These days, email is one of the most popular forms of communication – especially when it comes to correspondence between businesses and their customers.
From a marketing perspective, email is a great way to keep in touch with customers, providing updates about products and services and alerting people to sales and special offers. Thousands of emails can be sent in a matter of seconds, without having to pay for printing costs or postage.
Email is also fantastic for invoicing and payment. As with marketing emails, electronic invoices can save you lots of time and money, and invoices will be with your customers almost immediately. That means, for the customers who don’t need any extra pushing, those invoices might be paid faster.
However, email does have its downsides. Getting someone to actually read an email can be tricky and if an electronic message isn’t acted upon immediately, it can be easily forgotten or lost under an ever-growing list of newer messages.
That means to get the most of your emails, you need to be as persuasive as possible. How do you do that? Here are our suggestions:
- Make sure your goals are clear
The person reading your email should know exactly what they are expected to do next. For credit management, this probably means the email’s goal is to get customers to pay – so focus on that. Avoid having multiple objectives with each email, since that can be distracting.
- Give your reader a reason to care
If you want to persuade someone to do something, you need to demonstrate how an action will benefit them. This can be tricky if you’re trying to get a customer to part with their cash, so you might want to consider early payment discounts or some sort of loyalty scheme. Warning about late fees is another option to consider, but positive reinforcement is usually more effective.
- Consider what might be stopping them
There are plenty of reasons a customer might not pay an invoice as soon as it arrives. Maybe it’s their policy to process payments at a certain time or perhaps they have to get approvals. It could also be that your invoice is confusing or their options for how to pay aren’t clear. Try to figure out ways to preempt these sorts of issues.
- Be concise
There’s virtually no limit to how long an email can be. But that doesn’t mean each electronic message should be the length of a novel. Every word counts when people are busy and scanning their emails, so choose your words carefully and keep the email as brief as possible – but not so short it loses clarity!
- Keep your contacts up to date
No matter how perfectly worded your email is or how wonderfully persuasive your message, it won’t do you any good if it’s addressed to the wrong person or you have an old, unused email address. So, try to keep your address book up to date. Credit management software, such as Onguard’s, can help with this. It gives everyone in your organisation the ability to update and amend records as appropriate.
There’s no doubt that email is a useful tool and it’s something that can be of great use for credit management teams – but even the best tools are useless if you don’t know how to use them properly. So if you’re having trouble getting a response from your email shots, it might be time to step back and re-think your approach to ensure your messages are as persuasive as possible.
Find our more
If you’d like to find out more about Onguard, or how our software can help you with electronic invoicing and correspondence, contact us today on +31 (0)88 256 66 66, via email@example.com or request a demo.