Managing the Flood of Web Buyers, Part 3
In part three of my four-part series on how the increased presence of Web buyers has affected catalogers’ circulation plans, this installment takes a look at how matchbacks can be used to get a true response on the effectiveness of catalog mailings.
Below is an example of response rate reporting when you only have source codes reported by phone operators and a lack source codes on orders coming from your Web site’s shopping cart (please click on the chart at the bottom of the page).
Once you add the true responses by running a matchback, you can see a much different result. To run a matchback, it’s simply a merge-purge in reverse, in which you match up your catalog’s mailing file and the order file for all the orders you’ve received during the life of that catalog.
To segment your Web buyers, flag them as pure Web buyers for all orders that don’t match your mail file. Previously in this series, I wrote about capturing original source codes from your pure Web buyers and flagging those buyers. You then can take all the responses from your matchbacks and segment them — the orders that hit against your mailing file and the remaining orders that didn’t match back to your mail file. Flag those orders that don’t match back to your mail file as pure Web buyers for future mailings. It’s not perfect, but it works really well as a way to segment pure Web buyers and avoid costly mailings to customers who won’t respond to that channel.
Next week in the final part of this series, I’ll examine how measuring incremental sales factors into catalog circ.
Jim Coogan is president of Catalog Marketing Economics, a Santa Fe, N.M.-based consulting firm focused on catalog circulation planning. You can reach him at (505) 986-9902 or firstname.lastname@example.org .