Tracking Codes

A tracking code is QuickFill's equivalent to the traditional "source code," but it is used only for new subscriptions (you use the Renewal Effort screen for defining "source codes" for renewal orders.)

A tracking code lets you link the list, package, channel, marketing plan, and offers you use for a promotion in one definition. It also lets you specify which billing and/or renewal series you want to use and whether subscriptions that use a particular tracking code should be coded as gift or complimentary subscriptions.

Ideally, you should have a tracking code printed on every promotional piece you use. It is this unique code that identifies the promotional piece. Moreover, most of the reports use data that QuickFill gets from the tracking code.

Because the tracking code identifies the price and terms you're offering on a particular promotion, you must enter a tracking code when you enter a new order. What happens if you get back some order cards with no tracking code printed on them? You must define a tracking code for those cards, so QuickFill will know how to price the orders (click here for details on the fields used when entering orders). You should also define a tracking code for orders that you receive on a customer's letterhead. You probably won't know which of your promotions produced the order, but QuickFill still needs to know how to compute the price. We suggest that you define a tracking code for this white mail (called "WM," for example) and include on it your standard offers.

Once you've defined a tracking code and entered a significant number of orders using that code, be very careful about changing the list, package, or offers that are linked to that code.

Example: Suppose you have a catchall tracking code that you've labeled "WM." You use this code for entering orders that are not identified by some other tracking code. Say that you now change your subscription prices. Don't change the definition of the "WM" tracking code. Instead, create a new code, probably with the year tacked on ("WM99," say), which you link to offers with the new prices. Now you won't invalidate your statistics, and you can compare payment and renewal rates under the old and new price structures when you run your reports.

When you select 'Marketing' under 'Definitions' on the main menu, and then select 'Tracking codes', you'll see a list of currently defined tracking codes in the upper half of the screen and the "New," "Change," "Replicate," "Delete," "Find," and "Find Again" options running along the bottom. QuickFill sorts this list first alphabetically by the plan code. Within the plan, it sorts by list code, then by the publication code, and, finally, by the tracking code itself. QuickFill sorts in this way so that you can see, as one group, all the tracking codes you defined for a particular plan or list.

To find all of the tracking codes linked to a specific list or plan code, click on "Find." QuickFill will display a form in which you can enter the plan, list, publication, or tracking code for which you are looking. Click on "OK" and QuickFill will jump to the first record that matches your entry. You can jump to the next record that matches your entry by clicking on "Find Again." Click here for details on using "Find."

You can define another tracking code by clicking on "New," filling in the fields described below, and then clicking on "OK." If the tracking code you want to define next is similar to one you've already defined, you can replicate the existing tracking code by moving the cursor to that code and clicking on "Replicate."

Publication

Select the publication to which this tracking code applies. You can't type directly in this field. Instead, right click in this field to select from a list of publications you've defined earlier.

Tracking code

Make up a code and enter it here. The tracking code can consist of any combination of letters, numbers, or any other printable characters that you want. It may also contain spaces. Your code can contain up to twelve characters, including spaces.

Each tracking code is specific to a single publication. However, if you have many publications, you can define the same tracking code for more than one publication. This means that you can use the same standard codes for special cases, such as WM for "white mail," COMP for "complimentary," and GIFT for "gift subscriptions."

In order to take advantage of QuickFill's ability to use wild cards, you should avoid using asterisks or question marks in your tracking codes.

If you plan to send a direct-mail piece to more than one mailing list, here's a money-saving idea. Use a tracking code that is the same for each list—with the exception of one character that you tack on to the end of the code. Use a different last character for each mailing list (for example, 555BA, 555BB, 555BC, and so forth). Then ask the person doing your printing to print the tracking code without the last character on all your order cards, but include these characters in a row along the bottom of the cards. After the printer has printed enough cards for the first list, he or she can mask off the first character and print the cards for the next list. When the cards for that list are finished, the printer masks off the next character, and so on.

When you receive an order on one of these cards, enter the tracking code, then tack on to the end of the code the first visible character running along the bottom of the card. This method saves you printing costs while allowing you to identify the mailing list that produced that order.

Description

Enter a brief description of the tracking code. You'll see the code and description pop up in a box when you right click in the tracking code field to get a list of tracking codes on other screens.

