The digital color print market has experienced dramatic changes over the past year. Inkjet technology is taking hold, providing organizations with more choices for addressing high-volume transactional/direct mail applications and offering an affordable alternative to pre-printed color shells. These new developments make it possible to produce full color variable data and image-oriented documents where personalized information was historically limited to monochrome text. Océ’s JetStream printers offer high quality and are cost-effective at the highest speeds, even if the documents contain the corporate logo and footers only, or graphs, pictures, and full-color photos. The result is a significant enhancement to marketing communications as well as positive ramifications for overall operations.
There is no question about the role that color plays in business communications. Color increases brand recognition and improves response rates. Organizations use color strategically depending on the purpose of the document. By blending transaction data and full color customer-specific messages into sophisticated communications, you can turn transaction documents (e.g., bills, statements, purchase orders) into attention-grabbing marketing tools that reinforce branding and promote a dialogue with customers to cross-sell and up-sell products and services. Blending transaction data with personalized color enables you to avoid the “swamp effect” of classical mass mailings because you have an all-in-one document instead of a separate promotional flyer.
Business documents that need to communicate important information rely on color to make them reader-friendly. The advent of inkjet technology means that business document content previously printed in gray scale can affordably be rendered in vivid full color using unprinted paper. Color logos, branding elements, charts, data-driven graphics, key marketing messages, and critical document elements (like the amount due) can simply be printed simultaneously in color on Océ JetStream devices along with the transaction data.
“White paper in and color out” also delivers improved turnaround time. For today’s marketing executives, nothing is more important than time-to-market. The vast majority of the direct mail produced today is pre-printed on offset and digitally overprinted in monochrome. The production of mass direct mail in digital full process color is still in its early stages. The elimination of pre-printed shells through full-color digital direct mail reduces the time-to-market for direct mail campaigns (from design to distribution) from weeks to days.
Imagine the improvements and cost-savings in warehousing, processes, and workflow when pre-printed forms are eliminated. Users of Océ JetStream products have highlighted key areas where their clients achieved significant savings by going to a white paper solution. These include:
- A reduction in postal costs by consolidating jobs into a single run, thereby increasing the number of mail pieces that qualify for the maximum postal discounts
- A reduction in storage and management of multiple paper stocks and selective inserts
- The elimination of separate direct mail pieces sent to existing customers (replacement with full page, dynamic in-statement promotions
In many cases, clients didn’t just save money… they made money. End-users as well as service providers benefited from the implementation of a white paper solution. Service providers were able to reduce costs associated with inventory management, paper changes, and improved inserter efficiency. They were also able to reduce turnaround times and improve quality metrics. One Océ user, DST Output, estimated that going with a full-color, white-paper-in solution that also supported MICR enabled the company to produce two to three times the volume with half the warehouse space and 75% less staff.
The Simple Message
High-speed inkjet and “white paper in, color out” is delivering value to marketers and service providers alike. It provides enhanced communications and market opportunity through affordable digital color and the associated improvement in response rates, time to market, and reduced call center traffic. For high-volume producers, it is also becoming an operational imperative for overall cost reduction.