April 27, 2022
Did you know that ads in color are read up to 42% more often than the same ads in black and white? Color is psychological and marketers understand how to use that to their advantage.
Being in the business of helping other businesses generate revenue, it’s our job to communicate the cost-effectiveness of every option we present to our clients. In the direct mail industry, it’s common knowledge that color costs more. Furthermore, things like bills and account statements are typically better left in modest black and white. These colors evoke a sense of seriousness and purposefulness — two things these types of mail pieces should evoke. With that said, is there any legitimate purpose for using color in your transactional mail?
The United States Post Office says there is and we would have to agree. They even offer a promotion they call the “Personalized Color Transpromo.” Before we dive into how you can take advantage of this promotion, let us first explain what the promotion is.
What is Transpromo?
“Transpromo” is short for transpromotional and it is a term relating to First-Class Mail when describing any notice or announcement found within the white or empty space of a bill or statement. It’s a great way to use up that otherwise neglected space by including a promotion, announcement, or any statement relevant to a customer. Transpromo messages often include variable data printing, so the messaging is customized and relevant to each customer.
There are many advantages to using transpromo within your billing statements. More than 95% of transaction documents are opened and read each month - that's an impressive rate! When you combine finances and required action, like giving someone your money, people pay attention. With the consideration given to bills and statements, marketing included in these types of documents has a higher conversion rate. The average customer invests between one and three minutes for statement review - enough time that you can't afford to not be seen.
Billers can also track detailed promotion activity to make intelligent, revenue-based marketing decisions. This type of reporting facilitates a more effective and targeted approach toward reaching your customers because it's based on what they have done already. You can also personalize your offers automatically using the transactional data within the document you are sending. Statement-based marketing is successful because it targets current customers and can lead you up 50% more in profits.
When we condense all of this information into something a client can easily digest, I simply tell them that transpromo turns something they already send and that every customer opens, into an opportunity to further communicate.
What is the Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion?
The USPS states, “This Promotion will help you utilize color and personalization to make your messages stand out and create an engaging customer experience with the mail.”
We have many customers who already use transpromo in their mailings so we simply tell them they have the opportunity to add some color to more effectively communicate their existing transpromo message while receiving a discount in the process.
This promotion will begin on July 1, 2022, and runs through December 31, 2022. So if this is something your business has been considering, this is a great time to test it out.
How does it affect my business?
Your business gets a 3% discount on your postage for the period of the promotion. We like to bring up this option any time we strategize with a business that uses transpromo already. It’s a fairly straightforward promotion and only affects your business if you choose to participate.
As is the case with many marketing opportunities we discuss with clients, the biggest question I get is if it is worth the trouble. After all, it will cost you more to print in color regardless of whether you receive discounted postage.
Should I do it?
It depends. With this particular discount, as with many of the USPS promotions, the question of value is relative to each of our clients.
However, if you’re all about the bottom line, this promotion isn’t going to necessarily save you money. It offers a 3% postage discount incentive as a means to convince you to enhance your mail. Printing mailers is affected by offset cost — the more you print, the more you save per printing. We’ve found that, unless your mailing is substantial in volume, the postage discount will not cover the increasing cost of printing in color.
This promotion should be thought of as a cherry on a sundae. It’s optional, it enhances the whole product, but you’re still paying for the luxury of the sundae.
How can I best take advantage of this promotion?
It’s easy for a piece of informative news to slip by your customers when they’re most concerned with the amount they owe you. People tend to scan bills and after they’re clients for a while, their eyes know exactly where to go to find the information they need. They might as well be blind to the rest of the statement in their hands. The perfect reason to add a splash of color. It isn’t just attention-grabbing, it’s psychologically value-adding.
Here are a couple of examples that depict how the addition of color could inspire customers to perform an action that would, in the long run, improve business.
- What if a local trash pickup company published the details of their upcoming recycling event in brilliant green ink (green denotes nature) at the bottom of its bill? Customers would certainly notice the message amid the boring black ink typically found on the statement.
- Picture a credit card company offering between 3% and 5% cash-back to customers who spend $1000.00 to $3000.00 in August. They could showcase this offer with a purple chart (purple signifies wealth) depicting how much cash they could earn based on their spending.
Marketing with color psychology
We understand when and how to use color in mailings. The USPS Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion is just a little extra incentive to offer clients. Color can be aesthetically pleasing but it is also deeper than that. Your color choice and how you use it can have a big impact on your marketing efforts! While this promotion isn’t going to be beneficial to all businesses, we’ll be here to crunch some numbers to help you make the decision.
If this promotion isn’t for you, there are plenty more that USPS offers that might be of more value.
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