January 3, 2018 | Blog
Sorting through the Christmas mail, cards in one pile, junk mail and catalogs in another, one piece of apparent junk mail caught my eye. The envelope was from Dun & Bradstreet and claimed to have “Important Information About Your Account.” Hmmmm…maybe it does. So I checked.
The cover letter looked like generic spam personalized with my name, but there was something more compelling…a call out box stating that “inquiries on our business credit information had recently been made.” Interesting; probably a ploy, but I did then read the letter more carefully. While it does seem to be an ad campaign, I have to give them credit for being a well-crafted one. The body of the letter says, “one or more of our customers have inquired about our company”, and since they are sending our information to others, they have included a complimentary copy of our credit scores so we can be aware of what is being distributed.
I’d have to consider their campaign successful given its intention was getting business owners to open the envelope and consider their services. And the fact that it gave us enviable rankings made me believe to be accurate. The enclosed Overview of Your D&B Business Credit Scores was a full page of information with four colorful charts highlighting our rankings on PAYDEX, Delinquency, Financial Stress, and Supplier Evaluation Risk, all information D&B built their business tracking and reporting.
This made me wonder how such a campaign could work for our utility clients who are intently focused on engaging residential and small business customers. What information would be personal, valuable, and difficult for them to obtain themselves that they might appreciate receiving from their energy provider? How about an analysis of their last 12 months billing history breaking it down by month and by end-use? Then given their usage pattern, offering programs or tips that would be relevant and meaningful to them?
When we have done this for utilities, studies show a significant bump in customer satisfaction between the control group and treatment group receiving the reports. The concept has become so popular, we now distribute these reports in both e-mail and video formats, so for those who don’t want to read, they can listen to the material being explained to them.
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