90% of Customers Remain Enrolled in Paperless Billing After Opt-Out Campaign

Challenge:

A major Southeast utility wanted to automatically convert its customers to paperless billing.

Solution:

The energy utility worked with Questline to launch a paperless billing opt-out campaign targeting customers who received both a paper and eBill, but who had made at least one electronic payment in the past. This audience segment was automatically enrolled in the program but given the chance to opt-out and continue receiving paper bills.

Efforts launched with an email campaign explaining the change, trailed by behavioral follow-up messages and bill inserts to ensure all customers were informed. The notification period spanned three months, giving customers enough time to react.

Results:

The opt-out campaign received positive customer feedback, with 90% of customers remaining enrolled. The open rate for the initial email reached 31.9%, well over Questline’s paperless billing benchmarks open rate of 19.2%. Payments are now processed much faster for those customers who remain enrolled, and the energy utility saves on paper and postage costs. In addition, the energy utility has strengthened its digital relationships with customers, creating more opportunities for increased engagement with future communications.

The initial announcement email achieved a 31.9% open rate, well over Questline’s paperless billing benchmarks open rate at the time of 19.2%.

“Although other utilities may be surprised about the number of conversions achieved with an opt-out campaign, this energy utility is among the industry leaders for this reason – they understand the value paperless billing produces for both its customers and its utility. They realize that they will never convert all customers, but the value the program brings to customers who do is priceless.”     —Joshua Platt, Account Director, Questline