List View: All Sales Count
Develop a Methodology
The hardest part of allocating Internet sales is not the actual matchback process. Typically, the mailer’s service bureau easily can match names and addresses from a mail tape to transactions that came in to the Web site after the mailing. The hardest part is developing consensus within the company on the method and rules used for allocating orders. For example, if the name of a Web site buyer appears on a recent mailing and a recent e-mail broadcast, to which event should the name be credited?
There is no one standard method I recommend to mailers as to how to allocate Internet orders and sales back to a direct mail or catalog campaign. The methods vary, based on a number of factors, and every mailer is different.
Factors that affect the chosen method include the annual number of and frequency of mailings, the number of catalog titles mailed, the timing of mailings, whether the company has retail stores, and the volume of Internet traffic received through affiliate programs.
Some mailers have developed very involved order matrixes in which individual Web orders and sales are split among a number of mailings, with a percentage of each Web order credited to different mailings. This method uses several variables to determine the number of mailings to which a percentage of an order might be allocated, including the number of active campaigns in the mail for that mailer and their respective percent complete to final.
For example, if you only mail once a year, then 100 percent of any name on the mailing that responded through the Web site should be credited with that Internet sale. However, if there are two campaigns mailed within a short time frame—for example, one on Nov. 1 and another on Nov. 20—and a customer appears on both mailings and orders on your Web site on Dec. 10, should one mailing get 100 percent of that order, or should it be split between the two?