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Turn Paper into Gold with this Document Value Checklist

May 26, 2015 Categories: Digital Color, Industry News, Reference Guide Tags: , , , , , , ,

In an earlier post, we propounded that document value is quite real and not just marketing hyperbole. We mentioned how compliant production, digital color and customer understanding can all increase the value of customer-facing documents, beyond merely fulfilling their original intended purpose. However, we stopped short of providing tips that actually make your documents better.

This post completes the thought by providing practical, best-practice-driven guidance based on 30-plus years of experience counseling and supporting leading financial brands.

Enrich customer experience. Increase document value.

Whether you use in-house resources or work with an outsourcer like FSSI, this simple but effective checklist will almost immediately help you identify how to improve the impact and usability of statements, bills and invoices. Even everyday letters and notices can benefit from these time-proven insights.

For best results, FSSI recommends assessing documents from your customers’ perspective. Be honest and objective. Put yourself in their shoes and view each page as if for the very first time. If you believe customers would respond positively to the current content and layout, you’re probably on the right track.

But if you’re not certain or if documents fall short in any of these areas, you have an opportunity both enrich the customer experience and increase document value:

  • Intended Purpose: Is the document meant to summarize information, encourage remittance, or fulfill a compliance requirement? How well is it doing so? Could a simple message, graphic or color highlight enhance the intended purpose and increase document value?
  • Age: When was the document last reviewed or improved? By today’s standards, does it seem old or dated? Does it feature the latest logo and/or corporate branding scheme?
  • Layout: Does the information seem cramped or cluttered?  Does it flow logically and seamlessly from one section to the next? Is everything easy to find and understand?
  • Content: Does the document contain all the information customers would reasonably expect? Can anything be taken out or added to improve their reading experience?
  • Color: Are you selectively using color to emphasize or draw attention to vital information, such as transaction dates, account balance, payment due-date and amount? Are you using color ink (vs. black) to enliven on-page graphics or imagery? Doing so can bring them to life and increase reader engagement.
  • Voice (if using on-page messaging): Though an economical and effective method of educating, cross-selling and upselling, not all companies use on-page messaging (aka text or copy). However, if you do, make sure the voice is clear, friendly, accurate and informative.

Free consultation, before-and-after samples

For an objective second opinion about any of your current documents--including layout, color use, whitespace management or copywriting/content, contact an FSSI Marketing Services Specialist today. We have a seasoned staff of designers writers, programmers and color experts ready to help you improve document value and performance. You may also request samples from our before-and-after archive. Click to see a list of industries served, including credit unions, auto finance and banks.