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Marketing campaigns

​It’s a fact - collective marketing campaigns can deliver significant cost savings as well as increasing Direct Debit conversion rates for organisations offering payment by Direct Debit.

And we know what we’re talking about - our past experience in developing a variety of successful collective marketing initiatives, in both the public sector and across a range of other business sectors proves this is an approach that can benefit everyone. Our previous campaigns have increased sign up rates for participating organisations by anything from a fairly modest, but nonetheless significant, 12% to a massive 400%. See for yourselves the fantastic results that have been achieved.

Collective marketing campaigns - the benefits
  • Benefit from significant cost savings, achieved through jointly funded campaigns or free of charge, off the shelf marketing materials and prizes that are managed and funded by Bacs
  • Be part of a bigger, in some instances nationwide initiative, making the most of the buzz surrounding the campaign, which will encourage customer involvement, and boost Direct Debit sign up
  • Take advantage of initiatives specifically developed to move people from other more expensive payment methods onto Direct Debit, by the company with decades of experience in doing just that
  • Offer substantial customer prizes giving your customers even more of an incentive to switch to pay by Direct Debit
    Potentially tick that increasingly important CSR box, by helping to raise money for charity, where this forms part of the campaign.

And, on top of all that, our research shows people are less likely to switch suppliers once a Direct Debit is set up, so it’s a great exercise in customer retention.

Live campaigns
Campaign results
    • London Local Authority Council Tax 2016 campaign

      Collective cost saving campaign a successView campaign

      London Local Authority Council Tax 2016 campaign

      Collective cost saving campaign a successl!

      The collection of council tax is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for local government and the use of Direct Debit has the potential to deliver both cost and time savings for local authorities. At the same time, the ease and convenience of Direct Debit helps people avoid the risk of missed payments and cuts out the hassle of paying by other methods.

      The solution

      Since 2010 Bacs has worked with the London Revenues Group – which is made up of representatives of the revenue collection teams of the 33 London councils – to deliver a collective marketing campaign aimed at driving levels of Direct Debit sign up.

      This year’s initiative attracted participation from 8 London authorities and saw just over 392,706 London residents mailed between March and July. Those signing up to pay by Direct Debit were automatically entered in to a draw to win £10,000, with the substantial cash prize key in driving engagement levels.

      The results - 2016 London Local Authority Campaign

      • Number of participating councils: 8
      • Number of customers mailed:  392,706
      • Number of transactions per annum: 201,500
      • Collective efficiency saving: £193,750
      • Highest increase in Direct Debit sign up: 8.4%
      • Highest campaign response rate: 6%
      • Greatest uplift in campaign response rate vs 2015: 181%

      Partner testimonial

      Speaking on behalf of the participating local authorities Nick Rowe, Strategic Finance Partner – Local Tax and Accounts Receivable for Ealing council, said:

      “This is the seventh year that local authorities across London have worked together to increase Direct Debit rates and drive efficiencies and, once again, the campaign has been a huge success. This year alone the campaign has delivered a collective efficiency saving of just short of £200,000, with over £2.5 million in savings generated since 2010.

      “Thanks to the co-ordination and expert consultation offered by Bacs the campaign really is painless for the participating local authorities and it is this support, allied with the compelling results, which continues to make the initiative such an attractive proposition.”

      Participating local authorities

      • Barnet
      • Brent
      • City of Westminster
      • Islington
      • Kensington & Chelsea
      • Lewisham
      • Southwark
      • Tower Hamlets

      Interested in future campaigns?

      The specialist Bacs team can provide expert advice on how this proven collective marketing approach can be applied across the UK.

      For more information, pleas contact d.perry@bacsservices.co.uk.

    • National Council Tax campaign

      Collective campaign delivered vital cost savings for councilsView campaign

      ​National Council Tax campaign

      Collective campaign delivered vital cost savings for councils

      For local authorities, Direct Debit is the most cost-efficient way to collect council tax, with minimal need for handling and administration time, as well as avoiding the costs associated with chasing missed payments. And for bill payers, paying this way is convenient, simple and offers peace of mind that rent payments won’t be forgotten or missed, plus payments are protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee.

