Streamline Group, LLC

Only source in East Tennessee & Western North Carolina for full spectrum of internal equipment, software & web-based solutions for both physical & electronic mailing, shipping, receiving, e-billing, document automation

Mailing Equipment Industry Sees Big Changes Ahead

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011 | Industry News, Operational Tips | No Comments

Historically, the mailing equipment industry has successfully defended off competitive pricing making it one of the most lucrative businesses around. Recently, Data-Pac and Secap have surfaced as new options for those seeking postage meters. It would seem that there are now 6 companies competing for your business but in reality, Swiss Ascom Hasler and French Neopost are now the same company offering the same products for the same price and Secap is the Pitney Bowes brand offered through independent dealers. So now there are 4 players, 2 domestic and 2 foreign. The new competition has helped keep the machine cost down but there are other ways to make a buck.

Excessive Profit Area #1: Supplies

A major source of revenue for mail equipment manufacturers and dealers of mailing systems is supplies. Postage meter ink and meter tapes or labels may not seem like a significant expense if you’ve never made these purchases but rest assured, it adds up quickly. At the high end of each line, a manufacturer’s OEM replacement ink cartridge for a Pitney Bowes, Hasler, Neopost or FP mail system ranges from $200 to $400. A high volume mailer might go through a dozen of these each month.

Until recently, there were no outside sources for meter ink and the prices weren’t going down. A few companies such as MailShipDirect.net began offering ink cartridges for postage meters and addressing systems for as much as 70% less than dealers and manufacturers. The dealers and manufacturers struck back by threatening customers that using other inks would void their manufacturers’ warranties. After numerous lawsuits and revisiting the Sherman Antitrust Act (1890) & the Magnuson-Moss Act (1975), this practice was deemed undisputedly illegal. It is rumored that service technicians are now commissioned with the dirty work of scaring customers into paying top dollar for their ink. Don’t be fooled. The quality and yield of ink cartridges manufactured elsewhere are often higher than the equipment manufacturers. MailShipDirect.com boasts that their Pitney Bowes ink cartridges are always new, are very high-quality backed by a 1-year warranty, specifically designed and engineered for its intended mail system model, significantly less expensive and on top of that, they average a 15% higher yield than OEM.

Excessive Profit Area #2: Service

Another major source of revenue for mail equipment manufacturers and dealers of mailing systems is service. For most customers this has been either a major source of frustration or an indispensible resource and thus a justifiable expense. In both cases, one thing is certain. Most providers of mail equipment will have you think it’s far more valuable and necessary than it actually is. Service or maintenance, depending on who you’re talking to, represents the single highest profit margin in the mailing equipment industry. So here’s the dirty truth… Maintaining mail equipment isn’t that difficult. The problem is that if you’re a Maintenance Manager or a Service Technician your job-security depends upon the complexity of the work. Therefore things are made to seem more difficult than they actually are. So what’s the point of all this? If your business can either .

A. Maintain your equipment internally or
B. Obtain maintenance from a 3rd party

Then you are no longer forced to pay such high prices for your service and support. One company, Streamline Group, has decided to make this possible for their customers. “Instead of forcing our customers to become dependent upon us, we empower them,” says Streamline Group’s owner Eric Bernstein. “Teaching customers and providing them with valuable information earns credibility.” Of course, Streamline still provides the full-service treatment to customers that want it.

For some customers that have ‘mechanically inclined’ employees on staff, Streamline will actually provide them with the manufacturers’ service training at their facility and teach the customer how to experience zero downtime. An obvious benefit to Streamline Group is this lifts logistical challenges when they sell equipment to long-distance customers. The benefits to the customer are thousands of dollars saved annually on service and never having to wait on service again. Other companies, like the aforementioned MailShipDirect.net, are solving this problem by offering inexpensive equipment online such as folders, inserters, pressure sealers and shredders and putting the customer in touch with local 3rd party servicing companies that are competing with each other on price.

