How To Ensure Your Collection Email Campaigns Are Effective.

Please note that the information presented in this document are examples and what may work for some may not necessarily work for other companies. Odyssey Services does not make any claims as to their effectiveness or legal/regulatory use and does not constitute advise and cannot be held responsible for any circumstances arising from the use of such messages. Please also note that our Authorized, signed service agreement has precedence. Please consult your legal department for guidance.


Collection emails can be a tricky subject to master. Due to a combination of industry regulation, increasing anti-spam technology and recipients that likely do not want to receive such notices, ensuring effectiveness is not a simple process. Getting the Email into Your intended recipient’s Inbox is more complicated than just adding their email address to a list and sending it out. Here we will explore some best practices and strategies.

Getting Through the Spam Filter.

The growing number of email phishing scams have seen Email providers, IT departments and internet security companies be more vigilant when it comes to blocking unsolicited emails. Due to this trend a collection email is far more likely to wind up in a spam or junk folder.

Emails with the subject line including words and phrases such as: ‘Immediate’, ‘Immediate action’, ‘Last chance’, ‘Must sign up today!’, ‘Log in right now!’, ‘Offer to settle’, ‘Action Required’, ‘Exciting Opportunity’, ‘Important matter’, ‘Important business matter’, ‘Call us today’, ‘overdue’, etc. are more likely to be flagged in an email spam trap than other subject lines or content, especially if paired with an attachment (such as an invoice).

While your messages may be ‘important matters’ and require ‘Urgent Action’ from your perspective, this will not make a difference to an automatic spam trap or an IT Admin who cannot discern what is coming from a legitimate organization and what is not.

Using more personalized information in a subject line can also help. Such as using the merge tags in Odyssey’s email creation tool to easily add a name, company or account number to the subject, greeting or body of your email.


Sending to The Right Person.

Another important factor of sending collections messages is ensuring you are legitimately contacting the correct person. Many companies acquire or continue to use contact lists that were either not maintained or have been provided to them with outdated, inactive and inaccurate contact information. Unlike a home address or even phone number, an email address is very easy to change, create multiple of or get rid of.

These lists can be full of emails that are not active and even include what are known as ‘spam traps’ which are emails that are set up by an Anti-spam organization or Email domain in order to catch spam senders who will add these erroneous emails to their lists, some of which can end up being added to collection lists or added to lists purchased by such organizations.

When sending to a list, it is important to make sure it is cleaned of bad addresses and properly updated BEFORE it is sent through an email service. The reason being this can affect the ability of any future sends to be successful. A list full of bad addresses and spam traps can affect and block email IPs used by an email service. This means that it may affect not only the use of a collection company’s domain, but also other customers of a vendor using the same sending IP addresses. There are multiple online services that can test an email list for bad addresses in advance for this purpose.


Ensuring A Faster Response.

While getting the message into an inbox is important, what your end goal is in sending these messages is to get a payment or response. With that in mind, having an easily identifiable way to reply to the email such as a phone number, mailing address, or what information to respond with in order to initiate a payment is helpful.

Having information available in a subject such as the recipient account number, invoice number and short, clear verbiage with no aggressive or pressurizing language.

Another useful addition may be a direct link to a payment method that can be used by the recipient to make a quick, instant payment. This ease of use will make it more likely for them to take action immediately.

Coordinating Message Types.

While sending just an email can be effective and gain results, using multiple media types based on the customer information you have can have a few benefits. Firstly, receiving a follow up from another media source can help to provide legitimacy. If an SMS or voicemail and email contains matching customer information, this can make it more likely that the recipient verifies that this is coming from a legitimate source.

It can also give you an opportunity to reach someone who may no longer use one form of contact information.  As discussed above, emails can be switched or disused faster than other contact methods.

*Of course, when it comes to the collection industry, regional regulations vary in regards to contacting debt holders, but must be adhered to when looking at what content, media type and how frequently you can send to an individual through one or multiple media types.


*Please note that the information presented in this document are examples and what may work for some may not necessarily work for other companies. Odyssey Services does not make any claims as to their effectiveness or legal/regulatory use and does not constitute advise and cannot be held responsible for any circumstances arising from the use of such messages. Please also note that our Authorized, signed service agreement has precedence. Please consult your legal department for guidance.


Why Odyssey’s SMS service can help you regularly communicate with your remote team

Some common feelings of remote workers are that of being isolated and the lack proper communication. They want to feel more connected to their office and team.

