Strategy: Make Matchbacks a Routine
Matchbacks have become routine for catalogers. This is the process in which you check your orders against your recent mail tapes to give credit to the proper source code — to see where sales are originating, and which key code should be given credit for each sale. With the amount of business going to the Web, it’s next to impossible to track results to a specific source code without doing a matchback.
How a Matchback Is Done
Matchbacks link orders to mailings using merge/purge logic. The process allocates unknown orders back to mailed records based on customer-provided source code, customer number, merge/purge results, catalog in-home date and order date. The summary report includes key code, total mailed, total orders, total dollars, average order and dollars per book. Typical data needed to do a matchback includes:
• Mail files from the appropriate time frame.
• A listing of all valid source or key codes. Examples include print mailings, e-mail campaigns, affiliate marketing, bouncebacks and catalog request (inquiry) mailings.
• Order header records for the appropriate time frame. Desired fields include name/address, customer number, source code, order date and order amount.
There are an increasing number of records that can’t be matched to mail files. This is the result of increases in search and affiliate marketing on the Web. Since these customer names tend to be weak, companies are reducing the number of catalogs they mail to these customers.
This puts a premium on matchback programs that not only provide response reports, but also identify which customers are responding to a catalog mailing and which ones are coming from non-mailed sources or offers. Those responding to a catalog mailing then are put on a contact strategy appropriate for catalog responders, while the non-matches are sent two more catalogs at most. To accomplish this, the information should be brought back into the file so that when you “pull” customer records for a mailing, you can tell the difference between Web buyers and Web buyers driven by a catalog mailing.