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The biggest TelCo in North America gets it horribly wrong

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 | Customer Applications, Go Green for Businesses, Industry News, Operational Tips | No Comments

After more than two years of in-depth conversation with Striata, the largest wireless telecommunications service provider in North America decided to build its email billing solution internally. We were fortunate to get access to the final solution recently, and were incredibly disappointed. Written by Garin Toren   on Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Unfortunately for both consumers and the industry, they have missed almost every important strategic advantage that makes ‘push’ delivery of ebills via email so powerful.

In fact, the only thing they got right was the ability to securely deliver an ebill via email.

The TelCo’s internal email billing solution – each mistake they made:

1. Registration barriers – Eliminating the registration barrier is the most critical element in the success of email billing. This TelCo’s ‘opt-in’ process requires registration (choosing and remembering yet another username and password) at their self-serve portal. The option to receive your bill via email is buried under preferences. This is a customer satisfaction disaster and – the entire strategy dies right there. The Striata eConsent process does not require registration, nor choosing and remembering any information. The goal is to make the paperless consent a one-click process, with no website to visit.

2. Marketing – Push delivery of bills via email offers amazing marketing opportunities, both in the body of the email as well as within the attachment. Its specific advantage is enabling the consumer to draw from a host of offers and apply them to the message based on an intelligent rule set. This results in the recipient only receiving relevant, targeted and very personalized promotions. This biller has chosen not to take advantage of this opportunity in any way.

3. Personalization – Multiple personalization points within the body of the email and subject line, allows the consumer to intuitively trust the message, as well as create a great customer experience. The only hint of personalization in this solution however is a partial account number. Do you know your TelCo’s account number? In addition to this, there is no salutation in the email message, so they have chosen to go with no greeting at all, never mind addressing their customers by name. Unless you recognize your account number, there is no way to tell if the message is genuine. They have completely missed the many opportunities to create customer satisfaction.

4. Online to access – One of the key advantages to email billing, when done correctly, is that you do not need to be connected to the internet to access your documents. This TelCo’s solution requires an active Internet connection in order to decrypt the email bill. (This process also generates numerous PDF Reader security warnings – enough to make any consumer nervous to proceed.)

5. Cost to promote – As this solution requires the consumer to register at their portal, they will have to incur significant marketing expenses to promote the solution. In fact, probably double the cost of promoting their self-serve portal. An eConsent process, properly executed, only requires an accurate email address to gain paperless consent, at almost zero cost.

6. Not mobile capable – To be a wireless provider and offer email bills that do not work on any email capable mobile device is a bit bizarre. As a wireless service provider, you would think that would be important, right? (All of Striata’s email delivered bills are mobile ready and enabled by default.)

7. Not for everyone – As portal registration is required, this TelCo has limited their email billing solution to the 30% of consumers that may sign up at their portal. As near to 80% of their customers regularly use email, they have effectively and once again only catered to the innovators and early adopters that make up less than a third of their customer database. The very point of email billing is that it is meant to be for everyone.

In summary: This TelCo has developed a solution that is expensive to market, incredibly difficult to sign up for, doesn’t work on your smart phone, is only available to a small portion of their customers and one that has a negative customer satisfaction result.

Does this mean that email billing failed? Definitely not, it simply means that if a great idea is executed badly, it won’t succeed.

It’s taken Striata 12 years, with more than 500 implementations in 14 countries to get it right. As demonstrated above, having IT resources and budget it not sufficient to succeed, you need strategic experience and know-how.

Talk to us
before you develop your email billing strategy. Even if you decide to build it yourself, we really want you to get it right.

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New USPS Postage Rates Effective April 17, 2011

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011 | Customer Applications, Important Customer Updates, Industry News | No Comments

Effective April 17th, 2011 the United States Postal Service is increasing postage rates for the 2nd time this year. If you are one of our Secap mailing machine customers, your rate changes are already a standard inclusion thus you have no additional expense.  

If you are a current customer of ours and/or use Neopost or Hasler equipment, you can order your rate change chip directly from Neopost at www.neopostinc.com however, you have a choice!

Now is the time to consider our latest technology. An exciting new feature on certain models we offer is the ability to simultaneously print a traditional return address plus any type of additional information on the envelope AND in color. This feature provides a vehicle for increased revenue for your company. This dramatic capability is illustrated on the mailing systems section of our website at: http://www.sgllc.net/products/

For your convenience, we’ve posted the new USPS rates below.

