Printing and graphic arts professionals know that white space is power. It provides the freedom for graphical elements to communicate their message. White space directs the eye to text that will sway opinion and drive behavior. But an abundance of white space has the opposite effect. Photo and text elements appear lost in a sea of white. The key is balance and making the best use of white space. Blank areas have value. This is especially true for transactional documents. Promotional, informational, or educational content added to white space costs document-producers next to nothing. With an intelligent document composition tool, form designers control white space to communicate relevant information. Documents have three kinds of white space: fixed, lost, and creative.
Fixed White SpaceFixed white space is present at the same location in every document, such as an area at the top of the first page reserved for “Important Messages”. Fixed white space is the same size and shape on every document. This space is predictable and easy to fill. Document designers often fill fixed white space with a general message that is important to some recipients but overlooked by the rest. It is better than nothing but misses several opportunities. A composition engine with prescribed business rules can insert variable relevant messaging that is interesting to each customer into fixed white space, increasing the value of the document.
Lost White SpaceLost white space appears at the end of a document when the number of detail lines does not fill the space reserved for them. The amount of lost white space varies from document to document in the same print run. Meg did lots of shopping and has only a few lines of white space left on her bill. Jack bought nothing and has almost an entire page of white space in his statement. Lost white space is less manageable than fixed white space. Because it is variable, lost white space must be executed dynamically. Business rules determine which messages to insert into each document and their relative priority. The composition engine makes its choice based on the available space.
Creative White SpaceCreative white space does not exist until a document composition engine generates it. The composition tool considers the number of detail lines and the business rules to add the perfect message for the recipient. Data values and keywords in the detail lines trigger the application to search its library for the best insert. A good example would be an ad promoting a recommended accessory that appears on an invoice directly following the detail line that describes the purchase of an item.
Transpromo: A Cliffs Notes DefinitionTranspromo is a blended word born to the union of “transactional” and “promotional.” It is the practice of adding marketing offers to transactional documents. Businesses often construct these messages to encourage customers to try a product they are not using. Variable data printing powered by a composition engine is required for effective transpromo implementation.
White Space OpportunityWhite space always exists on a typical account statement. It can range from a few lines to an entire page. The opportunities white space offers are only limited by your imagination. Options include:
- Cross-selling – Promote a product the customer has never purchased.
- Up-selling – Promote the deluxe version of the product the customer is currently purchasing.
- Regulatory – Is the state where the customer lives making a change related to your product?
- Informational – Is there something new to learn about the product they purchased?
- Customer service – Promote easy returns of orders or phone support.
- Affiliate advertising – Sell the white space to a business that offers products complementary to yours.
- Loyalty – Offer a gift or a discount to a long-term customer.