Marketing without targeting is not a winning strategy. Most of us are bombarded with hundreds of messages a day that aren’t relevant or valuable, so we delete, toss, and tune out. Marketing wins are based on data analytics. Data allows you to hit the right note with your intended audiences.
Remember generic bill stuffers for example? For a while they worked well, and in some cases still do. People actually look at them when they open bills or other transactional documents. Recently though, on-document messaging has become a more effective and more economical data-driven strategy.
On-document messaging refers to marketing offers printed directly on a bill or other transactional document. Its growth is driven by a couple of developments. Over the last few years, customer data collection and analytics tools have become readily available and easier to use. At the same time, variable printing capabilities have expanded and improved with higher quality, faster speeds, and larger color gamut. With these tools at hand, on-document messaging offers a lot of potential.
Consumers open and study their transactional documents. This is true whether you print or email the document, making on-document messaging an easy crossover strategy. The chances of your message being seen are nearly 100%.
If you’re printing a bill, and almost half of transactional documents are still being printed, it’s easy to add another element to the printed piece. You will save on printing, paper, and mailing costs that you would otherwise spend to run a separate direct mail marketing campaign.
Admittedly, no one likes bills, but they carry a built-in trust factor. A bill is already personalized and contains private information about the recipient, so customers won’t perceive an added message, such as an offer for a reduced rate to renew a loan, as intrusive. Messages from trusted sources resonate more strongly.
Data for Dynamic Marketing
Not surprisingly, the most effective on-document messages are relevant and useful. That means they have to be data driven. You can make offers to your customers based on location, gender, buying habits, age, or any data point you identify as key. You can customize individually.
For example, a financial institution can target customers that might benefit from a new loan rate or new account service, or insurance companies could target seniors with new products designed just for them. Refined data mining will reveal which customers are the best targets, such as those due to renegotiate their loans or coming up for other service renewals.
If you don’t have any specific offers to make, consider including educational messages or other valuable tips to strengthen the customer relationship. Think energy saving tips from utilities companies; appointment reminders from health companies, or even just a simple happy birthday wish on a retailer’s bill with a special in-store offer.
If you don’t intend to market your own products and services, an affiliated advertiser may pay to gain access to your audience and place ads on your transactional documents. Select advertisers carefully to protect your brand. The advertised products and services should be logically connected to your own. Some organizations donate space on their transactional documents for messages from charities or community events.
On-document messages can be great drivers to online promotions via secure personal URL’s (PURLS). With the right audience and the right offer, this approach can be highly effective. A tempting offer, with a PURL or a QR code for an easy call to action, can lead to a digital touch point that delivers an immersive customer experience.
The options are endless. From a simple promo to a sophisticated cross-channel marketing campaign, on-document messaging is a powerful tool. Talk to us about how to combine your data with our customer communication management expertise to turn your bills into selling opportunities.