Likewise, businesses depend on remote workers doing their tasks effectively to be operational, and being able to get questions rapidly answered is key to this relationship.

SMS can be an excellent communication method for this purpose. Most people can more immediately answer a text to the phone they carry at all times, than an email or group chat.

With Odyssey, you can individualize a mass text sent to your team so that each SMS recipient gets a unique response based on their personal requirements.

1. Reach out instantly for a situation that needs immediate attention.

2. Touch base in a way that feels more personal to the recipient.

3. Keep everyone updated on recent accomplishments and growth.

4. Read all SMS replies in a single place.

You can use text in conjunction with other communication streams to ensure your message will be read, even on the trip for morning coffee!

The 3 steps to a successful communication plan

Medium or Message?

The Medium or the Message? Which is more important and where should we focus our efforts?

There has been much discussion, and confusion surrounding this subject. The answer is simpler than you think: Both!

In today’s world of multiple communication platforms and mediums, we tend to get swayed or confused on where we need to place our efforts. Which medium? How do we format our content to fit each medium? Must we communicate all messaging across all mediums? What demographic content is right for which medium? With so many questions, where do yous tart?

There has been no other time in history where we have had such a barrage of communication methods available to us. It seems that we just get used to one method, learn how to use it effectively, when something new pops up and the discovery starts again. WhatsApp, Snap Chat, Instagram, Facebook, Messenger, iMessage, to name just a few. And let’s not forget the existing older methods of communication: Email, fax, paper mail, newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and the phone. Are these still even viable or accepted methods to communicate  and do they provide a given return on the investment of time, effort and money?

Let's look at this from a different perspective. The following 5 questions are the first step in our quest to determine which method and medium is the right one to use:

Step 1

  1. What do we want to accomplish?
  2. What is our desired end goal?
  3. Where are we now?
  4. What’s available to us currently?
  5. What else is out there that we know or don’t know?

These questions lead us to the next step. Here are 6 reasons why we communicate.

Step 2

  1. Generate awareness of who you are (Enables you to be found, person or company)
  2. Get your message to resonate (Create a connection)
  3. Generate a sense of trust (Create a conversation)
  4. Create a relationship (Validate your brand)
  5. Sell something (End goal)
  6. Sell something again (Start another process which includes some of these steps above)

Now we have a starting point. Now don’t get me wrong, this is by no means easy, however getting these questions answered is vital and results in the creation of our roadmap.

Let’s take these 6 reasons and look at what we should know or do before we begin the task of creating a communications plan. Believe it or not, the information you have just derived from this process will begin your strategy.

Step 3:  The T5 of your communication plan.

  • Theme- What is the overall look and feel? What is the demographic? Who is the ideal target? What is the ancillary audience? What is measured, providing what information and for what purpose? What is the knowledge derived and what power can you gain?
  • Tactics- How are you going to bring action to your plan, and what are the milestones? What technology will be used? When and how will they be utilized?
  • Technology/Tools- What technologies do you have at your disposal and what can be used to provide some automation, repeatability, and scalability? Which messaging or communication platforms will be used in this plan?
  • Term- What is the period or length of this communication project? There must be a defined end.
  • Talent- What do you have available and what do you need to source? Think about marketing execution, content creation, and process development.

So, what do we know? We know where we are, we know where we want to be, what we want to do and we know what we have available to us (technology/tools/talent). Also be aware that at this stage, we don’t know some things. These will only be revealed as we progress in our plan. This must be allotted for and allowed to occur, as nothing ever follows precisely as planned.

So, what does all this have to do with the medium or the message? Everything!

It tells us that we need to think about how our world is communicating today, and what is the best medium for direct communication. It also tells us that once we figure out the medium, we need to understand how that medium works and what is accepted and what is not! It tells us that we must be clear about our message and the content of that message. Does the message provoke a positive response? Does it provoke an action?

A stone tablet and a chisel, or carrier pigeons were once the prime way to communicate, however we don’t see them in use today.

SMS-Voice-Email, and others; all mediums serve a purpose or we would not still be using them. When we find a better way to communicate, we adopt it and dispose of lesser none useful ones. In summary, when you build out your communications strategy, keep in mind these steps to create success:

⇒ Understand, plan and create a strategy on how you want to use technology

⇒ Technology is great, but it’s just a tool.  It is highly sophisticated, but a tool none the less

⇒ Use  a  medium  that  fits  your  message,  and  then create a  message  that fits  your  medium 

⇒ Think about how and when you would use specific mediums