Color is at the heart of communication. According to Kissmetrics, a customer engagement consultancy offering services similar to Google Analytics, 92.6% of people say the visual dimension of color is the #1 influencing factor affecting their purchase decision (over taste, smell, etc.). Color’s function in transaction print is far more important than that.
The Use of Color as a Call to Action
Color in a printed document is a key component of any message that is a call to action. Together placement, shape (and size), message, and color direct calls to action on transaction statement, such as clearly drawing recipients attention to when a bill is due, how to remit payments electronically, etc.
For financial service providers paper statements continue to serve an important function. The question that many financial service providers struggled with is whether this historical record still served a purpose (regulatory rules aside), or whether this was the vehicle to communicate directly to their customers on a once-a-month basis. It is now clear that forward looking financial providers view paper statement as one of the few remaining communication channels that customers do not ignore.
The remittance of payments has become an even bigger issue during COVID, as payments mailed by check have often not only been delayed in the mail, but more critically required a person at the receiving end to physically process the mailed in payment. With less workers in the office, there have been instances where deposits have not been made for weeks. Highlighting in printed color what options customers have to ensure timely payment remittance has become more critical than ever.
But there is a far greater benefit using color print to draw people’s attention to desired action than even receiving payments on time, and that is support cost reduction. The COVID pandemic has made it more critical than ever to enable easy and precise communication, in large part in order to reduce live calls to the statement issuer for additional help. The cost of a typical support call ranges from $5-10, often for simple questions to could have been answered had the transaction statement highlighted more detail, or made it easy for a customer to find the information on-line directly themselves.
All of these trends have in effect made the transaction statement no longer just a form of historical record, but rather a critical communication tool. It is blending the functionality of transaction information with the ability to get customer’s undivided attention once a month, in a way that electronic communication alone cannot accomplish. Color is a highly functional tool to raise a call to action, or to promote new, additional product offerings.
Color as a Competitive Tool to Retain Statement Volume
Nearly all ultra-large financial service providers issuing paper statements have switched from variable monochrome to color text, data, and graphics, enabled by the introduction of high-volume production continuous feed color inkjet printers such as the IntelliJet printers offered by BlueCrest. Large transaction providers like FSSI have made the use of color an art for their customers.
The introduction of BlueCrest’s new EvoluJet cut-sheet color production printer has opened the same color print opportunity to smaller transaction statement providers. Many small to mid-size financial service providers, utilities, and other bill providers want to have their statements look just like their bigger peers, for credibility and all the same benefits that the larger providers have been able to benefit from. If their current provider cannot provide variable color, that provider is at risk for losing that customer’s business to someone who can offer impactful color statements that can drive call to actions.
The Bottom Line
The cost to offering color statements is no longer a barrier with color inkjet technology. Inkjet’s productivity, lower than toner running cost, and now affordable acquisition cost with the introduction of the BlueCrest EvoluJet has made color available to all. Color transaction statements offer:
- Cost savings through clearer communication, call to action
- Promotional communication benefits
- Competitive tool for transaction providers to retain business
Without color, communication is devalued, there is no clear call to action, and frankly little future for transaction statement providers. BlueCrest’s EvoluJet has democratized color for all, it’s up to transaction statement providers to leverage the benefits of color print to create a brighter future for all.