Mailing Services
Domestic Products
First-Class Mail Retail
First-Class Mail Commercial Letters
First-Class Mail Commercial Flats
First-Class Mail Commercial Base Parcels
First-Class Mail Commercial Plus Parcels
Standard Mail Letters
Standard Mail Flats
Standard Mail Parcels
Standard Mail Letters Nonprofit
Standard Mail Flats Nonprofit
Standard Mail Parcels Nonprofit
Standard Mail Non Flat Machinables
Standard Mail Non Flat Machinables Nonprofit
Periodicals Outside County
Periodicals Within County
Parcel Post
Media Mail Retail
Media Mail Commercial
Library Mail Retail
Library Mail Commercial
Bound Printed Matter-Flats
Bound Printed Matter-Parcels
Domestic Extra Services & Other Fees 1
Domestic Extra Services & Other Fees 2
Stamped Stationery
AMS
International Products
First-Class Mail International Country Price Group 1
First-Class Mail International Country Price Group 2
First-Class Mail International Country Price Groups 3-5
First-Class Mail International Country Price Groups 6-9
First-Class Mail International Letters
First-Class Mail International Flats
First-Class Mail International Packages

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Connect+™ 3000 Full-Color, Web-Based, High-Volume Mail System

Thursday, February 24th, 2011 | Customer Applications, Industry News, Launchpad-New Products & Services | No Comments

Maximum power for your messages

The Connect+ 3000 is our most powerful tool for growing your business with transpromotional communications. For high-output mail operations, the Connect+ 3000 can help drive revenue like never before.

Overview:

The Connect+ 3000 takes what a mailroom is capable of to the next level, both in terms of productivity and capability. It prints mail permits and indicia faster than any machine currently available, but its transformative printing capabilities don’t end there. It can produce custom envelopes with transpromotional marketing messages on demand. This makes every envelope an opportunity to generate revenue. Plus, it’s easy to use and maintain with an intuitive color touch-screen display, application based navigation and Web connectivity.

Revolutionary Printing

  • 1,200-dpi HP powered ink-jet printing in process color or black and postal-compliant red fluorescent
  • 7/8″ printing path across full length of the envelope, top and bottom, front or back
  • Generate revenue by printing marketing messages on transactional envelopes
  • Cost effective printing – especially for small print runs

Web Connectivity

  • Download applications directly to the machine
  • Direct access to Pitney Bowes services like MyAccount, Buy Supplies and Address Verification
  • Get the most current domestic and international rates
  • Access to package tracking for all major carriers
  • Instant access to support

Easy-to-Use

  • Intuitive color touch-screen interface
  • Built-in on-screen tutorials
  • Programmable Job presets

 

Connect+ 3000 Features

  • WOW® processing including automatic shape-based rating
  • Four speed options: 100/160 (standard), 130/210,160/260 and 200/300 LPM in WOW / non-WOW modes
  • Black ink printing
  • Color ink printing
  • Automatic Commercial-Based Pricing (CBP)
  • Adhesive tape standard
  • Gummed tape standard
  • Open- or closed-flap sealing
  • New pump-fed pad sealing system
  • On-screen keyboard (full QWERTY)
  • Flexible printing

Peripheral Options

  • Drop or power stacker options
  • New platform weighing option – 5-lb., 10-lb. or 15-lb. capacity
  • Existing platform weighing options – 15-lb., 30-lb., 70-lb. and 149-lb. capacity
  • Laser Report Printer
  • Barcode Scanner
  • Wireless keyboard with trackball

High-Speed LAN Connectivity

  • 25′ LAN cable standard
  • Wireless LAN options
  • Sprint 3G cellular available (subscription charge applies)

Color Touch-Screen Display

  • 10.2″ standard
  • 15″ optional

Interfaced Scale Options

  • 5-lb., 10-lb., 15-lb. small-platform options
  • 15-lb., 39-lb., 70-lb., 149-lb. large-platform options
  • Differential weighing optional

