We spend a lot of time working with our biller customers to help them move from US Mail to Electronic Delivery. Average saving is 40 cents per bill which includes reduction in postage, material, and labor costs. On top of that you get improved DSO, more satisfied and sticky customers, more electronic payments and you save some trees.
Let's say you're a biller with 500,000 customers who receive a bill each month. If you can move just 10% of your customers to electronic delivery, that's $240,000 in annual savings. That's a lot of cabbage.
So why do billers struggle with getting customers to turn off the delivery of their paper bills. I call it the "What's in it for me?" problem. Instead of explaining it, I'll let Citibank make my case. I'm a CitiMortgage customer. Generally they do a wonderful job and I have no complaints besides the typical ones about crippling the American economy. I recently received the below email from them.
So I receive my pretty bill in the mail each month, and I'm trying to figure out why I should stop. I know it saves Citi a bunch of dough, but What's In It For Me?
I'm sure there are some wonderful people in the marketing department that crafted this email, but I think they failed to give any real compelling reasons.
Here's the case they make in the "Why Go Paperless?" section of the email and my own take.
1. Save yourself a trip to the mailbox and do your part to lower consumer paper waste.
Actually, my wife or I pretty much make one trip to the mailbox each day and I'm thinking removing one bill will not save us from this Herculean effort.
2. View your statements and make your payments online, anytime - its easy and secure.
Ummm, I think I can do this today. How does turning off my paper bill enable this?
3. We'll send you a monthly email letting you know your statement is available.
Really? Will you only send me an email if I turn off my paper bill? I doubt it.
That's it, that's the case they make. How about addressing what really concerns customers? Like will my bills be available online for 7 years or more? Or maybe give me some incentive to do this like a free gift certificate on Amazon. How about you plant a tree for every 10 customers that takes you up on this?
There are really so many other compelling ways to get people to make the switch but unless you solve the "What's In It For Me?" problem, you better set the bar pretty low for target adoption rates.