Go Beyond Emails Triggered by Payment Attempts
Am I sending enough dunning emails? Am I sending too many dunning emails?
These can be difficult quesions to answer - but one thing is for sure. If your payment failure emails are being sent based only in direct reaction to a failed retry, you wont be able to test very much at all.
Set up Dunning Emails for Send-Time Flexibility
Most in-house and free/cheap dunning solutions are set up “the easy way.”
The easy way = emails get triggered every time a payment fails. For Stripe users, this would mean wiring up emails based on Stripe's failed payment webhooks.
The problem with this approach is that emails just go out when payments fail, and you have no control over optimizing the recovery process. Retention funnels (driving traffic to a conversion point via email or phone call) can be optimized similarly to acquisition funnels. Build a process, analyze performance, and iterate on the behavior.
We didn’t build Churn Buster the easy way. Our retention funnels are totally independent from the payment schedule, which has more advantages we’ll get to later. It’s a big project, but highly recommended if churn optimization is important to you.
With custom funnels, you’ll also be able to:
- Add additional emails, and extend your process longer than the retry schedule. Without a custom funnel, you won’t be able to implement opportunities you spot for better performance.
- Segment customers and send different campaigns based on price point or other factors.
Don't be trigger happy
We’ve seen as high as 39% of payment issues resolved within the first few days, simply by allowing for card retries *before* sending emails.
(Although the average is closer to around 20%.)
The subscription model’s success relies on continuity, so don’t intervene with a mission critical message (one that’s demanding a credit card to continue) until you ACTUALLY NEED TO.
Honor the experience of your customers. If you want to send them something, remind people how how much they value your existence. Later, smack them with a failed payment notice if you gotta.
The more your company grows, the more critical this will be.
See the Pre-Dunning section for why it’s a bad idea to email customers about a payment problem that doesn’t actually exist. The more your company grows, the more critical this will be.
Side benefit: By allowing time to resolve payments via reattempts, your recovery metrics will actually make sense. When emailing right away for a card update, there is no way to separate necessary updates from frivolous ones.
Doing nothing when payments fail isn’t an option, but doing nothing for the right amount of time… that’s what a bulletproof system will do.