Utility sending customers electronic bills

Boost Paperless Billing Conversions with Incentives

Incentives are a great way to increase signups to your energy utility’s eBill or paperless billing program. In addition to engaging customers, incentives drive higher click-through rates (CTR) and conversions for paperless billing campaigns. Questline’s data experts analyzed the performance of 27 million emails to bring you this list of paperless billing incentive best practices.

Incentives increase paperless billing conversions

Paperless billing promotional emails with incentives have a 17% higher open rate and 28% higher CTR than messages without incentives. Still, even after identifying the right incentive, it can be daunting to build a campaign strategy that maximizes subscriber conversions.

Incentives can vary, ranging from high-value prizes like tickets to a sports game or smaller giveaways for every subscriber (for example, LED light bulbs and gift cards).

Bigger incentives do not necessarily mean bigger engagement. While large-dollar-amount prizes drive customer interest in opening promotional emails, that enthusiasm is diminished through the contest-entry process. The “cost” for entering into the drawing is an immediate conversion into paperless billing; this creates an unequal transaction where your customers are asked to give up paper bills for a small chance to win a reward.

In comparison, small incentives are much more effective because they have an immediate, guaranteed pay off. Keep in mind, customers do not see the reward through the same relative lens because they are not presented with an either-or option.

Based on an analysis of the paperless billing campaigns deployed by Questline, we have found:

  • Awarding a $5 gift card to all signups converts better than enter-to-win contents of $1,000 or more.
  • Products like LED lightbulbs rank second among the best drivers of click-throughs.
  • Thermostats and smart-home device giveaways are also top performers.

Success starts with a subject line

An incentive-focused paperless billing email begins with an effective subject line that clearly explains the offer. If the giveaway is immediate, let your audience know by using language like “Claim your reward now.”

Follow these subject line best practices:

  • Subject lines that clearly state the incentive reach 13% more of their intended audience compared to subject lines that only imply an offer.
  • “We’ll Pay Your Bill” contests drive high open rates, but fewer click-throughs than small, guaranteed incentives.
  • Compared to a contest to win one big prize, small incentives for every subscriber have a 13% higher open rate and 82% higher CTR.
  • Conversely, subject lines with the word “free” typically do not perform well. This word is often associated with spam.

One-click signups boost conversions

As important as it is to attract attention with the right offer, you also want to make it easy for customers to take action. Prominent, well-designed CTA buttons and one-click signups save time for customers and boost conversions.

  • Emails that use a button-based CTA received 18% higher CTRs.
  • One-click opt-ins into paperless billing programs increase conversion rates by 22%.

Don’t miss out on the power of incentives to achieve your paperless billing goals. Incentives provide a massive return on investment, saving operational costs every month for each subscriber.

Drive more paperless billing conversions with a digital engagement strategy from Questline.