Not too long ago, there was lots of excitement about “Digital Mailbox” services, and for good reason. For a service bureau, transactional print provider or high volume mailer, digital mailbox services represented a tremendous opportunity for expanding their services.
A digital mailbox is simply a secure location for consumers to receive their bills and statements, make payments to various companies, and archive all of their important documents. Additional options, such as automated reminders, content uploading and other capabilities are available to end users, while billers and mailers can access and leverage transactional marketing tools. A variety of third-party providers such as Zumbox, Manilla, doxo and Volly offered these services, and adoption grew rapidly. In late 2011, InfoTrends predicted that by 2015, 2 billion paperless transactional documents would be delivered to consumers.
Although many of these services have fallen by the wayside as companies have brought these capabilities in-house, the impact and potential benefits of secure digital delivery are even more compelling today.
For most organizations, the main reason to go digital is to save money on the cost of mailing and postage. A traditional paper statement, for example, costs most companies close to $1.00 (or more) to physically print and mail. That is compared to only around $0.20 for that same statement to be delivered digitally. That equates to a hard dollar savings of approximately $0.80 every time a statement, or other customer correspondence is generated. Do the math. The savings compound exponentially, generates savings of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars each year!
There are other benefits of secure digital delivery. An organization can take advantage of omni-channel communications, using multiple formats such as print, e-mail, text messaging, and other online technologies to deliver transactional documents to their customers. This can be extended to adding targeted marketing messages with transpromotional communications. Digital documents can also be a critical factor in enabling more efficient archiving and in providing customer service with effective tools for troubleshooting and problem resolution.
The benefits are clear, but there are a number of factors to consider. Whatever your strategy and goal, you will need to:
- Convert and manage your print stream formats and multiple delivery formats and options
- Provide documents in the format your customers prefer
- Have a print suppression solutions for customers who wish to go completely paperless
- Have a method for selectively redacting personal and confidential information
And of course you will always need high speed performance and an efficient workflow to avoid bottlenecks or delays in your print and digital output.