Stacking

  • Drop stacker standard
  • Power stacker optional

Applications

  • MyAccount
  • Package Tracking
  • Address Correction
  • Postal Tools
  • Pitney Bowes Mail Services

Software Options

  • Confirmation services and electronic Return Receipt
  • 100 department accounting (scalable to 3000 accounts)
  • Includes surcharge and weight-break capabilities

Core Supplies

  • Postal ink – three cartridge options: standard, large and production – see chart/matrix for yields and recommended use
  • Printhead life: 800,000 cycles – customer-replaceable supply item
  • Tape 5″ roll, approximately 600 indicia per roll

Rating Capabilities

Classes and extra services are selected and viewed side by side. See total postal amount and individual rates for each class and service, making shopping very easy

  • Change carriers and any rating factor at any time
  • Manage a list of favorite rates or rate combinations, making repeat tasks easy
  • Pick from the last 10 class or class and extra service combinations
  • On-screen keyboard for easy input of ZIP Code or other destination information

Standard Rating

  • USPS® Domestic Rates
  • USPS® International Rates
  • USPS® Shipping Services Rates

Download 1-Page PDF Brochure   

Download Full 6-Page PDF Brochure

The #1 Way for Businesses to Go Green is to Turn Off Paper

Sunday, February 20th, 2011 | Customer Applications, Go Green for Businesses, Industry News, Operational Tips | No Comments

The largest carbon footprint of the business world is paper. Here are three highly impactful solutions to help businesses reduce their paper and operational cost all at the same time.

1.) “Push” E-Billing: Utilizing “Push” technology, our electronic billing solution is like no other. Providing the most convenient, secure, flexible & effortless method available for bill-payers, it’s enabling billers such as utility companies to turn off as much as 80% of their paper bills compared to the 12% industry average with other electronic offerings. Call (865) 622-9212 or email us at info@SGLLC.net for more information.

2.) Online Bill Payment Portal Solutions: A practical solution for municipalities or any biller that would like to reduce paper & operational cost. With no upfront or ongoing cost, other than a percentage-based fee per transaction that’s less than sending a paper bill by mail, this is a no-brainer for billers of all sizes & industries. FREE Trial. Call (865) 622-9212 or email us at info@SGLLC.net for more information.

3.) Email Marketing by Streamline: Direct Mail marketing has always been a cost-effective way to grow business when done properly. A mailing is typically considered successful if 2-3% of recipients become prospects. The average cost per piece is around $1 once labor, materials, postage & other expenses are factored. What if there was a way to take some of that direct-mail marketing budget & reach 92% of your audience, with a trackable 33% read rate, a 7% growth-rate & a 5% conversion all for about a penny per recipient. Learn why we’re your only email marketing solution available that can make this claim. FREE Trial. Call (865) 622-9212 or email us at info@SGLLC.net for more information.

7 Email Marketing Trends for 2011

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 | Important Customer Updates, Industry News, Operational Tips | No Comments

Our eMarketing guru; Haydn James, spent some time researching what email marketing and communications trends we can expect to see emerging in 2011.

Haydn says “The common theme I found is: Continued economic pressures, increasing customer demand and advancements in email technology (i.e.”Smart” inboxes) means marketers will have to continue to find ways to do more with less, more effectively and more efficiently to produce greater results.”

As marketers; what should we be doing in 2011 to overcome these challenges? In this edition of eMarketing Insight we share our trend predictions and tips to address.


7 Email marketing trends for 2011: it’s back to basics

 
Trend 1: Data management – growth, maintenance and hygiene
 
With international legislation protecting the rights of consumers, you simply have no choice but to ensure your data is well managed and maintained throughout the customer lifecycle.

Your data is the foundation on which your Lifecycle Communication Programme is built and should therefore be the number 1 strategic objective of your marketing strategy and hence a continuing trend into 2011.

 
Trend 2: Segmentation and relevancy
 
The more you know about your subscriber base, the easier it is for you to craft content and offers into communications that are relevant to each subscriber. Whether it is preference data captured during the customer’s lifecycle, to past behaviours and activity tracked and recorded, you should be profiling each and every customer.