      The solution

      A new national council tax campaign was created in 2016, with a £5,000 prize on offer, funded by Bacs, the campaign provided a compelling incentive for council tax payers to switch to Direct Debit. And, by joining a national collective campaign, the 32 local authorities were able to achieve far more than if they were running an individual initiative. This was key to the success of the campaign and, with Bacs coordinating activity, local authorities were able to maximise the impact of their resources.

      The results

      • Number of participating councils: 32
      • Number of customers mailed: 1,832,182
      • Number of transactions per annum: 727,000
      • Highest increase in Direct Debit sign up: 14.1%
      • Highest campaign response rate: 14%
      • Greatest uplift in campaign response rate vs 2015: 626%

      Interested in future campaigns?

      The specialist Bacs team can provide expert advice on how this proven collective marketing approach can be applied across the UK.

      For more details about this campaign contact d.perry@bacsservices.co.uk

    • Yorkshire Local Authority 2015 campaign

      Yorkshire local authorities tap in to Direct Debit savingsView campaign

      ​Yorkshire Local Authority 2015 campaign

      Yorkshire local authorities tap in to Direct Debit savings

       

      The collection of council tax is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for local government and the use of Direct Debit has the potential to deliver both cost and time savings for local authorities. At the same time, the ease and convenience of Direct Debit helps people avoid the risk of missed payments and cuts out the hassle of paying by other methods.

      The solution

      Bacs worked with four Yorkshire local authorities to roll out a campaign similar to the one run across London since 2010, aimed at driving levels of Direct Debit sign up. The collective marketing initiative saw the participating councils leverage their partnership to offer one lucky council tax payer a prize of £6,000.
      Just short of 500,000 residents were mailed between March and July, with the campaign driving cost efficiencies in excess of £170,000 for the local authorities involved.

      The results - 2015 Yorkshire Local Authority Campaign

      • Number of participating councils: 4
      • Number of customers mailed: 500,000
      • Number of transactions per annum: 178,672
      • Collective efficiency saving: £171,800
      • Highest increase in Direct Debit sign up: 6.5%
      • Highest campaign response rate: 5%
      • Greatest uplift in campaign response rate vs 2014: 81%

      Partner testimonial

      Speaking on behalf of the participating local authorities Cllr Steve Sweeney, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said:

      Calderdale Council is one of four Yorkshire councils that took part in the Direct Debit campaign, and this is the first time that the initiative has run across Yorkshire. By working together, sharing expertise and pooling resources, we were successful in achieving great collective savings.

      “The support and co-ordination of Bacs has proved to be particularly effective in increasing Direct Debit rates and delivering the associated savings - money which can be used to the benefit of all residents.”

      Participating local authorities

      • Bradford
      • Calderdale
      • Doncaster
      • Kirklees

      How to get involved

      The specialist Bacs team can provide expert advice on how this proven collective marketing approach can be applied across the UK.

      For more information, or to find out how to get involved in future collective marketing campaigns, please contact d.perry@bacsservices.co.uk

    • National Social Housing Rents campaign

      Successful campaign promised cost and time savingsView campaign

      ​National Social Housing Rents campaign

      Successful campaign promised cost and time savings for social housing providers

      With the introduction of Universal Credit and the changes this may bring for the social housing sector, Direct Debit is a cost-effective way for housing providers to collect rent, proving more efficient to process than alternatives such as cash or cheque transactions. For rent payers, Direct Debit offers an easy, quick and hassle-free way to automate regular outgoings, helping to avoid rent payments being forgotten and missed.

      The solution

      Open to housing associations, local authorities, and arms-length management organisations (ALMOs) across the country, we launched the national social housing rents campaign for the second year in 2016. The initiative aimed to encourage social housing providers and their tenants across the UK to take advantage of the convenience and ease offered by Direct Debit, with five centrally-funded prizes of £1,000 worth of shopping vouchers, offering an attractive incentive for tenants to change the way they pay.

      The results

      • Number of participating social housing providers: 39
      • Number of customers mailed: 162,832
      • Number of transactions per annum: 80,215
      • Largest increase in Direct Debit sign up: 19.8%
      • Highest campaign response rate: 28%
      • Greatest uplift in campaign response rate vs 2015: 1364%

      Further information?

