Transpromo tips and pitfalls

A print and mail outsourcing company plays a crucial role in making a successful transpromo campaign.

Read time 3min 40sec

In the previous Industry Insight in this series, I considered where to start with transpromo. Now I will investigate how to begin.

In this regard, it might be useful to organise this into 10 common insights and 10 common pitfalls that can derail a transpromo initiative.


1. It's always advisable to involve marketing from the outset, as the best transpromo initiatives are always owned by marketing.

2. Aim for the low-hanging fruit: target the relatively easy aspects of a transpromo initiative first; and always do it in phases, with the first few phases testing the viability of transpromo.

3. Find a specialist partner - maybe a supplier - as this is the easiest and quickest way to kick-start a transpromo trial.

4. A business case can't be built unless transpromo's viability with a well-managed and statistically sound control sample has been tested.

5. Don't fret over process by trying to shoehorn transpromo into the rest of the company's workflow. The initiative will certainly need to be cobbled together from various disparate parts to prove its viability. Thereafter, corporate process and architecture can be taken into account.

6. Ensure the transpromo initiative is integrated with other marketing campaigns - especially special offers, logo, look and feel - as this will leverage the results enjoyed from transpromo.

7. The quality and completeness of data is not a showstopper. Do value-based segmentation later on and ensure depth and breadth of data when the value of transpromo has been proven. To start with, use existing customer data. Existing invoice data should contain enough variables for meaningful targeting of customised messages.

8. Define the outcomes up-front: what response rate constitutes success? Or is cost of acquisition a better measure?

9. Don't compartmentalise the initial transpromo initiative: the more parts of the business that can benefit from it, the easier it will be to motivate for its broader adoption.

10. Do not try this without the services and assistance of a print and mail outsourcing company. They play a crucial role in the making of a successful campaign and should be involved from day one of the planning stages.


1. The executive does not have a commonly accepted view of how customers view transactional documents.

2. There is no overall champion at executive level who has the insight, drive and determination to transform existing document content and align it with transpromo goals and objectives.

3. Internal processes that hinder co-operation between marketing and billing/IT. Billing, in conjunction with IT, will insist it owns the data, and will often reject requests to gain access to the data.

4. Billing departments that centre on delivering according to contract and refuse to see the potential for using their mail vehicles for advanced, customised communication.

The best transpromo initiatives are always owned by marketing.

Konni Hoferichter is MD of LaserCom.

5. Those in marketing are similarly blinkered, ignoring the significant potential implicit in existing transactional documents.

6. The message and design of transactional documents are at odds with other marketing vehicles, such as Web site, advertising and e-mails. If this is the case, customers will have a fragmented experience.

7. No buy-in or comprehension from advertising and marketing agencies, which fail to grasp either the process or opportunity implicit in integrating transpromo into the marketing mix.

8. Silo behaviour is very common in corporates, which leads to disparate budgets and lack of a common vision.

9. Concern from the billing department that introducing marketing/communication offers will distract customers from the central business of paying their bills. But to date, international experience shows this does not happen.

10. The commonly held view that transpromo is analogous to popping an advertisement on a statement. There is much more to it!

As is evident, transpromo will not deliver the expected and anticipated value unless some essential lessons are followed.

* In the next Industry Insight in this series, I will provide a test, which can be used to review whether transpromo is suitable for specific companies.

* Konni Hoferichter is MD of LaserCom.

Konni Hoferichter

MD of Bytes Technology Group company LaserCom.

Konni Hoferichter has spent 38 years in the document production/management business. He has managed LaserCom, formerly Laser Facilities, for the last nine years. LaserCom, a division of Bytes Technology Group, is an electronic print and mail bureau that provides services to the cellular communications industry, the financial services sector, health services sector and municipalities. Hoferichter is married to Kathy, has two children and is a classic car and motorcycle enthusiast.

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