Is your business at the mercy of the stamp?

Press Release   •   Jul 28, 2012 15:58 BST

The cost of postage in the UK is now higher than ever, which has a significant impact on businesses that still rely on traditional paper mail. If your business is at the mercy of the stamp, then perhaps it's time to consider the alternative - secure email document delivery.

According to an article recently published on BBC News, Royal Mail now has the freedom to set the price of first class and business mail. Increases of 30% and more are set to load your mail budgets.

"Going paperless is a win-win for business and consumers alike. The email technology that is available today provides consumers with a far more convenient and secure document delivery option, while businesses enjoy the related cost savings, operational efficiency and better marketing opportunities," explains Sarah Appleby, from Striata.

Why secure email document delivery? 
Appleby says that the key to successful paper turn-off, is customer adoption, and this is driven by customer convenience. It's no use offering customers an alternative to paper mail that requires them to perform a series of actions to access their documents - visit a website, register, choose and remember usernames and passwords.

"Let's face it, your customer prefers to do nothing more than open an envelope, so a ‘fetch it from my website' strategy is a poor replacement for traditional paper mail," she adds. "The result is a low paperless adoption percentage - lingering around 15% for online portals. This certainly won't solve your mail budget deficit, so the Royal Mail increases have to be passed on to your customers which means you may ultimately lose your competitive edge in the market place.

There is a far more convenient, cost effective and successful methodology to paper suppression: electronic consent via email followed by secure document delivery."

Successful paper turn-off in 4 simple steps
Appleby highlights a few simple steps to successful paper turn-off via secure document delivery:

"Step 1: Gather email addresses at every customer touch point. 
Step 2: Send a highly personalised email, with an eConsent process that requires just one click to agree to go paperless - no need for a website visit (you can also attach a sample of the document to this email). 
Step 3: Capture the consumer's consent choice without requiring registration or a new username and password. 
Step 4: Suppress the paper and begin sending all appropriate documents as secure email attachments."

Appleby goes on to say that it's important to recognise that email delivery complements online portals which provide archiving and self service options. Automatic registration can be facilitated at the point when a customer gives electronic consent to receive bills via email. Since the customer is already authenticated, access via secure links within the eDocument drives portal sign up and subsequent qualified traffic to the portal.

"To sum it up, make sure you aren't replacing Royal Mail with the Pony Express. If you want to turn-off paper successfully, then ensure you are offering your clients a better, alternative solution, this way you can easily achieve your paperless adoption targets and enjoy the associated cost savings and operational efficiencies," concludes Appleby.