      The specialist Bacs team can provide expert advice on how proven collective marketing approach can be applied across the UK.

      For more details about this campaign contact d.perry@bacsservices.co.uk

    • Water campaign

      Tapping into savings - the collective opportunityView campaign

      Water campaign

      Tapping into savings - the collective opportunity

      Water companies can save money if they switch their customers to Direct Debit – they can save even more if they work together to do so. And the effectiveness of any campaign can be maximised by accessing the vast depth of knowledge and experience within the marketing team at Bacs.

      The solution

      Bring together water companies in an incentive-based campaign, with CSR values and cost effective, centrally generated marketing materials and PR support provided by Bacs.

      The results - 2012 water campaign

      Three participating companies​​​ - Northumbrian Water, Essex & Suffolk Water and Welsh Water:

      • ​40,000+ customers switched to Direct Debit
      • Savings generated of £400,000 a year, or more than £2 million over the expected five year lifespan of each Instruction
      • Increase in response rates over previous year’s activity of between 23% and 400%
      • 4.36% campaign response for one company
      • £5,000 donation to Water Aid, paying for a bore hole providing clean water in a third world country
      • One customer of each participating water company won their water bills paid for a year.

      How to get involved

      For more information, or to find out how to get involved in future collective marketing campaigns, please contact graham.callaghan@bacs.co.uk​

    • Medway Council campaign

      Targeted campaign proves key to ROIView campaign

      Medway Council campaign

      ​Targeted campaign proves key to ROI

      For local authorities, the collection of council tax can be resource intensive. By increasing conversion to Direct Debit, councils can reduce the cost and time implications associated with the likes of cash and cheque payments while, for residents, paying this way is simple, convenient and hassle-free.
       

      The high cost of handling cash and cheque transactions from almost 48,000 residents motivated Medway Council to review their existing conversion campaigns and explore the effectiveness of a more targeted approach.

      The solution

      Through its complimentary marketing consultancy support, Bacs developed a test direct mail campaign aimed at encouraging residents to convert to Direct Debit. Three direct mail designs were created, each version leading with a different message, proven to impact on those consumers who are selective about which bills they pay by Direct Debit (the prime target for cost-effective conversion).

      The specialist experience of the Bacs team was combined with the use of Experian’s data mining tool - developed specifically to support Direct Debit migration campaigns - enabling Medway Council to benefit from proven consumer messaging and a level of insight into their resident database that only data modelling can deliver.

      A split-run test campaign to 5,000 council tax payers, undertaken in the traditionally low interest pre-Christmas period, saw Direct Debit conversion rise from a rate of 3.8% experienced by a control group, to 5.2% for residents targeted by the Bacs campaign.

      Results – Medway Council campaign

      • Number of households targeted: 5,000
      • Highest rate of Direct Debit conversion (driven by messaging around potential time savings): 6.5%
      • Average rate of Direct Debit conversion across campaign: 5.2%
      • Average increase in Direct Debit conversion rate: 1.4%
      • Conversion rates of split messaging:​
        • ​The ‘saves time’ message was the most effective of the three tested, converting at a rate of 6.5%; compared to 4.4% for ‘safe, worry free payment’; and 4.7% for ‘relax knowing the bill will be paid’.

      Testimonial

      Medway Council’s Revenues Manager, Patrick Knight, said: 

      “The results have been excellent. Crucially, we now understand our residents more fully and can harness this knowledge to maximum effect in the future. At a time when any investment has to be justified, being able to target your spend so effectively is invaluable.” 

      How you can benefit

      ​For more details on how the specialist Bacs team can support your Direct Debit marketing campaigns, please contact Dawneth Perry, Market Sector Manager at d.perry@bacsservices.co.uk

    • Tower Hamlets Council campaign

      Businesses see the value in Direct Debit View campaign

      Tower Hamlets Council campaign

      Businesses see the value in Direct Debit

      Managing a business isn’t easy, so anything which lightens the load a little and frees up vital time and resources can be of huge benefit to firms of all sizes. Every minute and every penny counts, which is why paying regular outgoings, such as business rates, by Direct Debit can be effective for organisations.
       
