Matchback Do’s and Don’ts
The right steps for successful matchbacks differ only in their complexity of rules, priorities and match criteria. Not surprisingly, the rules applied get increasingly more complex the more contact pieces you have in the mail at one time. Therefore, well thought-out criteria are critical in maximizing the usefulness of the matchback process.
Do gather relevant data from your matchback vendor. Include in your file appropriate sales data such as name, address and customer number. Also include all order information such as date of purchase; order total with or without shipping (depending on how you typically do your reporting); and product information if you plan to analyze post-matchback product sales.
If you’re using standard order export technology (e.g., Dydacomp’s Mail Order Manager Export Module), do tell your vendor which fields to include in the matchback and which to ignore. And always provide a field record layout. Don’t assume field name and content are obvious. When the wrong fields are used in a matchback program, you risk paying for an extra round of processing if you discovered that your post-matchback sales are less than your pre-matchback sales.
Before starting the matchback process, do have your matchback vendor run both your mail tapes and the order file through standard address correction software. Standardizing addresses in both files will significantly improve your match rate. That is, instead of making the program try to match 1234 Hazel Grove Lane and 1234 Hazel Gr Ln, both your mail tapes and your orders will have the same software-approved layout.
Don’t forget to create instructions. We’ve found that because matchbacks can be extremely complex, it’s best to create written instructions for your matchback vendor. These will provide both parties with clear guidelines and expectations. Start your instructions with basic information from the files discussed above (e.g., mail quantity, total sales). You’ll add to these instructions as you go through the steps detailed on page 46.