3 Reasons Why You Should Blacklist Contacts In Your CRM Database

Blacklisting ex-clients or leads in your CRM database is very little to with maintaining your CRM data or cleaning up your database. When you blacklist ex-clients or leads, it’s all about making smart choices with your business data and where you put your marketing efforts.

When we blacklist a client, customer, prospect or any other contact in your CRM, we are specifically ensuring that we DO NOT contact this person whatsoever.

  • We’re not contacting them in direct mail campaigns.
  • We’re not contacting them in our email marketing.
  • We’re not contacting them by any means.

Essentially we’re keeping them completely excluded from our sales and marketing. That means their email address and other contact details are held on their contact record to ensure we don’t engage them with marketing automation.

Later on, we’ll explain why we don’t delete those contacts, and how you blacklist those contacts.

Until now, let’s explain why we’re blacklisting contacts in our CRM.

Blacklist Reason 1 – The contact, lead or client behaves “badly”

We might want to remove someone from your marketing simply because we’ve identified that they’re wrong for your business in some way. This could be because:

  • they were rude to us or one of your team
  • we believe that they’re a competitor who’s infringing your copyright by copying all of your marketing materials (we can’t stop this but we can make it harder)
  • they have demonstrated fraudulent behaviour
  • they’re “time vampires” (i.e. they waste lots of your time or your team’s time)
  • you dislike them in some way (a personality clash)
  • something went very wrong when you did some work with this client, and you want to avoid doing any further business with them ever again
  • Or there might be some other reason!

I firmly believe that if your clients and customers are people you like and enjoy working with, that means it’s completely acceptable to NOT do business with clients and customers who you DON’T like. If we identify who we don’t want to do business with, we can help ensure that they don’t get any automated marketing by accident. We specifically want to discourage having any kind of communication with these contacts.

Blacklist Reason 2 – The contact is the wrong demographic for you

If you’re spending any time growing your business, you’ve clearly got it clear in your mind who you do business with, what your target market is, and who your demographic is. That means you might blacklist individuals simply because they’re not the right fit. Those reasons might include:

  • The wrong budget, so their budget is too small for the projects that you do
  • The wrong industry, which means you don’t work with their industry. Either because you’re hyper-focussed on 3-4 industries, or this contact belongs to an industry you specifically avoid
  • The work they need is too large, and you’re not the right fit for them because you can’t deliver what they need
  • There’s an incompatibility in the standards and accreditations that either you or they need.

By having these contacts on your list, you can ensure you’re not actively trying to sell to them or engage them.

Blacklist Reason 3 – You have data on ways to identify the wrong contacts for you

If you create a list of contacts and leads who are wrong for you, you can add add contact data to these contacts about WHY they are blacklisted.

Your CRM should have the capability for you to add notes or tags, or some other way for you to score a contact. This gives you a record of why they’re on the ‘do not contact’ list in your CRM, as you’ll want to remember why you put them on the blacklist in the first place.

By using this data and keeping it up-to-date, it becomes a valuable resource and gives you some data points on WHO you want to AVOID contacting.

This will come in particularly useful to your sales teams, as they can use this information to identify ‘bad’ leads. Your sales reps can use this information to create questions that make it easy for them to qualify (or disqualify) your leads, and if needed, mark them invalid in your CRM as they go.

When it comes to your marketing efforts, you can use this custom data to help with the language in your copy that might dissuade a prospect contacting you, and appeal to your target market more effectively. e.g. you find in a recent marketing campaign that you attract some contacts who have small budgets. Therefore you decide in your marketing to give indications of budget so that you can ‘scare off’ the leads who are wrong for you.

How do you correctly blacklist a contact in your CRM?

The best way to ensure you have a contact in your database that’s blacklisted is to do as many of the following as you can:

  • Have a list (or category, or tag) specifically called “Blacklist” so that you and other CRM users know that the contact is specifically flagged “DO NOT CONTACT”.
  • Make sure you have their phone number and email address (they might have more than one) in their contact record, along with their name (as it makes it easier to identify them).
  • Ensure that their email addresses have been marked as unsubscribed, and use any other CRM features that you have to block their email address from receiving automated emails
  • Add a note as some text to explain when and why this contact has been put on the blacklist. Be careful with your language. WARNING: You don’t want to write anything here that you’d be embarrassed if somebody saw it (e.g. in a subject access request). Don’t be rude, nasty or inflammatory.
  • This is optional, but you can add any additional tags or categories if you want to subcategorize the reason for blacklisting.

Why do we keep the contact in your database rather than delete it?

We want to keep contact in your database rather than removing or deleting the record, so that the lead or contact can’t be re-added to the system in some way (e.g. if they sign up to one of your email lists or landing pages).

By having the contact on a blacklist, you have a chance to ensure they’re automatically blocked from receiving any email marketing or other messaging. It also makes it really easy for your team to understand that this is a contact to not engage with. If you delete these contacts, your team will have no idea if it’s someone they shouldn’t communicate with.

In Closing

Blacklisting contacts in your CRM is really about smart business. It’s not just cleaning up data; it’s choosing to not waste time and resources on those who’ve been difficult or just don’t fit your target market. By keeping them out of your marketing efforts, you can focus on the leads that matter. Plus, having them listed with reasons why they’re blacklisted helps your team avoid them in the future, ensuring your marketing is always on point.