      For local authorities, collecting Direct Debit payments is far cheaper and more efficient than other methods such as cash and cheque. In fact, converting a bill payer to Direct Debit saves both time and money; vital at a time when councils are facing reduced budgets.
        

      The solution

      Supported by Bacs Payment Schemes Limited, the organisation behind Direct Debit in the UK, Tower Hamlets Council ran a targeted marketing campaign between March and July 2013, aimed at the borough’s business community.
       
      With Bacs managing the development of the campaign leaflets, explaining the range of benefits of paying by Direct Debit, Tower Hamlets Council were able to concentrate their efforts on mailing the 10,000 businesses in their area over the five month period.
       

      The results – 2013 business rates campaign

      • ​10,000 businesses mailed between March and July 2013
      • Direct Debit rate at start of campaign: 35.2%
      • Direct Debit rate at end of campaign: 37.3%
      • Total Direct Debit increase: 2.1%
      • Uplift from previous year: 58%. 
      A successful campaign, but don’t just take our word for it. Roger Jones - Head of Revenue Services at Tower Hamlets Council, said: “We appreciated Bacs’ support in making the 2013 Direct Debit conversion campaign a success. The initiative encouraged local firms to utilise the ease and efficiency of paying their business rates by Direct Debit.”
       
      “At the same time it is far cheaper and easier for councils to process Direct Debit payments than alternative methods and allows us to deploy resources to other areas, concentrating on those who are struggling to pay and provide advice and guidance where we can. The cost and time saving for every Direct Debit conversion can make a real impact for local authorities, particularly at a time when budgets are under increasing pressure and maximising income is fundamental.”
       

      How to get involved

      ​For more details on how the specialist Bacs team can support your Direct Debit marketing campaigns, please contact Dawneth Perry, Market Sector Manager at d.perry@bacsservices.co.uk

    • Royal Institute of British Architects

      Subscription incentive case studyView campaign

      ​Royal Institute of British Architects

      Subscription incentive case study

      For professional membership bodies, the efficient collection of payments is key. Making this process as quick and cost-effective as possible helps to improve value-for-money, for both the organisations and their members.

      At the same time, paying by Direct Debit offers a host of benefits, making it convenient, affordable and hassle-free to spread the cost of membership. And, once a Direct Debit is set-up, there’s no need to worry about missing a payment, it’s all taken care of.

      The solution

      Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (Bacs) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) teamed-up to launch a bespoke campaign, aimed at encouraging those not already signed-up to Direct Debit to change the way they pay. To coincide with the main billing period, the campaign ran for a 10 week period between 21 October and 31 December 2013, with 10,000 non Direct Debit members contacted via post and email.

      This communication included a specially-adapted Direct Debit instruction form, promoting the campaign and the benefits of automated payments. As an incentive for members to switch to the ease and convenience of Direct Debit, everyone who signed-up was entered into a prize draw to win one of 10 annual memberships, resulting in a 14% year-on-year increase in the rate of conversion.

      The results

      • Campaign ran between 21 October and 31 December 2013
      • 10,000 non-Direct Debit paying members contacted
        10 annual memberships were offered as prizes
      • A specially-adapted Direct Debit instruction form was produced
      • 4.57% conversion rate
      • 14% year-on-year increase in rate of Direct Debit sign-up.  

      Partner testimonial

      Janine Chasmer, Head of Membership at the Royal Institute of British Architects, said:

      “As a professional membership body, Direct Debit is the ideal method for us to collect fees. It is cheaper and quicker for us to process payments this way and we also know that Direct Debit is popular among our members who can benefit from flexible payment options.”

      “Partnering with Bacs on this campaign meant that there was an attractive prize draw on offer for those switching to Direct Debit, and we are pleased that this has helped increase the number of members now paying this way.”

      How to get involved​

      For more information, or to find out how to get involved in future collective marketing campaigns, please contact graham.callaghan@bacs.co.uk or d.perry@bacsservices.co.uk

    • National Campaign - The Big Break

      Collective marketing = collective rewardView campaign

      ​​National Campaign - The Big Break

      ​Collective marketing = collective reward

      Today’s hard pressed consumers want to make their household budgets stretch as far as possible; at the same time, organisations need to find cost savings and efficiencies wherever they can. Both can benefit from moving to payment by Direct Debit, which is the cheapest, most efficient method of paying and collecting regular bills.

