Credit Card Statement Stuffers: Potentially In Danger?

With the increase in paperless statements, are credit card statement stuffers in danger of being endangered as an insert media prospecting option?

No, said Susan Trachtman, marketing manager of Wilmington, DE-based based Chase Credit Card Program, at the Direct Marketing Association’s Insert Media Day in New York on Wednesday. Instead, Trachtman sees a challenge and an opportunity with credit card statement stuffers.

The challenge is to find a way to continue persuading marketers to use credit card statement stuffers even though the number of paperless statements is on the rise. But there is also an opportunity for credit card companies to allow for online advertising on its customer’s sign in and personal information pages.

As more consumers go to paperless statements, total circulation goes down because the credit card company isn’t mailing as many statements. This practice offers a financial savings for the mailer because there’s no need to print a statement, but it’s a lost marketing opportunity because there are fewer people to mail to. But Trachtman said that mailers can still be smart with credit card stuffers if they adapt to the evolving consumer.

“The trend that is probably more concerning to me – because we haven’t capitalized on it yet – is the people who receive a statement but pay online,” Trachtman said. “We’re working on trying to understand those people, and looking to be able to target them. A [prospecting] program like Littleton Coin Co., in which you return your response with your [credit card bill] payment, doesn’t work for them because they are paying online. But a Vonage offer, in which the consumer is going to go online to receive that offer, would make perfect sense.”

Trachtman said mailers need to be aware of how their customers’ behavior is changing and take advantage of it, not just accept the same kind of stuffers as before. Credit card statement stuffers will need to evolve with the rest of direct mail pieces, and include URLs and online tracking codes to drive consumers to the Web.

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