Inkit is a Reach Enablement Platform (REP) built for teams that recognize the value and importance of reaching and engaging with customers. We provide teams with technology and tooling that can be quickly embedded into existing infrastructure to autocomplete and verify customer addresses, deliver automated and personalized campaigns, and render paperless documents at scale. Our mission is to help the world’s best businesses reach their customers.
Read on for the CEO and Co-Founder of Inkit, Michael McCarthy’s, guest contribution to the Iterable blog, and to learn his perspectives on the digital transformation from paper to paperless.
Going from paper to paperless has a substantial impact on businesses. Companies that abandon paper documents and file cabinets in favor of digital documents optimize their internal processes and cut expenses.
Little do they know that apart from business optimization, digital transformation revolutionizes customer communications as well. As companies go online and the competition for customers becomes more severe, customer engagement gets more and more demanding. Only those that offer smooth customer experiences and customer journeys through multiple marketing channels win.
To become one of them, you need to find the balance between offline and online customer experience in the age of digital transformation. Here are the best tips to balance paper and paperless with the Inkit and Iterable integration.
What Is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is the adoption of digital technologies intended for transforming approaches to services and business. Outdated methods are left behind and substituted with more agile, efficient and software-based processes.
Digital transformation is a complex process consisting of many aspects and the transition from paper to paperless is only one of them. In addition to document digitization, digital transformation is also about digital filing, document management systems, artificial intelligence, marketing automation and other aspects of your business that impact the bottom line.
The Impact of Digital Transformation and Paperless Trends on Customer Experience
Not so long ago, the customer experience was mainly shaped by offline interactions. Today, some of the best customer journeys happen entirely online. Although such a transition from offline and paper to online and paperless simplifies marketing, companies are also missing out on effective offline channels, like direct mail and word-of-mouth.
With fewer channels and fewer resources to attract customers, it becomes a challenge to compete in an oversaturated digital marketing field. Since all companies focus on the same marketing channels, it’s hard to provide a unique customer experience. Because of online marketing abundance, consumers can afford to be picky. They develop banner blindness, become prone to ignore advertising emails, and get tired of similar online promotions.
It’s actually better to combine offline and online customer experiences in cross-channel campaigns to get the most of the new-age marketing. You don’t need to switch from paper to paperless entirely, but you should run personalized cross-channel campaigns that develop a great customer experience, competitive advantage and customer loyalty.
Tips on How to Balance Paper and Paperless Customer Experiences
There is no universal recipe for combining paper and paperless customer experiences. Each company needs to find a good customer experience that fits its target audience. Still, some proven methods work for everyone and can regularly pay off.
#1. Research and segment your target audience for personalized content
People respond differently to varying communication channels. That’s why you should remember customer experience preferences in the course of digital transformation and regularly check if they’ve changed.
For example, 64% of the 55+ generation perceives the information delivered by mail as easy to process. Among the 18-34 group, only 52% think so. At the same time, the direct mail response rates are equal among all age groups. This means that you don’t necessarily need to focus on online channels to reach younger generations. It’s enough to target direct mail better and make it customer-centric.
Similar research should help you understand the expectation of your target audience and balance paper to paperless transition.
#2. Implement marketing automation software for a cross-channel CX strategy
You won’t be able to build a decent customer experience strategy without digital tools. Pick the software that covers multiple channels of communication and personalizes customer interactions based on triggers. In particular, Iterable allows you to align email, SMS, mobile push, in-app, web push, social and other customer experiences. When connected with Inkit, you can also power the experience with customized direct mail to combine online and offline channels.
#3. Use document rendering solutions for the flexible paper to paperless transition
For the paper to paperless transition, you need rendering software. Rendering tools convert HTML to PDF files, automatically store them for record-keeping, and deliver online or offline. Why is it important? PDF rendering allows you to create files you can send via any channel. Apart from official communications like invoices or bills, these are also postcards, leaflets and other marketing materials. The mode of communication will depend on what customers face during their unique customer journey.
#4. A/B test to learn when digital transformation is effective and when to use traditional approaches
Once you have ideas for cross-channel marketing campaigns, don’t forget to test them. Iterable offers handy A/B testing functionality you can use to learn open rate, clicks, revenue, number of purchases, improvements and other metrics. If you haven’t adopted a marketing platform yet, you can manually divide a part of your target audience into two groups to check the response to different marketing tactics. This will help you see the effectiveness of paper customer experiences and paperless interactions to know when to use each of them.
Inkit and Iterable Integration to Transform Customer Experience
When you connect these tools through an API, you complement Iterable’s digital marketing functionality with Inkit’s offline marketing features like HTML to PDF rendering, address verification and personalized mail delivery capabilities. Thanks to trigger-based marketing automation in both tools, the software automatically tailors customer experiences based on real-time interactions.
That way, your customers receive consistent, seamless offline and online experiences, bringing them back to your brand over and over again.