Segmentation and relevancy is important for a number of reasons, but none more so than ensuring your email stands out above the rest – we see this as a key trend gaining more traction in 2011.

 
Trend 3: Customer lifecycle communications
 
We predict a shift towards more automated triggered communications in 2011. Companies will attempt to automate as much of their customer communications as possible. Not only does it require minimal effort, but the impact is significantly higher with better response rates.
 
Trend 4: More social media integration
 
As marketers begin to understand the symbiotic relationship between email marketing and social media, the trend will move towards more consistently integrated campaigns. For those marketers who have yet to understand and embrace the social media space, 2011 will see those marketers including simple share functionality on their communications at the very least.
 
Trend 5: Greater mobile integration
 
It is widely accepted that mobile penetration is significantly high in most countries when compared with the computer and smart phone adoption and is climbing rapidly. As a result, a large proportion of mobile web use is spent checking email.

So 2011 will see a greater demand for “mobile friendly” versions of email communications that can be read on mobile devices.

 
Trend 6: Deliverability and authentication
 
Proper attention needs to be placed on deliverability because if it is not managed properly, it can do more harm than good.

To achieve successful email delivery, the focus should be on the full scope of an email’s journey – from sender to recipient. This will be a key focus area for email marketers in 2011, especially when they see their delivery rates declining.

 
Trend 7: Testing and analysis
 
We have covered testing extensively in Q4 of last year, and see this trend growing as companies start to experiment with their communications to achieve better results within their marketing budgets.

E-Marketing: http://www.sgllc.net/products/email-marketing/

E-Billing: http://www.sgllc.net/products/e-billing/email-billing/

Striata launches next generation Interactive PDF Bill & mobile one-click payment at FinovateEurope

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 | Customer Applications, Industry News, Operational Tips | No Comments

Striata’s new mobile one-click payment solution is an industry first, bringing one-click eBill payment to the ever growing mobile email market. Furthermore, Striata’s next generation Interactive PDF bill solution will enable companies to deliver improved marketing capability, whilst enriching their customers’ email Billing experience.

“Most banks and large organizations have developed eBilling solutions without user adoption in mind. Striata’s ‘push’ email billing solution focuses on user adoption and continually delivers record-breaking figures of paper turn-off. Our innovative one-click payment solution meets the current and growing demands for mobile payment and our next generation interactive PDF bill solution’s enhanced functionality looks and works like a mini-website inside the PDF. It enables navigation, graphing and sorting of itemised entries and authenticated feedback forms,” explains Michael Wright, CEO, Striata.

Striata’s mobile friendly email bill payment solution enables bill recipients to view how much is owed and conveniently make an instant one-click payment directly from their mobile phone. Payment can be facilitated from any internet enabled device (e.g. mobile device, webmail, Outlook). With Striata mobile one-click payment, there is no need for customers to enter payment details. Payment data is stored with the payment provider, and can only be used to pay a linked bill.

“We are very excited to have Striata presenting its innovative email billing demo at FinovateEurope.” Says Eric Mattson, CEO, The Finovate Group, “We may live in a digital economy but we certainly don’t live in a paperless one and we think Striata’s technology will enable financial institutions to make significant progress towards widespread adoption of eBilling and eStatements.”

“Striata continues to innovate with a focus on customer convenience through ease of use. The Striata next generation interactive PDF Bill solution delivers an added value experience for the end user, enabling navigation, multiple ‘virtual pages'; sorting of data; interactive graphs; grouping of data; animations and videos. This additional functionality assists the biller to drive email billing adoption and paper turn off, which ultimately reduces costs and DSO (days sales outstanding) while delivering a significant ROI,” concludes Wright.

View our E-Billing Solutions

Why eBill consolidators will always fail

Monday, January 24th, 2011 | Customer Applications, Industry News, Operational Tips | No Comments

Why eBill consolidators will always fail

 
 

 

 Written by Garin Toren   on Wednesday, 01 December 2010  

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There has been a lot of press recently about yet another eBill consolidator start-up. What’s different this time however is that they have generated enough hype to get the analysts excited and buying into the idea.

