Matchback Do’s and Don’ts
Don’t forget to define a date range. Once you’ve established your matchback frequency, provide your data processing vendor with a list of contact pieces (e.g., catalog, postcard) sent during the matchback period and the specific date ranges each piece covers. See sample chart (below). The matchback date range for Drop No. 1 is Sept. 1 (the start of Drop No. 1 in-home) through Oct. 2 (the day before the subsequent catalog in-home).
|Mail Drop||In-home Date||Matchback Date Range|
|Drop No. 1||Sept. 1-3||Sept 1-Oct. 2|
|Drop No. 2||Oct. 3-5||Oct. 3-Oct. 31|
|Drop No. 3||Nov. 1-3||Nov. 1-Dec. 4|
|Drop No. 4||Dec. 5-7||Dec. 5-Dec. 31|
Do determine your match priority. This can be the trickiest part of the matchback process. By match priority I mean the rules you create to allocate orders and in what order you choose to apply those rules. The specifics of your match priority will depend on the kinds of decisions you’ll be making for future campaigns.
For example, let’s say Jane Smith ordered in December. And in December you mailed her both a regular catalog and a special VIP mailing. If you allocate her order to the regular catalog, will your boss cut funding for your VIP mailing? If you allocate her order to the VIP mailing, will the deflated catalog results imply you should cut circulation? This isn’t just an office politics issue; it’s a question of maximizing return on investment. The key to match priority is creating rules that enable you to maximize decision-making. You may need to experiment with your rules to discern what works best for you.
Do carefully review your preliminary output. If it’s your first matchback, have your data processing vendor send output file dumps before running the entire matchback. A dump is a handful of sample records from the output file that enable you to verify that you’re getting back what you expected. It also gives you the opportunity to make changes to your matchback logic if needed.