While rising postal costs put financial pressure on businesses, secure email document delivery becomes an attractive alternative
Sarah Appleby - Business Development - Financial Services, Striata
The cost of postage in the UK is now higher than ever, which has a significant impact on businesses that still rely on traditional paper mail. If your business is at the mercy of the stamp, then perhaps it's time to consider the alternative - secure email document delivery.
"Going paperless is a win-win for business and consumers alike. The email technology that is available today provides consumers with a far more convenient and secure document delivery option, while businesses enjoy the related cost savings, operational efficiency and better marketing opportunities," explains Sarah Appleby, from Striata.
Why secure email document delivery?
Appleby says that the key to successful paper turn-off, is customer adoption, and this is driven by customer convenience. It's no use offering customers an alternative to paper mail that requires them to perform a series of actions to access their documents - visit a website, register, choose and remember usernames and passwords.
"Let's face it, your customer prefers to do nothing more than open an envelope, so a 'fetch it from my website' strategy is a poor replacement for traditional paper mail," she adds. "The result is a low paperless adoption percentage - lingering around 15% for online portals. This certainly won't solve your mail budget deficit, so the Royal Mail increases have to be passed on to your customers which means you may ultimately lose your competitive edge in the market place.
There is a far more convenient, cost effective and successful methodology to paper suppression: electronic consent via email followed by secure document delivery."
Successful paper turn-off in four simple steps
Appleby highlights a few simple steps to successful paper turn-off via secure document delivery:
"Step 1: Gather email addresses at every customer touch point. Step 2: Send a highly personalised email, with an eConsent process that requires just one click to agree to go paperless - no need for a website visit (you can also attach a sample of the document to this email). Step 3: Capture the consumer's consent choice without requiring registration or a new username and password. Step 4: Suppress the paper and begin sending all appropriate documents as secure email attachments."
Appleby goes on to say that it's important to recognise that email delivery complements online portals which provide archiving and self service options. Automatic registration can be facilitated at the point when a customer gives electronic consent to receive bills via email. Since the customer is already authenticated, access via secure links within the eDocument drives portal sign up and subsequent qualified traffic to the portal.
"To sum it up, make sure you aren't replacing Royal Mail with the Pony Express. If you want to turn-off paper successfully, then ensure you are offering your clients a better, alternative solution, this way you can easily achieve your paperless adoption targets and enjoy the associated cost savings and operational efficiencies," concludes Appleby.
Sarah Appleby - Business Development - Financial Services, Striata Sarah manages the financial services portfolio Striata, UK. She has a rich understanding of the banking industry, particularly in collections and card operations.
Sarah started her career in IT in the wake of the dot com bubble in San Francisco where she owned and managed a translation firm offering copy and eCommerce solutions to international companies. She has become a career specialist in eCommerce, marketing optimisation and the related technology that reduces costs and increases operational efficiency.
Sarah graduated with Honours from the University of Wisconsin. Her professional qualifications include double Bachelors in both Political Science and French. She also holds a minor degree in International Relations. Sarah is also Six Sigma certified.
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
enhance the customer experience
enable regulatory compliance
Our comprehensive solutions expand the digital dialogue through personalised 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.