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Transactional Mail

Posted on Thursday, December 2nd, 2004 by


Transactional mail might be considered very last century, but guess what? It’s effective.

For small businesses, transactional mail – specifically, customer bills and statements – can help build loyalty and bolster the bottom line.

Today, with “Do Not Call” lists and pending anti-spam legislation, staying in touch with customers has become more and more of a challenge. But one channel is always open: transactional mail. It is the one form of B2C communications that customers can’t ignore.

Optimizing the traditional mail channel is particularly important at a time when businesses are focusing more on customer retention and loyalty than customer acquisition. Why? The numbers tell the story. Today, in many instances, as much as 88 percent of business is derived from just 6 percent of a total customer base. Recognizing this, businesses are building their direct marketing budgets to increase transactional mailing capabilities. According to recent market studies, companies and financial institutions plan to increase mail from the current 43.5 percent of their direct market budget to 50.6 percent in 2005.

Ship-Shape
Does your small business rely on direct-mailed products, samples and marketing messages? The
Pitney Bowes B700 Postal Machine prints postage for letters, oversized envelopes and packages for first-class mailings, Priority Mail, Express Mail and Parcel Post—from the home or office. For more information, go to www.pitneyworks.com.
Direct Mail Delivers
Has your company used an inventive direct-mail campaign with great success? Share your story with us—and other small-business owners—at
Priority Magazine, 1707 L St., NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036.
Or e-mail details to feedback@
priority.com.

Transactional mail is key to securing customer retention, generating feedback and, perhaps most important, building the value of the customer base. Still, many businesses are not yet realizing the full benefits of transactional mail. For some the perception remains that it is not cost-effective to rely on so-called “campaigns of one” in the mail channel. Today, however, the tools and technologies exist to provide cost-effective, one-to-one marketing and customized promotional and transactional mail capabilities for small businesses.

How do you ensure that you get full value from your transactional mailing efforts? For one thing, you must establish the capability to track and trace the results of the mailings. With limited or zero visibility into the transactional channel, mailings are at best ineffective. Often, too, transactional messaging isn’t integrated into other customer touch points. What’s needed is closed-loop, multi-channel customer communications management. It’s also critical to integrate your marketing and transactional mail systems and customer data.

The cost of accomplishing this? A better question is the cost of not
optimizing the transactional channel. Of all the means of interacting with customers—including e-mail and phone—transactional mail provides optimal return on cost.

Bernie Gracy is the vice president and general manager of professional services, document messaging technologies, at Pitney Bowes.

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