As far as we can see the user interface is pretty slick, but outside of that, it’s seems to suffer from the same issues as all consolidators that we’ve seen before.

Let’s start by defining eBilling success from the biller’s point of view:

  • Maximum customer satisfaction;
  • Full control over the bill and delivery medium;
  • A majority of electronic payment;
  • Intelligent marketing capabilities;
  • Mobile capable by default;
  • Paper bill suppression

Every consumer biller we meet has these success criteria, and success is only achieved when these are all satisfied.

So why can’t a consolidator model meet these requirements?

 

1. Attaining critical mass is simply impossible:

In order for a consolidation location to be successful, more than 50% of the consumer’s bills should be there already when they arrive for the first time. In fact, 75% would be optimum. This is where the chicken and egg scenario begins. Billers won’t come on board without consumers using the location and consumers won’t sign up if the billers aren’t there.

I live in arguably the most connected city in the USA and both my bank consolidator (BOA) and CheckFree can only offer me 2 of my 11 household bills. This is further exacerbated by the sheer size of the USA. A consolidator would need to literally sign up in excess of 10 000 billers to even get close to the 50%. This is quite simply impossible.

2. Registration / enrolment is a major barrier:

Approximately 55% to 75% of North American consumers are signed up for internet banking, have multiple email addresses and a Facebook account. As the biller direct self service portals have experienced, a maximum of 25% of consumers will register on their websites (and this takes 5 years to achieve). Of those, on average only a quarter will go paperless (5% to 9% of total customer base), unless paperless is a condition of registration-which does encourage paperless, but radically reduces enrolment.

What consumers don’t want is yet another location to visit and register, as well as another username & password to remember.

Today, in the USA , most banks offer very efficient bill payment capability and as it takes less than two seconds to open a paper envelope to see my amount due or bill detail, what possible incentive could there be to make this experience 20 to 30 times less convenient?

3. Consolidators do not have biller control:

Bill delivery is directly linked to bill payment – most consumers will only pay their bills when they receive them. With paper,, billers have total control over the creation and posting of their bills. Similarly, by using their own websites along with notification emails, they achieve this (albeit to a much smaller audience). Having your bill available through a consolidation partner is ‘outsourcing’ this timing in many instances. Consumers may wait until they have more than one bill available at the consolidator website before choosing to login and view them.

4. The proof is in the end result – poor paper bill suppression:

Customer satisfaction is touted as the number one billing priority. Yet it is paper suppression that drives almost 100% of the eBilling cost savings. Without paper turn off you may as well not offer eBilling, as it then simply adds to your total billing costs. Consumers are happy to pay their bills through their internet banking.

In order to consider an eBilling program a paper suppression success, the biller needs to turn off a minimum of 10% paper per year, every year, up to 50% (it slows after this).

Consolidator solutions only achieve 3% paper suppression on average per year, and plateaux at approximately 12% at best (after 5 years).

5. Billers are not prepared to lose this key marketing touch point:

Unlike paper, inserting intelligent marketing into a self service portal is a significant challenge. Furthermore, it is only applicable to the minority of customers who choose to use the portal. This is even more so in the case of a consolidator website where billers effectively lose the ability to market to their consumers. As we all know, the bill is, in most instances, the biller’s only touch point with the consumer. Are they prepared to lose this to go paperless? Over the past decade, all the billers that we have spoken to tell us they most definitely are not.

6. Not mobile ready:

The majority of consumers are not going to download an app or visit a mobile website just so the biller can turn off the paper bill. There is just no compelling reason for them to do so. So for any mobile strategy, to achieve paper suppression success, it has to be mobile ready by default: The recipient must be able to view their eBill on their mobile device without having to pre-register or download anything.

To sum up; it’s not going to happen:

It is our view that no website based eBill consolidator will ever succeed in a market as large and diverse as the United States, no matter how large the hype or marketing budget. If the likes of Fiserv / CheckFree (after 8 years and almost unlimited budgets) cannot get it right, it’s simply impossible that any start-up can, irrespective of a good UI and significant funding.

