Message content matters: how applying behavioural science to your texts can lead to better outcomes

Topic: Customer Service, Finance & DCAs, How-to guides, Local Government, Public Sector, User Experience, Utilities

There’s a famous case study from the world of behaviourial science called “The $100 Million Nudge”. The authors, in collaboration with the Dominican Republic tax authority, hypothesised that using certain language within a request for payment of taxes would increase the likelihood that payment was made. $100 Million of additional payments later, they justifiably congratulated themselves on a successful experiment!

What happened on an epic scale in the Dominican Republic can benefit any business: from landlords chasing rent arrears, to utility companies seeking final balance debt payment; from local government needing an effective way to collect outstanding council tax, to business owners chasing prompt payment from customers. It’s all about what you write, when you send the message, how frequently you repeat the message, and what channel(s) you use.

Explanation of behavioural science

Behavioural science or behavioural insights is the practice of really understanding your customers, so that you know what levers you can pull in order to get the best outcomes for you and the customer. No business wants to turn to litigation to get payment, but nor can businesses afford not to get paid, particularly in the current climate.

Context is critical to the success of a behavioural science backed messaging strategy. If you need to get repeat payments from a customer, then being too heavy-handed in your early messaging strategy will drive short-term results, but it will damage your ability to have a sustained, long-term relationship with the customer.

In some cases, customers have the freedom to change supplier if your messaging strategy falls flat; for example utilities. In the case of council tax and housing arrears, the customer isn’t going anywhere; but in most cases there is a clear benefit to having a relationship with the customer rather than a one sided delivery of demands.

The Esendex team are messaging channel experts: we can tell you with confidence when to send your messages and via what channel to ensure that they get read. In order to provide the complete picture, we asked the experts at Voicescape to partner with us on a video on message content; one that provides an insight into the power of ‘nudges’, how to get started, and what not to do.

The short answer there is not to copy and paste the Dominican Republic’s messaging strategy – context is key!

We really hope you enjoy this video; if you’d like to get started with a more effective messaging strategy, please get in touch with our team on 0345 356 5758, or email sales@esendex.com where we’ll direct you to one of our expert team for your industry and requirement.

Author Avatar
Liz Wilson

I'm Liz Wilson, and I have the privilege of heading up the marketing team here at Esendex. I've seen marketing evolve from buying a list of email addresses and sending a cold message, to today's much more satisfying practice of delivering great content via multiple channels, and inviting people to engage with us on their terms. I hope you find our blog a valuable source of info and ideas; all feedback is welcome!