Billing series
Billing series for gifts

If you want new orders that you enter with this tracking code assigned to a billing series other than the default series you specified on the publication definition billing tab, select that billing series here. You can select a billing series to be used for regular subscriptions as well as one to be used for gift subscriptions. (If you enter a 'G' in the 'Gift/Comp' field on the new order form, QuickFill will use the billing series in the 'Billing series for gifts' field for the order you are entering.) You can't type directly in this field. Right click and select "Pick billing series" to select from a list of billing series you've already defined; select "New billing series" to create a new series; select "Change billing series" to change the definition of the billing series now in this field (be very careful when using the "Change billing series" option as the definition of the series will be changed in every place that it is used); or select "Clear" to remove a billing series from the tracking code definition.

If you leave this field blank, QuickFill links new orders you enter with this tracking code to the default billing series you specified on the publication definition billing tab (click here for details on the publication definition billing tab). When you click on "OK" to save the tracking code definition, QuickFill will enter "Use series specified in publication definition" in this field.

Renewal series
Renewal series for gifts

If you want new orders that you enter with this tracking code assigned to a renewal series other than the default series you specified on the publication definition renewal tab, select that renewal series here. You can select a renewal series to be used for regular subscriptions as well as one to be used for gift subscriptions. (If you enter a 'G' in the 'Gift/Comp' field on the new order form, QuickFill will use the renewal series in the 'Renewal series for gifts' field for the order you are entering.) You can't type directly in this field. Right click and select "Pick renewal series" to select from a list of renewal series you've already defined; select "New renewal series" to create a new series; select "Change renewal series" to change the definition of the renewal series now in this field (be very careful when using the "Change renewal series" option as the definition of the series will be changed in every place that it is used); or select "Clear" to remove a renewal series from the tracking code definition.

If you leave this field blank, QuickFill links new orders you enter with this tracking code to the default renewal series you specified on the publication definition renewal tab (click here for details on the publication definition renewal tab). When you click on "OK" to save the tracking code definition, QuickFill will enter "Use series specified in publication definition" in this field.

List

Select the mailing list to which you want to link this tracking code. You can't type directly in this field. Right click and select "Pick list" to select from the lists you've already defined; select "New list" to create a new list; select "Change list" to change the definition of the list now in this field (be very careful when using the "Change list" option as the definition of the list will be changed in every place that it is used); or select "Clear" to remove a list from the tracking code definition.

You can also use 'Lists' to identify publications where you run advertise ments. That way, you can compare how ads did in various publications.

You don't have to link a tracking code to a list. But you should do so for all tracking codes you use with direct mail promotions. Here's why. By including a mailing list on your tracking code, you can request that QuickFill sort your orders by list when you run several of the reports. Then you can see which lists were most effective.

Package

Select the mailing package to which you want to link this tracking code. You can't type directly in this field. Right click and select "Pick package" to select from a list of packages you've already defined; select "New package" to create a new package; select "Change package" to change the definition of the package now in this field (be very careful when using the "Change package" option as the definition of the package will be changed in every place that it is used); or select "Clear" to remove a package from the tracking code definition.

You don't have to link a tracking code to any package. But you should do so for all tracking codes you use with direct mail promotions. Here's why. By including a package on your tracking code, you can request that QuickFill sort your orders by package when you run several of the reports. Then you can see which packages were most effective.

You can also use 'Package' to identify different space ads so that you can determine which were most effective.

Channel

Select the channel to which you want to link this tracking code. You can't type directly in this field. Right click and select "Pick channel" to select from the channels you've already defined; select "New channel" to create a new channel; select "Change channel" to change the definition of the channel now in this field (be very careful when using the "Change channel" option as the definition of the channel will be changed in every place that it is used); or select "Clear" to remove a channel from the tracking code definition.

As with the mailing list and package fields, you don't have to link a tracking code to a channel. But doing so helps you get more marketing information when you run reports.

If your publication is audited and has paid subscriptions, then every tracking code used for paid subscriptions should be linked to a channel code, and each channel should have the 'Source' field filled in. QuickFill needs this information to construct paragraph 7 of the publisher's statement ("Qualified paid circulation sales").

Salesperson

Select the salesperson to which you want to link this tracking code. You can't type directly in this field. Right click and select "Pick salesperson" to select from the salespeople you've already defined; select "New salesperson" to create a new salesperson; select "Change salesperson" to change the definition of the salesperson now in this field (be very careful when using the "Change salesperson" option as the definition of the salesperson will be changed in every place that it is used); or select "Clear" to remove a salesperson from the tracking code definition.

As with the mailing list, package fields and Channel, you don't have to link a tracking code to a salesperson. But doing so helps you get more marketing information when you run reports.

Marketing Plan

Select the marketing plan to which you want to link this tracking code. You can't type directly in this field. Right click to select from a list of plans you defined earlier. Unlike the list, package, and channel fields, you cannot click on your right mouse button to create or modify a plan. You can only select a plan that has already been defined. (You can define a tracking code that does not include a plan. Why would you want to? In order to define tracking codes, such as WM for "white mail," GIFT for "gift," and so forth.)

