Monday, September 20, 2010

Mailroom Automation is for Lawyers; TransPromo is for the Birds

No sooner than the day after my post on complex document automation, did we run into yet a new wrinkle.  Some of the post processing experts talk about mailroom automation and the impact this can have on 1:1 marketing, trans-promotional marketing within documents, and the Holy Grail - highly personalized, high volume documents that sell more of your products.  Why is everybody talking about this?  Does anybody actually do this in production?

We have no idea, but the allure of being able to cross-sell large numbers of customers on related offerings through your billing process sounds like a money printer.  The question that always looms though, is whether anybody actually looks at anything on a homeowner’s insurance bill, for example, other than “AMOUNT DUE”?

Well, a very large insurance company has another take on mail automation that has a lot more to do with attorneys than marketers.  One of the benefits of really nailing down your mailroom automation is a concept known as Registration of Mail (ROM).  An interesting thing happens in insurance when you mail notices of cancellation or bills.  Sometimes, insureds, or soon-to-be non-insureds, claim that they did not receive legal notices or bills.  Think of the impact when a newly cancelled non-insured drives his car into the Dry Cleaners, literally.  How do you overcome this if you have millions of folks that you insure?  You likely do not use FedEx or Registered Mail to deliver all of these documents.  Instead, through a registration process with the US Postal Service, and through very careful sequencing of documents by zip code + 4 + last name sort, you can put in place a process that ensures delivery to customers.  Or to put it another way, you can ensure that the courts will believe that it is highly likely that the intended recipient received the critical document, on time.  This translates into an effective evidence vehicle in case litigation is ever required, and at the same time, reduces postage expenses to the insurer. 

I know, it sounds so pedestrian, doesn’t it?  Just remember though, it was income tax evasion that brought down Al Capone.  It might be that the hype of trans-promotional marketing and 1:1 personalization will finally bear the promised fruit.  In the meantime, the attorneys will find a way to use auditable technology to win, all the time.

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