Tag Archives: Email

How to drive your customer relationships using mail and email

Last year I wrote about the impact of digital on mail and email.multi channel services

Whilst there maybe a genuine perception that print is on the decline the Royal Mail report found otherwise.

Print and email working in collaboration and using cross media marketing, (also referred to as multi channel marketing) works very effectively.

I am often asked for advice on how to go about adopting a multi channel marketing strategy.

Why I will not profess to being a marketing expert my knowledge of print combined with personalisation and social media gives me the objectivity to look at a marketing campaign and help define it for the customer.

I thought I would share with you a recent marketing/print campaign Digital Print Management fulfilled for one of its customers.

stay on targetThe starting point has to be what do you hope to get out of it?

By this, I mean not ‘more business’ or more customers, we all want that but what objectives do you want to get out of your campaign?

Being able to interact with your customers and prospects through multi channel marketing is necessary for companies to get their message out

Here’s an example of a cross media campaign using mail and email ?iStock_000026350319Small

Generating interest with print by using an interesting and engaging format so that when it lands on the doormat the consumer is highly likely to read and do something with it or take action.

A car dealership has a target list of 3,750 customers whom they would like to get in contact with and who haven’t visited their dealership in the last 18 months.

The key objective of marketing to these people is to motivate customers to come back to the dealership by scheduling a routine service and by offering a free oil change and a 15% discount off the standard service.

  • The dealership sends out personalised postcards with PURLs – the postcards and emails are uniquely personalised and individualised according to each customer’s past purchasing history
  • The customers receive the postcards and some do respond to the PURL – the invitation to visit the PURL is a way of inviting the customer to redeem coupons that they can then use at the dealership against a service/oil change
  • The inclusion of a PURL ensures that all the responses and updates are captured and the customer data list is updated
  • The response actions that are captured from the PURL trigger a personalised email which is sent to those respondents who didn’t respond inviting them to click onto the same PURL
  • A follow up email is then scheduled to go out to those who didn’t take up the offer in 5 days

Stacked MailThis is the customer decision stage by sending the prospects a mail piece that communicates a clear and persuasive benefit with a link to your website is more likely to encourage engagement.

When customers respond using the PURL they arrive at a personalised landing page which has their name and address details.

They are asked to confirm or update their details and then request to enter a code which is printed on the email or postcard so they can redeem their coupons.

Once the purchase is made, in this instance the redeeming of coupons an email is generated welcoming them back to the dealership; a welcome pack which is highly personalised is then sent out to them.

Whilst they are redeeming their coupons there are a whole host of other coupons that they can also redeem in exchange for more information about the condition of the car, how old it is, when was the last time they had it serviced, what time of day do they prefer to schedule a service, do they own more than one car from the same manufacturer.

Each coupon they click on encourages the customer to give more information which can later be used for future campaigns.

Where do I start?

Identify your marketing objective? In the above example it was to get in contact with former customers of the car dealership.

Do you have accurate data? In this example the dealership had a defined customer contact base of 3,750 former customers.

What technology or platform are you using? Can you manage this in-house if so how will it be managed and do you have the technology/software and resources to ensure it’s monitored through to completion.


Outsource it to a cross media specialist  who can work with you and design the campaign to meet your objectives.

Empty asphalt road towards cloud and signs symbolizing success a

To ensure successful results there must be a planning process – who is your target audience, which media channels are right, what offer(s) and how then are the responses going to be captured and used.

Keeping the offer relevant and personalised to the customer should yield positive results.

Before managing a large campaign plan a test run with different offers, this will hi-light what works and what doesn’t, the campaign can then be upgraded to include your target audience, whatever the size.

A follow up plan is crucial to keep the momentum going and in this instance the follow up process which included an email could also include a postcard was used where people hadn’t responded in 5 days.

All actions and responses were measured when the customer clicked through to the PURLs.

The highly targeted and personalised win back stage is useful where customers have parted with information but have chosen not to redeem vouchers, sending a follow up mail piece is a useful way of staying in touch with those prospects that didn’t redeem their coupons.

