Questline analytics expert Kinsley Giles digs deep into the performance metrics of nearly 355 million email sends to energy utility customers each year. He provides valuable insights to help utility marketers make effective, data-driven decisions.
The single most important communication between an energy utility and its customers is the monthly bill.
According to Questline’s data, on average two out of three subscribers open every electronic bill. In fact, 92% of subscribers open at least one eBill per year, and 86% of this engaged audience open more than one per year. Billing notifications are one of the most frequent communications, as well as one of the most opened, with a 66% open rate.
With such high engagement, eBill communications are the perfect touchpoint to build stronger connections with customers through content marketing.
Convert customers with content
Electronic bills represent a significant reduction in expenses for energy utilities. However, it can be a challenge to convert paper bill customers who are often resistant to change. Energy utilities are taking advantage of different strategies to move past this hurdle.
As an incremental content channel, eBills should be attuned to your energy utility’s unique brand and messaging strategy. The addition of helpful and engaging content increases the value of eBill communications and encourages customer signups.
Bring value to eBill communications with these tips
1. Be a helpful resource
Instead of simply promoting your energy utility’s programs or services, provide useful information to help solve customer problems or answer their questions. Instead of promotional messages, content should be educational in nature.
2. Add the right content
Whether deploying billing notifications through Questline, a vendor or internal means, your energy utility needs a selection of content assets relevant to this specific touchpoint. For example, include an infographic outlining the reasons for bill fluctuations or a quick video on seasonal energy efficiency tips.
3. Segment your audience
Your customers are most engaged with content that is relevant to their daily lives. Segmentation provides an additional layer of targeting, whether based on customer personas (i.e. homeowner/renter), customer behavior (i.e. purchases or program participation) or situational data (i.e. spike/drop in energy usage).
4. Promote the value of eBill
Introduce customers to the valuable content in eBill notifications through promotional marketing campaigns. These messages should highlight the educational and engaging content enclosed in every eBill.
Build long-term connections
Energy utility customers are looking for content that resonates with their unique needs and interests. With the right content marketing strategy, your eBill communications have the power to build trust and familiarity with customers over the long haul, an outcome not possible with a quick, one-time transaction.
Kinsley Giles is an analytics professional who graduated from Ohio State University.