IS FUNDING YOUR CUSTOMER COMMUNICATIONS
A STRUGGLE? Here are some ways to increase customer engagement and save money in the process.
By Paul Abdool
very day you go to work, you are asked to come up with new ways to add incremental value — already a momentous task in this day and age. To make things even more challenging, the senior management team often wants you to add that value while reducing budgets and improving the overall customer experience. In addition, they want to replace the current communications that have been traditionally printed and mailed by turning them into digital messages that implement multi-channel and cross-channel communications. This trend driving communications towards digital avenues is not that new; it’s been coming for 20 years. However, we are on the cusp of another plateau breakthrough. We saw early adopters jump on the electronic presentment and payment bandwagon at the turn of the century, but numbers were modest — five to eight percent. Now, we are seeing 20-25% adop22
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2017 | MailingSystemsTechnology.com
tion. With the prevalence of mobile devices and some new technology introduced by the USPS, we are poised to see another increase in digital communication adoption. Before we go further, let’s establish a few facts and definitions. The USPS has seen a steady decline in First-Class mail volume over the last few years. To combat this decline, it has introduced some promotions to incent mailers and marketers to send more mail by reducing postage costs. The 2017 promotions included: 1. Earned Value Earned credits, once approved and accepted, will be credited to the permit accounts and can then be applied to future mailings when business reply envelopes are used. 2. Personalized Color Transpromo When personalized color transpromotional messaging is used in bills and statements, an upfront postage discount is provided.
3. Emerging & Advanced Technology Mailers who create mail pieces that use at least one form of approved emerging or advanced technologies will receive a postage discount. 4. Tactile, Sensory, & Interactive Engagement Eligible mailers who incorporate a multi-sensory experience into their mail piece may receive a postage discount. 5. Direct Mail Starter This promotion is for first-time mailers to promote offers that incorporate the use of print-mobile technology (up to 10,000 mail pieces). 6. Mobile Shopping Eligible mail pieces that integrate mobile technology that direct customers to an online “Buy Button” may receive a discount on postage