Capitalizing on transactional documents

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Jennifer Loder, CSG International
Jennifer Loder, CSG International

This year the average consumer will see or hear more than one million marketing messages—that's almost 3,000 per day. But what happens when messages are sent within a printed business document? You may be surprised to know that they get read.

According to research from Pitney Bowes, printed bills garner more of the consumer's time than other channels, even when compared to the same content in electronic format. In other words, despite the advent of e-billing, most likely your utility bill or bank statement is read more often in print.

Given the choice, consumers prefer receiving information about new products and services via postal mail—yet only 23% of statements carry advertising or personalized cross-selling messages. Here are four tips to adding marketing messages to billing statements:

1. Design matters. Consistent placement of information enables customers to easily locate promotional and new product announcements. Consider using columns to encourage multiple reading paths and be sure to consolidate and isolate billing, marketing, and administrative information. The goal of any statement redesign is to reduce confusion and eliminate clutter.

2. Know your audience. Be sure to personalize content to deliver maximum relevance to each customer. This kind of approach encourages broad customer relationships and demonstrates commitment to addressing client needs.

3. Think in color. Color guides readers to important message points, incites response, and maximizes visibility. With color, your documents will call for attention and drive effective messaging to instill loyalty and retention, improve bill clarity, reduce call center traffic, and strengthen overall brand image.

4. Think outside the box. What other promotional materials could you include in the mailing of a printed statement? Add-on messages via custom envelopes, inserts, and ad pages further enhance the opportunity for your messages to be read. According to InfoTrends, 95% of all transaction-related communications are opened and read each month—higher than any other form of communication.

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