Gain a Strategic Edge in 2016 with Paperless Communication Programs
In speaking with many of our customers as 2015 drew to a close, I found the goal of many organizations for 2016 is to grow their paperless communications program. While print communication programs are still very important to companies and its customers, moving towards more paperless communications has many advantages. Paperless communication programs allow for email notifications or SMS text messages to be sent to your customers to notify them when their documents, such as their statements, invoices and bills, are ready for viewing online.
One of the biggest benefits companies receive when their customers move towards paperless communications is that they are able to learn a lot more information about their customers than what they would know through print-only communications. This information includes:
- Total emails sent and delivered – How many messages were not only distributed, but also how many customers successfully received your message.
- Total emails opened – The total number of times the recipient opened the email message.
- Unique opens – The number of recipients from your distribution list that opened the email at least once.
- Total clicks – The total number of times any URL was registered by the email system.
- Unique clicks – The number of unique email addresses or recipients on the list/file that clicked at least once on a URL within the email message. (Clicks allow you to measure the quality of the content as you can see if the recipient took the action you wanted them to take.)
- Hard bounces – Shows what messages failed to be delivered, such as when email addresses have changed or are incorrect.
After analyzing your paperless program results, I typically like to recommend to companies to deploy a “Go Paperless Campaign.” Through the strategies listed below, the campaign allows you to learn where the sweet spots are, so you can get more of your customers to move from print to paperless.
- Test different subject lines – In 2015, the average open rate of notification type emails across all industries Venture serves was 45%, but some percentages were as high as 75%. To achieve a higher open rate percentage, change up your subject lines. All too often, transactional-type subject lines become repetitive which often causes the recipient to stop opening your message. A good rule of thumb is to test over a 1-3 month period with different subject lines to accurately determine what subject line achieves the highest results.
- Test different content – Test how results are impacted when you alter linked logos, images and/or hyper-linked words and buttons.
- Test email blast frequency – Companies are often worried about sending email blasts to their customers in fear of making them mad or turning them away from wanting to receive paperless communications. During your “Go Paperless Campaign,” I recommend testing different timeframes between your email blasts to see how the timing impacts your program metrics. From my experience, if you blast your customers three times in one week, you may see unfavorable results, however, if you space your communications out more, say to once a week, you may see your program metrics increase.
If you want to grow your paperless communication programs even further, look for an expert who specializes in these communication avenues. Make sure to find someone who can offer advanced reporting and someone who also specializes in print communications as they can analyze your entire communication program and offer strategies to grow both avenues.
To learn more about paperless communication programs and how you can have a successful program this year, visit us online.