Special Report Matchbacks
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.
As you do more matchbacks, you'll get better at defining criteria and gleaning useful data from the results. But for now, don't get hung up on details. You'll be forced to make compromises, but the information you'll find will be useful.
So until the day that all customers beg to give us their keycode information, happy matching.
Tools and Technologies to Try
Accurately determining what level of matchback your company needs can depend on several factors: available resources, the specifics of your contact strategy and time constraints imposed by future planning cycles, to name a few. Following are three steps that can help you select a strategy and vendors.
Step 1: Identify marketing channels you'd like to include in your matchback. You get sales from several channels. Which channel's orders should you include in your matchback, and which should you omit? You probably get orders from direct mail (e.g., catalogs, postcards, flyers, special mailings), Internet, e-mail marketing campaigns, paid search engines and affiliate marketing programs. Choose the mix that's right for you based on the following information.