How to avoid the pitfalls

  1. Be selective when it comes to the channels you intend to communicate your offer, too much and it becomes another sales blast.
  2. Whilst I’m a big advocate of personalisation, too much of ‘Hi Caroline, Caroline it’s been 18 months since, Caroline we think you might like this’ and so on then becomes a pain and is immediately off putting.
  3. Make the offer relevant and meaningful
  4. No campaign will be 100% successful first time out. Be prepared to modify, adapt and test the offer
  5. Keep any content either in print or digital relevant to the offer and to your audience

Some things to think about?

Sending paper bills or statements encourages retention and faster payment by using the white space on a paper bill or electronic statement to promote any services and offers you are promoting.

Renewal – as renewal time approaches send your customers a personalised mail piece that reminds them of the benefits they will receive as well as the future benefits they will be able to access after they have renewed with your.

Following up with an email is a great way to get them to make a decision but also makes them feel valued.

You can also find more information here 


Invoice processing – from paper to e-invoicing solutions


Document capture software

Document capture software can improve the speed of your invoice processing and e-invoices can also be incorporated into the flow.

Are you still printing and scanning PDF invoices from your suppliers?

As of January 1st 2013 the European Union issued new legislation that states companies can now store invoices in the format they are sent.

Having a document capture solution allows you to have invoices sent by email to a specific email address where data capture software will automatically retrieve the email and attachments, read the data and input it into the same flow as your paper invoices. Reducing the time taken, reducing costs and eliminating human error by automating the process.

By removing the need to print the invoice and then scan the document you are cutting down on paper usage.

Encouraging suppliers to send e-invoices by email ensures the process is faster and cheaper.

So how does the document capture solution work?

Data capture software automatically imports email attachments such as invoices, order forms and applications straight into the capture software where information is then extracted and managed.

The software automatically detects any attachment – PDF, XML, TIF, PNG and transfers it to the data capture software. Incoming mail attachments can be approved in a matter of seconds and as each email is processed it is removed from the mail server and archived, there is no limit on the number of invoices or forms entering the system as removing from the server will ensure there is no overload.

Forms processing and Automation Invoice Processing

‘Forms’ captures and processes all types of forms in any format. The software reads handwritten text, machine print, barcodes, check boxes, circles, tables and matrixes.

Automatic forms processing is much faster than the manual keying of information it reduces time and money and the information is accurate.

Automated Document Processing

‘Documents’ automates the processing of incoming email to cut operational costs typically by a third. Staff aren’t tied up in laborious tasks of sifting, sorting, identifying and classifying mail items this task is automatically managed by the process. Any incoming paper mail is added to the scanner without any separator sheets  and the software sorts and classifies the documents. Any electronic documents are easily incorporated into the flow.

E-invoicing solutions

E-invoicing solutions can detect any attachment PDF, TIF, XML, PNG and transfer it to the data capture software

Automated import of email attachments

‘Collector’ automatically imports email attachments such as invoices, order forms and applications straight into the capture software where the information is then extracted and interpreted.

Collector detects any attachment PDF, XML, TIF, PNG and transfers it to ReadSoft’s© data capture software.

Statistics on your invoice processing

The web based ‘reporter’ helps you keep track of documents and costs and provides accurate real time information.

Document capture software enables automation of invoices received via email and the benefits include:-

A reduction in handling costs as there is no need to manually check incoming email attachments. As long as they arrive in the correct inbox they are opened and imported automatically

  1. The speed of invoice processing is increased because incoming invoices are automatically entered on to the system
  2. Improved control as email is sorted automatically and all sender information is retained
  3. The software enables capturing of text files, PDF, XML, TIF, PNG from email attachments
  4. Importing of emailed invoices into the system is seamless
  5. Easy set up
  6. Completely transparent
  7. Seamless integration with the majority of financial systems

For more information on how to automate your invoice processing and to implement an e-invoicing solution please fill in the contact form and one of our expert advisors will be touch.

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