“TransPromo” Instills Fear

Matt Swain
Sep 30, 2008

“TransPromo” has recently become a hot topic. I spend much of my day using the word, yet I sometimes wish that I had a better descriptor to define the application.

The word “TransPromo” instills fear in many corporate executives. Whether they are in retail, financial, healthcare, or insurance – it is a leap for these executives to consider compromising the integrity of their transactional documents with promotional material. They quickly jump to the thought of clutter and poorly designed third party advertising ruining the relationship that they worked so hard to build. Frankly, it would scare me too – if that was the thought that “TransPromo” triggered. It is not.

TransPromo leverages any opt-in relationship (statements, bills, notifications, reminder cards) by providing messaging printed (placed) directly on the piece. Messaging is the key term, because it does not have to be promotional. The messaging can be promotional, but it also can be informational or educational. (*Statement messaging is used in small circles, but never caught on.)

If I went back to those same corporate executives and talked to them about “TransEdu” or “TransInfo” they would see the value in building customer loyalty and reducing mailing costs. If I happened to mention that they could also use this same concept for promotion, the fear factor would be significantly reduced, because I eased in with a less dramatic suggestion for change.

Even as I write this, I am building out a “TransPromo Consulting Service” and have recently completed a study entitled Trans Meets Promo… Is It More Than Market Hype, because that is the term that people are familiar with – for better or worse. There is no fighting the term now.

I relate the term “TransPromo” to a household word – “toothbrush.”

The term “toothbrush” describes the action of brushing one tooth, but we all know that it can be used to brush them all. The term “TransPromo” has the same stigma that toothbrush once did. It can be used to describe the addition of promotional messaging to transaction documents, but it can also be used to describe the addition of informational and educational messaging into a statement, bill, notification, reminder card, or other opt-in communication between provider and customer.

Since we are stuck with “TransPromo,” market education is the critical next step. One day, “TransPromo” will cease to instill fear, just as “toothbrush” no longer incites me to purchase 28 toothbrushes.

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