A poorly designed bill, invoice or statement – which leads to slower or missed payments – is not only frustrating for your customers; it is also a missed opportunity to generate incremental revenue. These transactional documents are opened and read 95% of the time and with your customers receiving them monthly, it’s prudent to take advantage of the time you have with this captive audience.
We’ve outlined some basic steps to ensure you are getting the most out of your invoices and statements:
• Clearly organized sections with headers
Customers spend only a few minutes at most reviewing their bills, and in those precious moments, you don’t want to frustrate them by not clearly identifying the information presented to them and what actions they are expected to take.
• Printing relevant data (i.e. account number, phone number, due date, etc.) on BOTH the remittance coupon and the lower portion of the bill
Put relevant data on both the lower portion of the bill and on the remittance coupon. Customer information must be on the remittance coupon, but printing this information on the lower portion is important, should your customer ever need to reference it.
• Important message area – visible, customizable
Does this customer know about the new product your company has developed? Do you want to promote an online customer survey that will enter them to win a prize? The message area is your opportunity to up-sell, cross sell, promote or note anything you want. Just remember to limit your messaging area to one space. If your invoices and statements start to resemble the Sunday circular, you will lose your audience.
• Strategic use of color and deliberate use of white space
Some of the simplest designs tend to be the most effective. Just as the message area, color should be limited and used strategically. A pleasant image will get noticed, but using color and white space to guide your customer’s eyes through the bill is the goal.
• Highlight key information
The most important items should be easy to spot. Key pieces of information such as the balance due or the due date should stand out. Customer service numbers should also be highlighted, bolded or shaded for quick reference should your customers have any issues or questions.
• Make sure all important information lines up
It’s one of the simplest but often overlooked mistakes. After you’ve designed a beautiful and easy-to-read invoice, the payment process is delayed because the remittance information doesn’t line up in the windows of your return envelope! A misaligned remittance slip can delay delivery of payment, result in non-delivery of payment and loss of postal discounts when mailing the initial bill.