The only way billers (using the consolidator model) are going to get more than 30% of their customers paperless, is to make it mandatory and deal with the customer backlash – a strategy we strongly advise against.

The solution? It takes 4 fundamental changes:

1. Eliminate the registration barrier by offering intelligent one-click eConsent (no username & password to chose and remember).
2. Deliver the electronic bill directly to the consumer without requiring them to link back to any website, in a way that is also mobile device capable by default.
3. Include one-click electronic payment without the need to pre-register or visit any website.
4. Intelligently insert marking and regulatory notices – just like you do in the paper world, only at 95% less cost.

Most importantly… – do not ask the recipient to do anything to receive their eBill. 

 
 

 

7 Email marketing trends for 2011: it’s back to basics

Monday, January 24th, 2011 | Customer Applications, Industry News, Operational Tips | No Comments

7 Email marketing trends for 2011: it’s back to basics

 

 Written by Haydn James   on Tuesday, 18 January 2011  

Bookmark and Share

I spent some time this past month researching what email marketing and communications trends we can expect to see emerging in 2011. The common theme I found is:

Continued economic pressures, increasing customer demand and advancements in email technology (i.e.” Smart” inboxes) means marketers will have to continue to find ways to do more with less, more effectively and more efficiently to produce greater results.

As marketers; what should we be doing in 2011 to overcome these challenges?

My 7 trends to maximise email communication results and efficiencies

Trend 1: Data management – growth, maintenance and hygiene

With international legislation protecting the rights of consumers, you simply have no choice but to ensure your data is well managed and maintained throughout the customer lifecycle.

Your data is the foundation on which your Lifecycle Communication Programme is built and should therefore be the number 1 strategic objective of your marketing strategy and hence a continuing trend into 2011.

Trend 2: Segmentation and relevancy

The more you know about your subscriber base, the easier it is for you to craft content and offers into communications that are relevant to each subscriber. Whether it is preference data captured during the customer’s lifecycle, to past behaviours and activity tracked and recorded, you should be profiling each and every customer.

Segmentation and relevancy is important for a number of reasons, but none more so than ensuring your email stands out above the rest – we see this as a key trend gaining more traction in 2011.

Trend 3: Customer lifecycle communications

We predict a shift towards more automated triggered communications in 2011. Companies will attempt to automate as much of their customer communications as possible. Not only does it require minimal effort, but the impact is significantly higher with better response rates.

Trend 4: More social media integration

As marketers begin to understand the symbiotic relationship between email marketing and social media, the trend will move towards more consistently integrated campaigns. For those marketers who have yet to understand and embrace the social media space, 2011 will see those marketers including simple share functionality on their communications at the very least.

Trend 5: Greater mobile integration

It is widely accepted that mobile penetration is significantly high in most countries when compared with the computer and smart phone adoption is climbing rapidly. As a result, a large proportion of mobile web use is spent checking email.

So 2011 will see a greater demand for “mobile friendly” versions of email communications that can be read on mobile devices.

Trend 6: Deliverability and authentication

Proper attention needs to be placed on deliverability because if not managed properly it can do more harm than good.

To achieve successful email delivery, the focus should be on the full scope of an email’s journey – from sender to recipient. This will be a key focus area for email marketers in 2011, especially when they see their delivery rates declining.

Trend 7: Testing and analysis

We have covered testing extensively in the Q4 of last year, and see this trend growing as companies start to experiment with their communications to achieve better results within their marketing budgets

Automate your W-2’s & 1099’s

Thursday, January 13th, 2011 | 1099 & W-2 Tax Forms, Customer Applications, Industry News, Launchpad-New Products & Services, Operational Tips | No Comments

http://app.e2ma.net/app2/campaigns/archived/1405930/af179625f6411db8d89bfbcaff77d54f/

Automate your tax forms

Get those W-2’s & 1099’s out with a Paitec pressure-seal system. Automate inline with your current laser-printer or we’ll provide a printer too. New features include Full-Color Print n’ Mail capabilities & Multi-Sheet. Upgrade or try one of our entry-level systems. Lease, Purchase & Comprehensive Maintenance available.

 

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