Target Marketing featured Hennerberg's client in a cover story and case study titled “Taking Risks, Increasing Response”
Distributed in Target Marketing Tipline E-Mail Newsletter
Your order entry staff should be in a flurry of activity right now. Your phones are ringing, mail orders are being entered, fax orders being deciphered and Web orders downloaded.
Amidst this holiday bustle, you're likely to have orders that come from unknown sources. It's not unusual to see 20 percent of total orders attributed to “unknown” or “miscellaneous” key codes.
Your hope for perfect list tracking will be dashed by employees taking orders who don't understand the importance of 100-percent accurate key code tracking. Customers who call to place an order might be annoyed by having to search for a code (sometimes printed or ink jetted in small type that is hard to find and hard to read), and therefore say they don't have a code.
So at the end of the season, when it's time to analyze your results, don't forget to reallocate “unknown” orders to each list code you mailed. Often, there are dozens of "miscellaneous" descriptions that attempt to categorize the sources of these untraceable orders, such as “brochure,” “friend,” “insert,” “ordered last year,” “received as gift” and dozens more.
There may be little you can do to perfectly attribute every order to its exact source, but you can do yourself a favor to account for these orders when you analyze your marketing results at the end of the season.
One approach is to reallocate back to each list or media a weighted average proportion of orders and sales from “unknown” and “miscellaneous” sources. If, for example, 80 percent of your business comes from customers, and 20 percent of your business comes from prospecting, you should allocate 80 percent of “unknown/miscellaneous” orders to customers. On an individual customer segment key code or prospecting list, you should calculate its percent of the total orders and reallocate that same percent of “unknown/miscellaneous” orders to that segment.
In some cases, orders from your Web site should be reallocated back to lists if you assume a portion of traffic to your Web site is due to having used direct mail or a catalog.
While your results may never be perfect, you will at least have a more accurate way to evaluate your list performance. This is especially important in confidently evaluating prospecting lists. In some cases, the allocation of “unknown/miscellaneous” orders will mean the difference between lists being continued instead of being cut from your next mailing plan.