If you're creating a new plan for this tracking code, you're better off selecting 'Plans' under 'Marketing' and first defining your plan. Then define—on the 'Marketing Plans' definition screen—the tracking codes you want to use for that plan. That way, QuickFill automatically links these tracking codes to the correct plan. (Click here for details on defining marketing plans.)

Date mailed

If the tracking code you're defining is associated with a direct mail promotion, enter the date the promotion was mailed. If the code is associated with an advertisement, enter the date the advertisement ran. If it is associated with a telemarketing campaign, enter the date on which the calling began. QuickFill prints this date on the 'New order analysis' and 'New order revenue' reports (click here for details on the 'New order analysis' report and the 'New order revenue' report).

Expiration date

Enter an expiration date in this field, and QuickFill won't let you enter orders with this tracking code, once that date is past. Entering an expiration date keeps you from entering orders you receive with old—and obsolete—subscription rates.

Quantity requested

Enter the number of direct mail pieces with this tracking code that you originally intended to mail. This figure is for your information only. QuickFill doesn't use this number.

Quantity mailed

Enter the number of direct mail pieces with this tracking code that you actually mailed. QuickFill prints this number on the 'New order analysis' and 'New order revenue' reports and uses it to calculate the percentage of responses. (Click here for details on the 'New order analysis' report and the 'New order revenue' report.)

Cost per thousand

This field is automatically filled in whenever you select or change a marketing list or package from within the tracking code definition. QuickFill does not automatically update this field if the cost in the associated marketing list or package is changed (without going through the tracking code definition to get to the marketing list or package). This provides the ability to change the cost of a marketing list or package without affecting the cost reported for old tracking codes. You can also override the calculated value by typing directly into this field.

QuickFill uses the amount in the 'Cost per thousand' field in the 'New order revenue' report. If this field contains "0.00," the 'New order revenue' report calculates the cost from the associated marketing list and package. (Click here for details on the 'New order revenue' report.)

Type: Gift, Complimentary, None

Use these radio buttons to identify tracking codes you use for gift and complimentary subscriptions. If you're using this tracking code for regular subscriptions, leave the "Type" section set to the default of 'None'.

Offers

You can include up to nine different offers on one tracking code. Including multiple offers lets you offer terms of different lengths and/or quantity price breaks.  If you are using stepped pricing you must include an offer for each "step" in your pricing structure.

You can also define a tracking code with more than one offer that has the same term and minimum quantity.  This capability is useful when defining tracking codes with offers that differ only in service code and/or price.  For example, let's say that you have a promotion offering new customers a subscription for 12 issues via print at $120 or a subscription for 12 issues via print and email at $140.  Your tracking code definition for this promotion would have two offers for 12 issues and a minimum quantity of 1.  The offers would differ only in price and service code (which would be used to indicate the delivery method for each offer.)

When you enter an order, how does QuickFill know which offer to use? QuickFill determines that based on the term, quantity, and service code specified for the order.

You can't type directly in the 'Offers' fields. Right click and select "Pick offer" to select from a list of offers you've already defined; select "New offer" to create a new offer; select "Change offer" to change the definition of the offer now in this field (be very careful when using the "Change offer" option as the definition of the offer will be changed in every place that it is used); or select "Clear" to remove an offer from the tracking code definition.

When you select the offers to link to the tracking code, you may see one or more offers that look identical. However, they actually differ in some minor detail, such as the billing option. If you're not sure which offer is which, select one by right clicking and then selecting "Pick offer," then right click and select "Change offer" (with the cursor still in the field) to view the complete offer definition. If you didn't select the offer you wanted, right click and select "Pick offer" again to select another one.

 

Discount for prepayment

If you give a discount for orders received with payment, enter the amount of the discount in one of these two fields.  You can express the discount as either a dollar amount or as a percentage.  The dollar amount discount is calculated on a per-copy basis.  If a customer orders a gift subscription to be sent to two addresses, then they will receive twice the amount of the discount.

Export this tracking code to the web server

This checkbox is only present for users of the QuickFill Internet Extensions (QFIE).  Check this box to indicate whether or not you want this tracking code to be available for orders received via the Internet.  Normally you would only export the tracking codes that correspond to your current offers and promotions to the QFIE server.

 

You can also change the definition of a tracking code by moving the cursor to that code and double clicking on it, or clicking once on "Change." You can delete a tracking code that is not being used by moving the cursor on the code you want to delete and clicking on "Delete."

Click here for information on how to merge tracking codes.

 

See Also