We all know that customers look at their billing statements. We estimate the open rate for billing statements for existing customers is between a whopping 95% and 97%. That compares to a 5.3% response rate for general direct mail using a house list and 2.9% using a prospect list from the Data and Marketing Association’s 2016 report. So, don’t let that prime real estate on the billing statement go to waste. Instead, look at your billing statement format as an ideal opportunity to improve customer engagement and create strong relationships.
How? Start by including information that educates customers about related products and services.
For example, one of our clients is an eye care network. The company replaces the two billing box images every month and includes brief alerts such as dates, locations and fees for educational seminars for network members. Using our Expresso application, executing this style of variable messaging is fast and easy.
Striking the right note
To build customer experience and relationships, go a major step forward by personalizing your marketing messages. Leveraging advances in customer communication management technology lets you customize offers, information, even color and designs.
That way, you don’t waste the space and lose the opportunity to connect with clients by offering a home-equity loan in a mortgage statement for a client that has already maxed out their existing line of credit.
Some additional examples of how to “message mix” via your billing statement format:
- In healthcare, medical billing statements for patients who have had a heart procedure could include an information box about cardiac-related wellness programs.
- Vacation owners can see beautiful photos displaying options for their next dream vacation when they receive their billing statement for the annual assessment.
Unlike traditional bills, adding marketing or informational messaging will need input from different departments. To make this work well, it pays to designate a single owner of this communication strategy to coordinate all information.
Promote going digital
Using some of the real estate on the billing statement also is a perfect opportunity to get more customers to migrate to electronic communications. Moving customers to receive communications by email is the fastest way to reduce the high cost of paper mailings. So, make sure the instructions for checking off that option get a well-designed, prominent spot on the paper bill.
What about violations of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 for email? To stay in compliance with CAN-SPAM, the marketing content on emails must not exceed the billing/transactional content. That’s why the marketing content should be measured (think banner ad), and not dominate the communication.
Finally, we all know marketing messages and designs need to be constantly evaluated for effectiveness. Even subject lines in emails must be tested. The right technology makes it possible to quickly and accurately make changes and analyze the results of your billing statement format.
If you would like to learn more about including marketing messages in your billing statements or other critical, recurring communications, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Bryan joined Nordis Technologies in 2016 to manage and grow the company’s already-large vacation ownership client base. He also is responsible for business development and market expansion in the healthcare and financial services markets. Before joining Nordis, Bryan spent more than 21 years with Interval International, a leading global provider of vacation ownership services. Bryan graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor of science in political science.