Bounced Payments & Personal Follow-Up | EP 117Apr 12, 2023
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Are you relying solely on automations to recover failed payments? If so, you are losing money and experiencing unnecessary churn in your subscription box business. Business is personal. Recovering failed payments needs more than just automation - it needs a personal touch. Your personal touch.
Think about how much time, energy, and money you spend getting new subscribers. How much time and energy are you willing to spend to keep them? In my subscription business, we use a combination of automations and personal outreach to follow up on failed payments. The result? Each month we recoup 98% of our bounced payments.
Keep in mind, most failed payments are not due to subscribers wanting to cancel or intentionally not paying. Credit cards expire and need to be updated. Other things happen that unintentionally cause payments to fail. Assume subscribers want to stay with you and just need help updating their info.
Every subscription box business should have a failed payment automation set up. You can do this directly in your subscription platform or CRM. The goal is to recover as many payments as possible through automation, reducing the time spent manually recouping payments via personal outreach.
The automation process we use in my subscription box business is set up like this:
- Payment Run #1 - failed payment
- Email #1 sent - something like “There was an error processing your payment for XXX subscription. If you need to update your card, please do so at this link. Your payment will run again in 12 hours.”
- We aren’t accusing them of anything. We blame the error on ourselves and direct them to update the payment if they need to.
- We create urgency by letting them know the payment will run again in 12 hours.
- Payment Run #2 - failed payment
- Email #2 is very similar to Email #1 - they may not have seen the first email yet.
- Payment will retry in 24 hours.
- Payment #3 - failed payment
- Email #3 - 36 hours after initial payment has run. They’ve likely seen one of the first two emails.
- The first two emails are text only, this email includes an image.
- “Hi Subscriber. We are busy personalizing and packing all our subscriptions and want to make sure you get yours on time. If you need to update your card, please do so at this link. If you need help with that or have an issue, please hit reply and let us know how we can help.”
- This email includes a picture of the team packing a box.
- Payment runs again in 48 hours - they have time to reach out to customer service before the payment runs again.
At this point, we start working through the list of remaining failed payments with personal touch points.
- Personal email
- Personal text
Now we’re ready to run one last automation.
- Email #4 - on day five of failed payment
- Last chance email “Boxes are shipping and we want to make sure you get a Monogram Box this month. Please let me know how I can help.”
We follow this plan every month. And every month, we recoup 98% of our failed payments.
Business is personal. Don’t forget the importance of a personal connection point when working to retain your customers. Business is also business. Don’t leave money on the table. Following up on bounced payments reduces involuntary churn and retains more recurring revenue.
Join me for this episode as I talk you through the automations combined with personal touches process I use to recoup 98% of bounced payments every month.
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