Convenience as a Success Factor

Case Study on Subscription Retention 

This is the headline of Markus Schöberl's report on the dsb payment widget.

The publishing and press distribution expert put the "1-step payment process" to the test for the trade magazine pv-digest. Markus Schöberl researched the concrete application possibilities of the dsb widget. In his article he shows examples of use at Manager Magazin, Janes, intan and Bayard Mediengruppe.

The complete report can be found here as a PDF.


Here is the report in text format: 

Convenience as a Success Factor for Invoicing

The subscription IT service provider dsb announces in a promotional document a 1-step payment process that it wants to make palatable to its customers and prospective customers: "Intan achieves response rate of 18% with dsb payment widget". Now Intan is one of the big magazine subscription service providers and 18% is indeed an order of magnitude for direct marketers to pay attention to. That's why we took a look at the case. It is indeed a nice proof of what can be achieved with simple processes.

'Payment widget' here refers to a personalised and already pre-populated mini web page for payment transactions that subscribers can access with just one click or with a simple action from other communication channels. This may involve scanning a QR code or typing a web link.

Within the 'widgets', central processes can be carried out very conveniently for paying subscriptions: the payment itself, issuing direct debit authorisations, changing payment methods, etc. The technology thus enables typical billing processes to be completed with just a few clicks and also conveniently on mobile.

Intan reports that it presents links to such a widget both in email and paper invoices. 3% (paper invoice) to 5% (email invoice) of invoice recipients would make use of it, usually on the same day the invoices were sent.

The widgets are even more effective for Intan for migrating invoice payers to automated payment processes such as direct debit or regular Paypal debits.

Depending on the audience, 13% to 18% switched from invoice payment to such regular direct debit processes in Intan's tests. In four out of five cases (78%), the payment switchers preferred PayPal - presumably because this payment method can often be initialised without further data entry.

Intan also uses the widget process for the dunning process. "By sending customers a payment reminder a few days before sending the reminder, we pick up customers who have simply forgotten to pay. This is friendlier than sending reminders directly," says Jörg Markmeyer, head of IT and process management at Intan.

5% to 10% of addressed subscribers with dunning account balances paid immediately via the widget process. In the future, service center agents should be able to generate a payment widget link during conversations with customers who have an outstanding balance, enabling spontaneous immediate payment. Intan also expects this to improve collection rates.

Markmeyer told pv digest that the costs incurred by the widget process are more proportionate to the results than is the case with conventional methods. Specifically, neither Markmeyer nor dsb wanted to quantify the service costs for using the widget technology.

In addition to Intan, other dsb customers also use the widget technology. The design of the pop-ups and the processes they offer can be customised by the clients.

Source: Markus Schöberl, pv digest, Issue 6/202

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