Why Are U.S. Marketers Sleeping on Transpromo?

Manny Kostas, senior vice president, worldwide strategy and marketing, for HP’s Imaging and Printing Group.

Empresas Jordan S.A., the largest transactional printing service bureau in Latin America, creates transpromotional documents and subsidizes the printing costs for its clients by selling transpromo white space. But the statements not only drive revenue, they drive response. One Jordan client, a supermarket, adopted transpromo statement mailers as part of its shopper loyalty program, driving response rates from .4 percent up to 5.5 percent.

Credomatic, a financial services firm serving several countries in Latin America, transitioned its statements to transpromo as a way to increase client satisfaction in a challenging economic environment. Credomatic switched to transpromo once its service bureau, Cargraphics, upgraded its printing speed and data processing capabilities. The increased efficiencies allowed Credomatic to complete its switch to transpromo without incurring additional costs for statement printing.

Why Not in the U.S.?
There are many other examples of transpromo used with great success overseas, but domestically, the story has been a bit different. American companies, and those in other large countries like the United Kingdom, naturally have bigger customer bases and proportionally larger service bureau costs for statements.

The larger scale gives many marketers the impression that the digital color printing needed for transpromo is unaffordable, but that is changing. Newer inkjet digital presses come close to electrophotography in print quality, but are significantly faster. The faster speed reduces the cost per color page, and for many companies, this shift will put transpromo within reach for the very first time.

Many firms have recently gone through the effort of redesigning their bills to meet the requirements of the CARD Act, and are waiting for more economic justification before doing another redesign to accommodate transpromo. In some cases, companies’ recent redesigns include space for non-personalized promotional marketing messaging. For those firms that took the initiative to secure marketing space, the next step will involve working with their marketing teams to fully develop the messages, data analysis, trigger points and monitoring systems needed to turn that space to color transpromo.

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  • Nancy Scott

    This is the No. 1 UNANSWERED direct mail question of the last two years! I wrote extensively about transpromo for a client in 2010, but nobody took the bait. With digital/variable printing capabilities, transpromo appears to be a no-brainer, but U.S. billers still aren’t adopting. Why, indeed?

  • Anne

    Why don’t people know the difference between poring and pouring?

  • marybaum

    Or lose and loose? People keep talking about loosing things, and I keep imagining them falling all around them on the floor. If you loose it, just reach down and pick it up! If you lose it, now you’ve got a problem.

  • Prints Charming

    Doesn’t it have to do with Postal regulations regarding mail pieces that are for billing/invoicing purposes. Maybe adding the advertising message changes the way the PO looks at the piece