Is White Space a Wasted Opportunity?

Companies spend millions of dollars to send millions of customer statements each and every month. While the stats and numbers can vary, let’s assume that it costs your company approximately one dollar to print a simple, one page statement. Then add to that the cost of an envelope and the postage; another dollar or so, give or take. Now multiply that $2.00 by the number of mail pieces that go out the door each month and my guess is that your company now has invested a significant amount of money into this routine customer communications process. So the question becomes: is that investment simply a lost cost, or are you wasting an important opportunity to build revenue instead?

Customer Bills and Statements Get Noticed

Customers are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages each day through the internet, television, radio and social media. Most of those messages are ignored as part of the endless chatter of today’s media. But monthly customer bills and statements get noticed and often rise above the clutter or competing communications. Indeed, analysts tell us that plain old paper is experiencing a comeback; especially when the content is directly relevant to each recipient. In other words, people most often open and read their monthly statements — you can’t say that for many other forms of customer communication.

Types of White Space

On any typical statement there exists open “white space” that does not contain any text or images. Depending on the design of the document and the content included, this white space can be significant, often leaving potentially valuable real estate on each page unused. There are three types of white space:

  • Fixed Space – area that is intentionally left open, such as the area in the header or footer, so it can be used for branding or advertising using post-process legacy software solutions – or in pre-processing, using next-generation solutions to provide inserter-ready documents.
  • Dynamic Space – area that is available only when dynamic content does not fill the space. For example, area left at the end of a page or end of a document. Traditionally this was lost space, but this space can used for powerful branding, up-sell and or community messaging.
  • Creative Space – area that is created dynamically between line items, or sections of a form to place relevant information based on the item or service being purchased or inquired about. Next generation solutions can make document more valuable than ever with creative space.

Leveraging White Space

Companies already invest the time, money and effort to create recurring monthly customer statements. Why not leverage each “customer appointment” by including relevant and targeted messaging for additional products and services? It costs six times more to gain a new customer than it does to sell to an existing one, so leveraging unused white space on customer-facing documents that are already being sent just makes good business sense. And as social media continues to point the way to more relevant communications, using white space for individualized and targeted messaging becomes a natural progression.

Moving Forward

There are a number of factors to consider in the proper use of white space; important strategic and technical issues that must be addressed. At Eclipse, we’re here to help. We pioneered the use of Dynamic White Space Management, and our flagship product DocOrigin has a number of advanced tools and capabilities to make it happen. Contact us today to learn more.