Color Me Crazy: The Shocking Truth About Hyperlinks

By James Hills, Facilities Manager Solutions Consultant, Print Audit

Crazy CustomerWhat drives your customers crazy?  Many, many things drive them nuts. A good portion of them are crazy already, or at least unstable. Why else do they lie to you, or snap their crayons over trivial issues that are easily resolved with a bit of communication?

I’ll tell you one thing that really drives them up the wall though. Blue hyperlinks in emails!

If they print one of those, all of a sudden they are paying 7 cents per page, instead of less than 1 cent per page. If they print a lot of them, and our stats indicate that it is not unusual that 20% of printing is done via email, then they can end up with a very large bill. You can bet your a** that your customers do not consider that a color page.

Let’s take a closer look at a real world example:

In recent assessment of a security company’s user print behavior we saw a common situation. 17% of their total print output was in color, which is nothing too dramatic. However, when we drilled down to printing from Outlook, the amount of color printing jumped to 34%. What a perfect opportunity to implement Rules Based Printing.

Now, some of you are thinking “Why would I want my customers to stop racking up those large bills?”

Here’s why.


Firstly, if you are not talking to your customers about how to reduce these costs, your competitors most certainly will.   Secondly, it is in your long-term financial interest.  By implementing a single Rule that eliminates color from printed emails, the customer will save the difference between color and mono costs, which will seemingly reduce your profits in those accounts.  However, you will be adding a monthly charge for the use of the Rules software which, under Print Audit’s subscription program, has a profit margin of 95%. This is the epitome of a win-win. Your customer is saving money while your profit margins increase.

I’m happy to explain this math in more detail if you have questions about it!

I suggest getting a jump on this issue before your competitors exploit this sore spot with your customers by offering them a way to control that expense.  You’ll look like the proactive consultant that you are, and your customer will be getting a very visible ROI.

Come to think of it, couldn’t you take advantage of this same pain point with your competitors’ customers?