and duplicate proof database. You also do not have to worry about the scattered information and score.


Why to fight too much to get the email addresses? Do you really need email addresses? 

Below point will answer the above questions:

  • Email is the most direct way to reach audiences 1:1
  • Email is an easy way to reach customers on the go; with email you will hit your mobile users as well as traditional desktop users
  • It’s easy to customize and integrate into other marketing tactics
  • People keep their email addresses for years
  • Email can help you kickstart your company’s lead nurturing flow
  • Email marketing is inexpensive
  • You can plan a highly targeted and personalized email campaign that may result in very high ROI

So are you going to follow the above process next time you have a list to be imported without email address? Do you have any other process in place? Looking forward for your thoughts on this.

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