intan Achieves 18% Response Rate with dsb Payment Widget

Case Study on Subscription Retention & Migration to Recurring Payment Types 


For over 30 years, the intan group has been supporting well-known publishers and companies as an independent partner. With around 2 million subscribers, it is one of the leading media sales companies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. intan works with over 50 publishers and has a total of around 520 magazines in its portfolio. For its customers, the group takes care of subscription management, marketing and customer care. The experts at the subsidiary intan service plus take care of reader service in the company's own customer center, manage outbound campaigns to win back subscribers or launch cross-selling projects.

intan service plus was looking for ways to increase subscription retention, as every time subscription invoices were sent out, cancellations were made. This was where the company wanted to start.


The Solution

intan has long relied on the dsb group for subscription management and eCommerce. Processes related to reader service and billing are handled automatically by the customer care and billing platform ccb by dsb® and, most recently, by dsb fly®. dsb fly® is the strategic and modular advancement of the dsb platform for managing digital business processes in real time.

By integrating the payment widget dsb fly® pay, developed by dsb, intan service plus can run campaigns to increase subscriber loyalty through customer-specific service offers. 

The payment widget is an express payment page where users can change their payment method or trigger an instant payment with a single mouse click. Jörg Markmeyer, Head of IT and Process Management at intan service plus, is the project manager responsible for the deployment of the tool and has tested it extensively during recent months.

The Result

The dsb fly pay has now been in deployment at intan for 10 weeks. The subscription professionals from Osnabrück use it to address well-defined target groups on different channels with individual offers. To this end, they are integrating the express payment page into various marketing campaigns in a targeted manner and are constantly optimising their response rate.


Direct Payment Link in Invoice Emails 

intan sends links to the dsb payment widget directly in invoice e-mails. In the email text, readers are informed that they can conveniently and directly pay the invoice in the attachment by clicking on the link.

Depending on the target group, 3% to 5% of mail recipients paid their invoices directly via the link. The majority pay on the same day. 

Out of the "new subscribers" who receive their bills exclusively by email, an average of 5% paid immediately. Long-time existing customers who receive paper bills were sent a "notification email" by intan announcing the paper bill to subscribers, and also integrated the link. For this target group, the instant payment rate was 3%. The response rate kept going up.

Alternative to Paper Invoices - Printed QR Codes

An info text about the dsb payment widget is on paper invoices. A printed link and a QR code enable a quick digital payment here.

Up to 18% of Existing Customers Switched Directly to Recurring Payment Methods

In addition to instant payment, the mini payment page also offers a payment method change to recurring payment methods such as direct debit and PayPal. Depending on the target group, between 13% and 18% of emailing addressees changed payment methods, with the vast majority choosing PayPal (78%). "This is probably due to the convenience to users. Many already have PayPal Express and know that all they have to do here is tick a box, whereas for direct debit, they have to enter more data," Markmeyer suggests. Again, the readers that were most willing to switch were the new subscribers. 


Payment Processes are a Matter of Trust

In various campaigns, Markmeyer's team had once offered payment method switching with and without incentives. "We were surprised that vouchers had hardly any effect on payment method switching. The switching rate in the test group without incentive was almost as high as that in the other group with incentive. We find the high response rate impressive. After all, payment processes are a matter of trust. The fact that our subscribers express this trust in us is a very good sign," says a pleased Daniel Beljan, Managing Director of intan service plus. 


Change of Payment Method Directly Upon Order Confirmation Amounted to 18%

This is where intan achieved the highest response rate: 18% of email recipients changed their payment method immediately. "This is also where we see the greatest benefit for us. These new subscribers otherwise often jump ship after the minimum term. In this respect, the payment widget has a direct impact on the return on our subscriptions, because this grows with their retention," says Markmeyer. "The low-threshold, convenient payment method change pays off directly in terms of subscription retention."

De-escalate Dunning Processes

intan successfully uses the dsb payment widget to de-escalate dunning processes. "By sending customers a payment reminder a few days before sending the reminder, we pick up customers who have simply forgotten to pay. It's friendlier than sending reminders directly," says Markmeyer, explaining his motivation for the process change. In various tests, 5% to 10% of customers paid their bills immediately via the link. The reminders themselves are now also provided with links to the dsb payment widget.

dsb Payment Widget Becomes a Constant Part of Service Center Activities

In the near future, intan service agents will be informed directly in the customer care and billing platform of incoming phone calls if an invoice is still open. The agent can then kindly point out the open item to the subscriber and immediately send them an automatically generated link to the dsb payment widget. "We will soon see if our findings from the dunning process can be transferred, that a large proportion of readers settle an invoice immediately after being addressed directly by customer service," says Markmeyer.

Automated Processes

The generation of the links as well as the personalisation and sending of the e-mails is fully automated and takes only a few minutes. The payment widget campaigns are stored in the workflows of the ccb by dsb customer care and billing platform. There, all actions can be tracked at any time and subsequent steps are triggered automatically. "The greater the number of e-mails, the greater our economies of scale, because the effort required to generate a campaign is the same. The fully digitised processes allow us to further optimise our costs. At the same time, personal customer service and sales are an essential pillar of our company philosophy. However, we see the dsb payment widget as an important addition here," says Gisbert Komlossy, CEO and founder of the intan group, explaining the strategic direction of his company.

Liquidity Increases

intan service plus increased their liquidity through payment method conversion and direct payments. This is because value-added tax is due when invoices are issued. As more readers pay on time, this has an immediate positive effect on the company's cash flow.


"We are highly satisfied with the dsb payment widget. Especially with the high rate of payment type changers. Overall, our maxim remains continue to test and fine-tune. We only achieve these high response rates because we put a lot of time into campaign preparation and follow-up and act in a target group-oriented way," Markmeyer knows "You can't expect these results with technically loveless campaigns."


"The dsb payment widget has an extremely high usability. Readers can use it to pay their bill in a few seconds and prevent further manual bill payments with one click. That's why it's so popular. It offers users a way to complete their tasks in a convenient way. According to the motto one less to-do in my mails.", adds Daniel Beljan. 


"The dsb payment widget contributes directly to customer satisfaction and is therefore an important milestone in our customer retention measures," confirms Gisbert Komlossy. 


Conclusion: The direct marketing professionals at intan will continue to rely on the dsb payment widget in the future, because for them it has paid off in the truest sense of the word.

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