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1. Specify a Convincing Reason to Sign up

What is the most important reason or benefit for your customers to sign up? The advantages of Direct Debit are numerous. You can choose specific messaging to communicate with your target audience. For example, you may want to convey that Direct Debit is convenient, easy and hassle free. Another option is to promote the reliability, security and protection that comes with the Direct Debit Guarantee.

2. Reach Out to Your Payers

There are many ways to reach your payers. Do some research and consider which methods of communication your customers are more likely to use. A multi-channel approach should increase your success rate and ROI (return on investment).

Social Media – Take advantage of the growing popularity of social media. Depending on your target audience, you could use all relevant channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram. Setting a budget for promoting (advertising) posts will enable you to target a specific audience.

Email – If your customers have consented to receive marketing communications (be aware of the forthcoming data protection changes), creating an email marketing campaign can be a very cost-effective way to reach them. Personalise your emails to your customers, with a compelling subject and relevant images. Make sure to include your business’ contact details and a catchy call to action.

Website – Make it clear to your website’s visitors that you accept payment via Direct Debit. This should be in the payment area of your website, but also other sections such as the FAQs and the pricing page.

Phone – For those customers who prefer to communicate on the phone, a one-to-one interaction may be an opportunity to convert your payers to Direct Debit. Train your staff and provide a telephone script with possible questions and answers. The more you and your staff know about Direct Debit, the more convincing you will sound.

Post – It’s true that we live in a digital world. However, receiving something via the post may stand out to someone who receives hundreds of emails every day. Consider creating paper bill inserts, brochures or even modifying your bill messaging with a short reminder that the Direct Debit option is available.

Face-to-face – If you regularly interact with customers at your offices or shops, then consider positioning some Direct Debit promotional material at the point-of-sale. Offer the possibility of signing up on the spot by giving customers the option to complete a paper mandate (DDI) with their bank details and signature, or have a laptop or tablet available for them to enter their details online.

3. Test Your Sign-up Campaign

Testing should definitely be considered so that your campaign has a greater success rate. Finding out what works means that when you officially roll out your Direct Debit sign-up campaign, you will have a greater ROI, and the larger your payer database the more important it is to plan beforehand. Set out realistic key performance indicators (KPIs) before you start and consider testing methods such as A/B testing.

4. Incentivise

Incentives can be advantageous, but consider whether you think they would be beneficial, relative to the number of customers you are signing up to Direct Debit. Review what is being sold, by whom and make an informed decision.

5. Use a Call to Action

Calls to action can make all the difference between a sign-up and a loss. A strong call to action must be simple to understand, clearly seen and easy to facilitate. Fortunately, with the right Direct Debit service provider, customer sign-up can be completed quickly!

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