Finder Numbers Help Trace Sources

When it comes to name and address entry, the standards used to input the data to a customer file have always been less than rigorous.

Glaring misspellings are common, as are omissions of critical address elements. Additionally, the capture rate of valid source codes isn’t much better.

Very often, no more than 20 to 25% of orders contain a source code. And e-commerce orders present their own name and address quality challenges.

That’s where finder number technology comes in. Finder numbers are unique IDs that can be applied to prospects (and house names, if needed) and act like specific account numbers.

A file of these records with their finder numbers can be uploaded into a cataloger’s operational system for access by call center reps, and can also be available during e-commerce sessions.

When the finder number is input during the order-taking process, the name, address and source code of the prospect or customer will be served up and can be stored automatically and accurately into the customer database.

Another bonus is that typically the name and address associated with the finder number has been standardized to meet USPS requirements and is CASS certified, NCOA processed and ZIP+4 coded.

When it comes time to run a matchback to analyze a mailing, these more accurate new customer records will enable a better match to the mail file for a more valid read on results.

Lisa Delzell is marketing manager at San Rafael, CA-based catalog consultancy Lenser.

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