Address Matching for Better Tracking

By Cory Leiphart

Sales tracking is the critical last step in a marketing program. It’s what can help prove the success of the program (or lack thereof) and provide insights for future changes. But the tracking process can be done in a number of different ways—and not all will result in an accurate address matching.

Preparing a tracking report for a customer mailing typically allows for matches to be identified using a “household key” or customer number. However, not all banks have marketing customer information files (MCIFs) or customer relationship management tools (CRMs) that household data. So matching on these key fields isn’t always possible.

Additionally, when conducting prospect acquisition mailings, there isn’t a household key to match on. This results in the need for an address match.

What you need to know about address matching.

Unfortunately, not all addresses are perfect. For example, an address can contain punctuation variations, be abbreviated, or be mis-keyed. All of these irregularities would result in the potential for a mismatch when trying to do a one-to-one match. So frequently, they can’t be used “as is” to match.

As a result, additional tools are needed to aid with this process. There are three main variations on address matching:

  1. Household level matching – When customers are involved and a household key is provided, this key field offers a precise one-to-one match.
  2. Address only matching – Using software such as BCC’s Mail Manager 2010 Enhanced Merge/Purge, records are marked between the two files (new account file and original mail file). This software can detect slight variances in the address that might otherwise identify that it’s not a match, when it actually is.
  3. Address and name matching – With a specialized proprietary matching logic, users can leverage an algorithm to look at full name and address, last name and address, last name in a given zip+2 and last name in a given zip+4.

Both address-matching methods can start with using BCC’s Mail Manager 2010 to standardize the addresses on the new account file and original mail file. This allows for addresses to be cleansed before the matching process starts.

Using multiple matching techniques to identify account openings between a file of new accounts and an original mail file will yield the most accurate results. It’s paramount that the process identifies the greatest number accounts with the highest level of precision… after all, the success of the campaign and the trust of whoever is reviewing the results depend on it.

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The future depends on the past.

The only way to get more money for future marketing activities is to make the most of the current marketing dollars. In other words, “the proof is in the pudding.” If those current marketing dollars are used to target effectively and meet/exceed the goals of those marketing initiatives, getting money for future endeavors becomes much easier.

Cory Leiphart is AVP, Analytics & Data Services for WordCom, Inc., located in Ellington, CT. WordCom is a direct marketing agency specializing in target marketing and data analytics.

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