According to an article I recently read by InfoTrends, 63% of customers prefer promotional pieces over purely transactional documents. For this reason, “incorporating promotional messaging in transaction documents can both boost the appeal of a transactional document and generate a higher read rate for the marketing message.”
When I read this, I had to stop and think about that again. Putting a promotional message on a transactional document can “generate a higher read rate for the marketing message.” On the surface, this makes sense. Use something people like more (promotional messages) to boost readership of something people like less (transactional documents).
But as usual, I had to re-think it in a contrarian way. You are hitching the more desirable (the marketing message) to the less desirable (the transactional document). In some ways, you could argue that, by doing so, it’s like putting flat tires on a sports car. Of course, you could argue the other way, too, and that’s what is being done here. Bills have nearly a 100% open rate. You can’t say that about most direct mail, even highly personalized direct mail. By attaching the marketing message to the transactional document, you are increasing the chance of eyeball exposure.
I guess what struck me was its over-simplicity. As analysts and consultants, we are prone to blithe and pithy statements that make great pull quotes. But we need to be careful not to over-simplify.
I mean, another way to put this is that, if you’re talking about transpromo credit card statements, for example, and if credit card statements irritate people (which they do), you’re hoping that your marketing message catches the coattails of something that people fundamentally don’t like and that irritates them. Those marketing messages better be cheap to add!
It’s just another way to look at it. I’ll be available for tomato throwing later