Transpromotional Printing — Printing that Fills the Bill

Transpromo, adding marketing messages to bills/statements, is a rarity in today’s business climate—a printing segment that promises strong growth. Unfortunately, that spending is likely to come out of a company’s traditional direct mail budget. It’s also not clear if commercial printers are well positioned to compete for this business.

According to research done by InfoTrends, a Questex Co., color digital output of transpromo work totaled more than 1.6 billion pieces in 2006. It’s projecting the annual output to approach 22 billion pieces by 2010, for a 91 percent compound annual growth rate.

Several factors contribute to the bullish outlook for this market segment.

1) Bills and statements enjoy nearly 100 percent delivery and open rates, and consumers are interested in the contents, making this is a desirable target audience.

2) The majority of consumers have yet to embrace online billing and payment, so companies have to do these mailings. That makes them very motivated to offset the cost.

3) Recent changes instituted a very favorable postal rate for sending a second ounce at the First Class rate. This makes it very cost effective to increase the size of bill/statement mailings to accommodate marketing messages.

Although not yet a driving factor, there’s also the specter of proposed “Do not mail” legislation.

Working against these positives is the ingrained corporate mindset of being extremely aggressive on the cost of such documents. As a consequence, the per-page cost of full-color output can send potential users into sticker shock. They must be convinced that the conversion will have an ROI, which typically involves a long sell cycle.

Providing a turnkey solution is one method some service providers have implemented to overcome this resistance. In essence, they give customers favorable cost terms for production of the documents in exchange for the rights to sell marketing messages in the available white space.

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