The Mail Automation Advantage

How highly regulated industries can benefit from mail automation.

Automation is transforming mail channel marketing and is becoming increasingly popular in highly regulated industries such as insurance and financial services, with good reason. Most organizations look to achieve fiscal efficiencies with automation. However, highly regulated industries contend with the additional challenge of maintaining regulatory compliance. Mail automation removes many of the error-prone manual processes involved in channel marketing and can give businesses more control over the entire process.

Email marketing has been the channel of choice for the last few years for many organizations because it allows for quick turnaround times and is perceived to be more cost-effective than mail. However, digital clutter has weakened email response rates; at the same time, cyber security concerns are skyrocketing. As a result, mail is emerging as the channel of choice for many businesses. Direct mail enjoys a 90% open rate, while email open rates are only 20-30%. Email is also becoming highly problematic for highly regulated industries such as financial services. With 91% of all cyber-attacks caused by phishing emails to unsuspecting victims, consumers are becoming increasingly wary of opening emails even if they know the sender. With direct mail, the consumer trust rate is high. Approximately 76% of people say they trust ads they receive in the mail.

Automation has enabled mail to offer many of the benefits realized by email, including cost efficiencies while helping to improve regulatory compliance. “In the collections industry, for example, automation allows businesses to use data points such as credit history and payment behaviour to target communications to customer groups more likely to respond to specific offers. A particular payment plan might be more attractive to one group than another, lowering contact costs and improving collection results. It can also help identify those that will respond to mail versus those that require more labour-intensive strategies such as phone calls.”, says John Leonard, V.P. Sales and Marketing, Cover-All Business Communication Management. At the same time, mail automation with self-serve capabilities allows businesses to have control over their mail documents to make changes on a case-by-case basis, improving messaging accuracy, regulatory compliance, and speed to market.

Drive Higher Response Rates

Mail automation can quickly and easily synthesize data from various sources creating relevant messaging delivered in a timely manner. The utilization of historical consumer interactions, including purchase and payment history, inquiries, website visits, click-through rates, and other engagements, can be automatically layered with additional data, such as demographics, to create highly effective communications that deliver higher response rates. The high trust nature of mail can also lend credibility to a follow-up email, which can exponentially increase responses without human involvement.

Improve Accuracy and Compliance

Automation can streamline the entire mail process from design to delivery. Predefined templates combined with automated data integration minimize human interaction with data, printing, and fulfillment, improving accuracy. Self-serve automation provides full access and control over the composition of documents so that updates can be made as required, improving accuracy and speed to market while maintaining regulatory compliance.

Increase Efficiencies

Automation accelerates the analysis of data from multiple sources, enables accurate and effective personalization, and streamlines printing, and mailing, reducing overall campaign execution time. Businesses can also improve internal efficiencies and reduce labour costs through strategic contact. Reaching clients through a combination of mail and email allows businesses to reserve more labour-intensive contact, such as phone calls to a smaller portion of clients who don’t respond. There is also the possibility of reducing hard costs by combining multiple small jobs to benefit from personalized Canada Post mail rates.

Enhance Customer Experience

Mail automation excels at improving customer experiences by responding to their demands faster and exceeding service level agreements. Utilizing first-party data has the benefit of anticipating consumer needs and providing special offers to stimulate responses. Proprietary first-party consumer data, including invoices, statements, policies, and marketing-related data collected, can be used to set pre-determined triggers that automatically generate mail at the right time with the right offer. This delivers a more engaging customer experience, enhancing brand perception and fostering customer loyalty.

Reduce Environmental Impact

Automation can help to reduce the environmental impact of mail programs by refining target audiences, ensuring lists are free of duplicate records and incorrect addresses and removing historically non-responsive consumers from lists. By minimizing errors, duplications, and ineffective targeting and messaging, you are focusing your resources and improving cost efficiencies.

While all organizations can benefit from the efficiencies of automated mail, such as improved targeting and response rates, marketing and communication rules in highly regulated industries pose challenges that automation can help navigate. As the digital landscape continues to be wrought with cyber security issues, mail offers a more controlled environment that can mitigate compliance concerns while keeping pace with digital timelines and efficiencies.

John Leonard is V.P., Sales & Marketing for Cover-All Business Communication Management. He works with his team and clients to develop relevant and effective communications by using data and technology. Contact Cover-All Business Communication Management to find out more at (416)752-8100.

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