Bizcommunity has over 400 industry contributors and we always welcome further contributions and contributors.

Be generous with your electronic communication budget

If your electronic communication costs aren't increasing, you're not saving money
Alison Treadaway, MD, Striata
A generous electronic communication budget will save costs elsewhere in your business, according to Alison Treadaway, MD, Striata SA. "When organisations look to remove cost from the business, they should in fact increase the budget assigned to electronic communication and aggressively chase a greater decrease elsewhere. This is because of its attractive business case and rapid return on investment. The majority of our high volume financial services and biller clients realise a positive ROI in three to nine months and continuous project profitability thereafter."

According to MarketingSherpa 2012 Email Marketing Benchmark Report, 67% of organisations planned to increase their email budgets in 2012.

click to enlarge

Treadaway explains, "There are quick wins to be gained by replacing paper based processes with electronic communication. Organisations with large consumer bases will benefit significantly, as will B2B organisations which are heavy on documents or transactional notifications. The business case in its simplest form involves sending an email or text message (SMS) instead of a letter by post, at a fraction of the cost and double the efficiency."

"The investment in process reengineering (opening digital channels) and change management (redirecting staff and key performance indicators) will be a small price to pay once the real returns of an electronic communication program are measured."

Treadaway emphasises that paper turnoff is not the only way to populate a business case. She says there are many soft changes that should result in either direct or indirect cost savings and proposes a couple of innovative ideas:
  • Combine operational and marketing messages: many operational messages (statements, invoices, transactional notifications) are left to do a single job. Rather incorporate a marketing message and do away with a printed brochure or campaign expense, thereby saving costs and simplifying the customer experience.
  • Use your electronic communications to reduce customer service calls: making small changes to printed communication can be like steering a really large ship, but electronic communication allows a much nimbler approach. Track your high volume customer service calls, and provide the answers or a self-service channel in your communication.
  • Focus on conversion: Once you have completed the development required to open up the digital process, you need to actively convert customers and get consent to communicate electronically - simply creating the digital channel doesn't mean your communication types or customers are converted automatically. The higher your adoption, the faster your return on investment.
  • Have a paper turnoff strategy: make sure you have buy-in within the organization for the suppression of paper. This is often assumed as a given, and many a business case has been foiled by poor planning around the technical and process aspects of switching off paper.
The Solution
Replace your paper processes with direct digital communications and eliminate costs elsewhere in your business, gain a healthy net saving and improve efficiency in general.

About Striata

Striata unlocks the power of email and mobile messaging

Our electronic delivery solutions dramatically increase customer adoption of paperless bills, statements, policies, marketing and other high volume system-generated documents.

The world's largest financial services, utility, insurance, retail and telecommunications companies achieve unrivalled results by replacing print and mail with Striata's interactive electronic documents and transactional messages.

Striata's enterprise platform, strategy and support services:

  • drive significant paper suppression
  • deliver ongoing cost savings
  • accelerate payments
  • enhance the customer experience
  • enable regulatory compliance

    Our comprehensive solutions expand the digital dialogue through personalized customer lifecycle messaging, retail receipts, notifications and alerts.

    A global paperless communications specialist with over a decade of experience, Striata has operations in New York, London, Brussels, Johannesburg, Hong Kong, Sydney and partners in North and South America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

    Posted on 20 Nov 2012 11:31

  • Editorial contact
    Striata Marketing


    About the author

    Alison Treadaway is the Managing Director of Striata's African operations based in South Africa (SA). Alison has 15 years experience in Internet-related positions, including Group Marketing Executive at one of the first Internet Service Providers in South Africa and various positions within global IT services and solutions provider, Dimension Data. Alison was a columnist for The Star newspaper and online news portal ITWeb for many years, writing about developments in the Web and electronic communication environments. Her professional certifications and licenses include a Bachelor of Arts (English, German, WITS) and a Post-graduate Diploma in Business Administration (WITS Business School).

    Striata SA's press office

    Striata SA
    The world's largest financial services, utility, insurance, retail and telecommunications companies achieve unrivalled results by replacing print and mail with Striata's interactive electronic documents and transactional messages.