February 26, 2009

Matchback Comment From "Anonymous"

An individual named "Anonymous" left the following comment this week:
  • "I have the best matchback algorithm in the industry and you are completely wrong. 90% of our orders are sourced to catalog mailings, we get about 5% from emails. Why don't you show us a graph of your brilliant algorithm that shows how emails drive more sales. You don't have one because you don't know what you're talking about. This is the most retarded thing I've ever seen. Anyone can tell just from the order flow that catalogs drive virtually all the sales (all the orders come in right after a catalog drops). Who benefits from your airhead analysis? Emailers?"
Courtesy of my web analytics tools, I can see the companies represented by folks who leave comments like these. What a shame that the individual deprived us of the name of the company s/he represents.

Most catalogers know to compare matchback results to mail/holdout results.

If matchbacks suggest that 80%+ of volume are matched back to a catalog --- and mail/holdout tests suggest that you can mail fewer catalogs without a significant drop in sales, then matchback analytics are wrong.

If matchbacks suggest that 80%+ of volume are matched back to a catalog --- and mail/holdout tests suggest that there is a linear drop in sales as each catalog is taken away from the customer, then you are in the same company as the individual leaving the comment above.

That assumes, of course, that the individual leaving the comment was savvy enough to execute mail/holdout tests.

Sometimes our industry steps to the plate, swings, and misses.