I recently attended the 2013 Xplor User Conference and Vendor Forum for professionals in the print and electronic document management industry. In session after session, presenters shared viewpoints and statistics that herald the rise of digital communications for transactional documents, greater customer engagement and improved electronic document adoption. According to InfoTrends presenter Matt Swain, open rates for printed bills and statements actually increased from 95% to 97% since 2008, while at the same time open rates for electronic bills and statements were pegged at 96% (although they are more likely to be discarded).
What to make of this seeming paradox?
The truth is that the future of customer communications lies in a marriage of print and digital –particularly mobile – channels. InfoTrends notes that bills and statements enjoy some of the highest open rates of any printed product, with digital conversion rates rising as more channels are introduced.
We can use this data to our competitive advantage by leveraging printed documents to drive customers into a rich mobile experience that increases their satisfaction and brand engagement through convenient self-service and informative content. We can use integrated communications management platforms to “close the loop” on customer conversations, applying what we learn about our customers – where they are, what they want and which channel they prefer – to cross-sell, upsell and build brand loyalty. By adding social media to the mix, we can turn customers into high-powered brand advocates.
Print and digital integration can start with something as simple as a QR barcode on a bill or statement. It can increase in sophistication with NFC tags, SMS alerts, mobile apps and mobile websites. And by adding a content marketing platform, we can drive marketing campaigns that encompass both print and digital channels for greater impact, more robust customer experiences and improved ROI.
How are you integrating print and digital today? Where will you go next? Please share your thoughts below.