B-to-B Matchbacks: Address Level vs. Name Level

May 08, 2006 3:33 AM  By

Matchbacks on business-to-business files are more complicated than on consumer files. If you title slug, the only way to match is at the address level. If you mail by name, the match rate is low because often the contact person has changed.

When matching at the address level, however, the results will get distorted. Imagine an example where you have mailed to different contacts at the same address twice in a fall drop and three times in the holiday drop. Where will the sales match? If you have a peak during the holiday season, most likely the Holiday drop will get credit for the sale even if the fall mailing triggered the order. Also, odds are that the wrong list will get credit for the order. In this example, you have only a one-in-five chance of crediting the right list.

Neither option is necessarily better than the other. But whichever option you choose, you need to keep in mind its drawbacks.

Sandy Wolstencroft is vice president of Bethany Beach, DE-based consultancy Lett Direct.