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companies acquire or continue to use contact lists that were either not maintained or have been provided to them with outdated, inactive and inaccurate contact information.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.