Managing Print on the Way to Digital
Despite rumors of it being dead, print is alive and well.
Although print may not be as interactive as its digital counterpart, approximately 70% of consumers choose to receive their most essential communications, like statements and bills, in print (Annual State of Transactional Communications: Consumer Survey, Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends 2018). But, it’s not a case of print versus digital; customer preferences and regulations create the need to marry these two communication strategies to achieve the optimal experience.
Across all industries, companies are facing increased pressure to lower print and mail costs while addressing declining volumes, outdated equipment and upcoming lease renewals. Many organizations naturally turn to digital as one way to offset these costs, but creating value, and revenue, by also leveraging print communications could be a smarter, longer-term strategy.
Following are five ways we see companies managing print on the way to digital and getting the most value from a combined communication strategy:
1) Hit the target.
With enterprise-wide data initiatives, companies are opting to move away from mass mailings and their associated expense. With propensity modeling and analytic tools, companies can identify their most profitable, qualified prospects and target those mailings. We anticipate this trend will continue, as data-driven efficiencies are creating measurable ROI.
2) Grab attention.
With 86 percent of consumers saying personalization plays a role in their purchasing decisions, many companies are adding personalized marketing offers on every component of the print package - from documents to envelopes. Color, which is becoming more cost effective, also continues to make an impact in print communications by improving readership 40 percent, learning from 55-78 percent and comprehension as much as 73 percent.
3) It’s a package deal.
To cut through the clutter, creative packaging has been added to the print mix. For example, one new approach for proxy communications is to send investors a clear polywrap of their annual report to showcase the mailing contents and entice investors to vote their proxy. Another creative way to capture attention is to combine sealed envelopes in one larger mailing package going to the same address; this provides companies with a way to optimize mailings and reduce costs while offering customers one convenient delivery.
4) Make it stick.
Most of the envelopes and inserts we mail on behalf of our clients include a “Go digital” message. Regularly updating the message – in copy and design – helps keep it fresh, but, like anything, it can become “noise” that customers begin to overlook. One unique print technique that has proven to grow digital adoption is embedding a sticky note within the envelope. Specifically, a diecut section of the wall of the envelope remains smooth and secure as part of the envelope, yet is easily removed and used as a sticky note. One company used this approach to encourage its customers to go digital and saw their adoption rate more than double within the first two months of its use.
5) DIY alternatives.
For companies with an in-house print operation, outsourcing is becoming a more attractive option, especially with the introduction of advanced technologies. Historically, one of the biggest barriers to outsource was the conversion effort. With new technology that supports faster onboarding, the heavy lift is removed from the company’s IT resources and onboarding time is greatly reduced, by 40 percent on average.
Print remains an effective customer touchpoint in our digital world. As you manage print on the way to digital, it’s important to understand your true costs, consider the quality of your communications and how they create value for your customers, and stay ahead with innovative omnichannel technologies that will prepare you for tomorrow’s next channel.
About the Authors
Bob Kalenka is chief operations officer of the Customer Communications Business for Broadridge Financial Solutions and a member of the executive committee. In this role, Kalenka leads more than 2,500 associates that focus on product delivery and client services. Kalenka is also on the executive committee of the Leadership Development Program, which is comprised of 1,000 Broadridge leaders and is aimed at developing and improving the managerial and leadership skills of the membership. Prior to joining Broadridge, Kalenka held a variety of senior level positions at Automatic Data Processing from 1992-2007, and The Independent Election Corporation of America from 1987-1992. Additionally, he spent three years in public accounting where he became a Certified Public Accountant. Kalenka graduated from St. John’s University in 1984 with a B.S. in Accounting and earned an MBA in Finance in 1991.
As Senior VP of Operations, Gary Abitz oversees day-to-day operations and delivery for Broadridge Customer Communications business. In this role, Abitz is responsible for implementing best practices across the enterprise and, ultimately, transforming the Customer Communications business. Abitz is responsible for BRCC Client Relations where his focus is driving a world-class client experience.