Ensure that your front-line people know the importance of asking for source codes; in particular, they need to understand how important the codes are to your marketing department. Following are a few ways to increase the amount of business traced to a specific source code:
- Place the source code in a colored box on the back of your catalog.
- Use as few digits (alpha or numeric) as possible.
- Avoid using codes that can be mistaken for letters or numbers.
- Ink-jet the source code onto the back of the catalog (in the box) and onto the order form. The code must appear both places.
- Train phone reps to ask customers for source codes.
- Be sure every catalog is coded, including bulk copies used as bounce-back catalogs and to fulfill catalog requests (inquiries).
Trace Online Orders
The Internet presents challenges in terms of tracing orders to specific source codes. Catalogers do know, however, that every time they mail a catalog, their Internet business increases. That’s because the catalog is the biggest driver of traffic to the Web.
Driving more business to your site will result in less business being traced to a specific key code. Some catalogs request the source code on their Web site when the customer places an order. Tracing Internet orders to a specific code is difficult to do for most catalogers. Asking customers to enter their source codes usually doesn’t work. The customer simply doesn’t take the time. But if you use incentives, there’s a better chance they might. For example, try offering a price reduction to customers who enter source codes from their print catalogs.
The best approach is to “match back” the responders to your original mail tape to see, by code, who responded. Save the original mail tape, and once the catalog campaign is 80-percent complete, match the people who made a purchase since your mail date against the mail tape. If they made a purchase since the mailing, chances are it was because they got a catalog in the mail if they also appear on the mail tape. This will tell you which code to assign credit. It’s probably not necessary to do the “match back” after every mailing, but by doing this once or twice annually, you’ll be able to determine the origin of the business by source code.