Companies from all industries spend millions of dollars to produce and deliver millions of customer documents each month. Account statements, invoices, pack slips–these are just a few of the many transactional documents that drive and support the business workflow of any organization. Without these routine business documents, most businesses would simply see no business at all.
"Transactional documents represent more than simply a cost of doing business; they can be vital and valuable marketing tools as well."

The cost to process, print, mail and deliver customer-facing transactional documents is a significant expenditure for most organizations. While your stats and numbers will vary, let’s assume that it costs your company approximately two dollars to print and mail a simple, single-page customer account statement. Now multiply that two dollars by the number of account statements that go out the door every month. That number can easily reach into the tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Transactional documents are marketing tools

Transactional documents represent more than simply a cost of doing business; in fact, they can be vital and valuable marketing tools as well. The reason for this is that transactional documents get noticed. Customers are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages each day. And most of those messages get ignored. But transactional documents, like order acknowledgements, invoices and account statements, almost always get attention. One study from research firm InfoTrends found that transactional documents are opened and read by more than 90% of consumers. This is a powerful finding. What other type of marketing communication can claim that kind of customer open rate?

The white space opportunity

How can you begin to take advantage of transactional documents as revenue-generating marketing tools? One way is to tap into the opportunity of white space. Consider that on any conventional account statement, for example, there exists open, or “white,” space that does not contain any text or images. Depending on the design of the document and the content included, that open space can be significant–sometimes an entire page of unused real estate. Using this white space to present targeted messaging and relevant content can turn a boring and expensive account statement into a vital tool for marketing, up-sell, cross-sell and extend brand loyalty and customer experience. Response rates for generic direct mail are disappointingly lowjust over one percentbut response rates for personalized and targeted transactional documents can jump by as much as 500%. Herein lies the often overlooked opportunity and value of white space.

Types of white space

On any typical statement, there exists open white space that can be significant, often leaving potentially valuable opportunity. There are three types of white space:

Fixed Space: area that is intentionally left open, such as the area in the header or footer, so it can be used for branding or advertising using post-process legacy software solutions–or in pre-processing to provide inserter-ready documents.

Dynamic Space: area that is available only when dynamic content does not fill the space. For example, area left at the end of a page or end of a document. Traditionally this was lost space, but this space can used for powerful branding, up-sell and or targeted messaging.

Creative Space: area that is created dynamically between line items or sections of a form to place relevant information based on the item or service being purchased or inquired about. Next-generation solutions can make any document more valuable than ever with creative space.
"If you think adding dynamic white space messaging to your existing documents will be too costly and complex, it’s time to think again."

Next-generation tools

New tools and systems are available that give businesses of all sizes and types the ability to easily and affordably leverage unused white space on customer-facing documents. Imagine including the following customized message on an order acknowledgement document, for example: Thanks for your order of 100 BBQ grills. Use this code to get 10% off an order of BBQ tools. There is perhaps no better opportunity to increase that order size with additional products and services. And since it costs six to seven times more to acquire a new customer than it does to sell to an existing one, white space messaging makes good business sense since it helps you make more money from your best customers…the ones you already have.

Moving forward

Organizations are finding untapped opportunity using white space in more intelligent ways. A new generation of document generation tools is making dynamic white space management an affordable reality for companies that have in the past lacked the infrastructure, budget and technical expertise needed to make it happen. Are you ready to move forward? 

Steve Luke is the CEO at Eclipse Corporation, exclusive North American distributor of DocOrigin. For more information, contact Steve at 404-954-1012 or visit

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