A Waste of Bill Space? Dsicmm Study Finds Room for Ads


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Over half a billion pounds worth of advertising space on bills and statements lies unused in the UK. This is the finding of a new study from dsicmm, which looks at the value of advertising opportunities on transactional mail in the UK. The advertising value of this wasted opportunity is equivalent to 22% of UK annual direct mail spend. Overall, in the UK, marketers (consumer-focused only) buy around £19bn in advertising space, direct marketing, sponsored weblinks etc. every year.

dsicmm researched the value of the current transpromo advertising opportunity in eight key markets – bank statements, credit card statements, investment portfolio statements, mortgage statements, mobile phone bills, landline phone bills, power utility bills, water utility bills,and loyalty card statements. The unexploited advertising media values on statement or billing communications, per annum, to UK consumers, was found to be worth £502,807,600.

Yolanda Noble, CEO, dsicmm, comments: “The question over whether or how to use statements and bills as an advertising medium has been debated quietly over the last few years, especially amongst key banks and wealth managers anxious to find every available means of up-selling or cross-selling to their high net worth customers. However, only recently has the medium become more widely recognised, to the extent that the US technology analysts have now given it a name – “transpromotional” or more briefly “transpromo” advertising. This recognition from the analysts is important, as it tends to indicate that the technique has moved from just being experimental but instead mainstream, that a real marketplace of technology and service providers has been established, that end-user organisations are actively taking up those technologies and services, and that the technique is delivering hard results for those employing it.

“The findings of our research reveal a major unexploited opportunity for companies to cross-sell additional products to their customers, or charge appropriate affinity partners for the space. Half a billion pounds worth of advertising opportunity is not being utilised either for cross-selling or for introducing third party propositions. Technology is now at hand to take advantage of this under-utilised medium. Software is available that can place individualised messages on statements and bills, and affordable variable digital colour printing technology allows those adverts to be eye-catching and compelling. Major analyst organisations have recognised transpromo advertising and predict a rapid uptake in its advertising potential by marketers

“A handful of pioneers are taking advantage of this medium benefiting from response rates not far short of those experienced by the average direct mail campaign. The key opportunity evidently lies in banking and credit cards, simply because of the sheer volume of statements generated by this sector.”

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