If You Can’t Get the Paper, Use What You’ve Got!

Rising costs have hit every aspect of doing business. Sourcing paper, which has been in relatively short supply of late for most printing operations, is chalking up significant price increases as well. The double whammy of tight supply and rising costs can leave many companies and marketers who rely on printed mail communications in a quandary.

One effective option that saves on pricey paper and eliminates the cost of expensive stand-alone mailings is to maximize the white space on transactional documents. Use this technique on documents such as bills, invoices, statements, or purchase orders to convey marketing messages and other communications.

The Value of White Space

The white space on a bill is what’s left over when the expenses for the month have been itemized. White space repurposed for promotional intent makes imminent sense for many reasons. Companies already print or email transactional documents each month. High engagement is a given as open rates are almost 100%, and imbedded marketing messages leverage a supplier/client relationship that’s based on trust.

White space management costs next to nothing. The production and mailing costs of an invoice are the same whether the space is used for a chart or is left blank. Using the white space with a sales offer can extend the value and purpose of a phone bill or invoice. It’s a great way to stretch marketing dollars.

Every transactional document has unused white space. A credit card statement with few transactions can end halfway on the second page, leaving a substantial amount of real estate open for messaging. There’s usually white space at the top of most documents, or you can creatively generate white space during the design and layout process. This is the most versatile use of white space since you can strategically incorporate marketing messages where they are most likely to be seen.

Business rules dictate which messages appear, and under what conditions. Different sized content can be inserted according the available space on individual documents.

Promote, Inform, or Educate

White space usage is limited only by the imagination. Some ideas include cross selling to promote a service or product, providing information customers may find valuable, offering loyalty rewards to long-time customers, or announcing service enhancements or upcoming events. You can add content to transactional documents to drive traffic to a website or encourage recipients to download an app. Offer customers new services or make local public service announcements with otherwise unused space and eliminate a separate mailing that consumes paper, postage, and production expense.

Taking it a step further, when the possibilities of content creation are married to the power of data, it’s possible to produce highly customized or personalized variable data documents with offers that target groups or individuals.

For even more eye-catching appeal, add data-driven graphics, bar codes, QR codes, or pURLs.

Generating high-value business documents need not be difficult. A software system like DocOrigin with the Business Communication Center (BCC) allows marketers to choose where to insert marketing messages. Include data-driven ads within the body of the document to connect an offer or informational message directly to the line item to which it refers. Create high-engagement communication using customer profiles, buying history, or trigger events.

Value-Add Transactional Documents

A versatile system can also automate the statement generation process, embed bar charts or charts. You can print documents, email them directly to customers, or create HTML pages customers can view on any browser.

Professionally designed templates make it easy to stay up to date on the latest designs that show how transactions are conducted, such as remittance slips or signing up for autopay.

When properly used, white space on business documents ticks all the boxes: cost efficiencies, high engagement, and great ROI. When supply issues threaten to sideline a marketing campaign, turning bills and invoices into marketing vehicles makes all the sense in the world.