Database: Green Your Data Management
Direct Mail Content Merging
Another core area of customer communications waste reduction centers on direct mail content merging. Consider the fact that a large financial services organization that has grown through mergers and acquisitions will typically send its customers financial statements and other information regarding their savings accounts, checking accounts, mortgage accounts, brokerage accounts, equity loans and so on. All of these different communications typically go out in separate communications. Using customer data management, companies can merge this diversity of content streams into a single envelope, avoiding excess labor, materials and postage costs while also providing a rich experience for customers around the totality of the relationship they have with the institution.
One emerging trend, called transpromo, represents a confluence of customer data management and technology around digital variable print processes. Marketing materials that previously would have traveled in a separate mailer can now be placed onto a transactional document, such as a billing statement (usually by spraying the message as a billboard inside the bill rather than adding a paper insert).
Piggybacking on a communications vehicle that has a nearly 100 percent open rate enables marketers to not only save money, but also send more intelligent cross-sell and upsell promotions to existing customers while improving the likelihood that their messages will be read. Here, again, the benefits of merging two distinct communication streams into one envelope are obvious from a green marketing perspective.
By investing in improvements in data quality, companies can achieve higher cross-sell/upsell potential. A recent Aberdeen Group survey of 125 diverse enterprises revealed that 77 percent of best-in-class companies, compared with only 3 percent of laggards, improved their year-over-year performance in cross-sell/upsell effectiveness as a result of improved customer data quality practices.
Dramatically reducing the amount of untargeted and returned mail also can result in substantial costs savings, given the high price of paper, printing and postage. What's more, by correcting an address, companies not only ensure deliverability of their customer communications, but also maximize their postal discounts.