      The solution

      The Big Break – a national, collective, incentivised campaign aimed at encouraging consumers to switch to Direct Debit, with a charity feel-good element wrapped in, all supported by a centrally coordinated marketing campaign. Bacs developed the initiative, provided all marketing collateral, white label materials and PR, social media and web support.

      The campaign included two prize draws to incentivise customers to pay by Direct Debit, with billers entering customers into the draws for a chance to win a cash windfall:

      • Consumer prize - £12,000, positioned as winning payment of regular bills for a year, based on Bacs research
      • B2B prize - £2,000 towards business bills.  

      As part of the initiative, all participating companies nominated a charity to benefit from a donation for each new Direct Debit Instruction signed during the campaign. For the second year running a monthly vote was also held between March and June with members of the public nominating and voting for their favourite charity, helping to raise £100,000 for over 100 good causes. Since 2011 the annual national collective campaign has raised £500,000 for charity.

      The results - 2014 Big Break campaign

      • Number of participating companies: 189
        Number of customers contacted: 2.4 million
      • Number of Direct Debit transactions generated: 1.87 million
      • Highest campaign response rate: 12% (for a housing association)
      • Funds raised overall for good causes: £100,000
        Number of benefiting charities: 103
      • Campaign reach: almost 25 million.  

      For more information, or to find out how Bacs can support your campaign, please contact graham.callaghan@bacs.co.uk or d.perry@bacsservices.co.uk

    • Leonard Cheshire

      Direct Debit campaign delivers for charityView campaign

      Leonard Cheshire

      Direct Debit campaign delivers for charity

      Collecting payments by Direct Debit has been proven to deliver cost savings and reduce admin time for organisations, when compared to processing the likes of cash and cheque transactions. In the case of residential homes, switching to Direct Debit also removes the worry of missed or forgotten payments for residents and their families. For one charity operating a number of residential homes, the potential benefits of increasing Direct Debit rates were clear.
       

      The solution

      With this in mind, 2014 saw Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (Bacs) team up with Leonard Cheshire Disability charity to launch a new campaign, aimed at encouraging residents at around 150 of their residential homes, and other locations, to switch to the ease and convenience of Direct Debit.
      Bacs provided marketing materials and a centrally-funded prize pot for the campaign, which ran at the end of 2014. Five prizes of £50 in Love2shop vouchers were on offer to those switching to automated payments, while residents already paying by Direct Debit were automatically entered into the draw.
       

      The results

      The month-long campaign delivered a conversion rate of 7.5 per cent for the charity - which supports thousands of people in the UK and around the world with physical and learning disabilities. Following the bespoke support provided by Bacs in 2014, the team at Leonard Cheshire is now utilising their experience to further increase Direct Debit conversion.
       

      Testimonial

      Geoff Stretton, Leonard Cheshire’s Financial Transactions Manager, said: 

      “By partnering with Bacs we were able to tap in to support and expertise, which we were keen to utilise in increasing Direct Debit sign up rates. Not only can we save time and money by switching the way people pay, but we know that paying by Direct Debit means that our residents and their families can benefit from the ease and convenience of paying this way.

      “Thanks to the learnings taken from the campaign, we are now looking at how we can develop this further.” 

      How you can benefit

      For more information, or to find out how Bacs can support your campaign, please contact graham.callaghan@bacs.co.uk or d.perry@bacsservices.co.uk​
    • National Welsh Housing Association Rents campaign

      Working collectivelyView campaign

      ​National Welsh Housing Association Rents campaign

      Working together!

      The government’s proposal to pay housing benefit directly to social tenants, as part of the Universal Credit scheme, will represent a significant step-change for many tenants in the social housing sector. While under the existing system rent is paid straight to the landlord, the introduction of Universal Credit across Wales will see an increasing number of tenants required to manage this payment themselves.

      As such, encouraging residents to switch to the ease and convenience of Direct Debit means that they can enjoy the peace-of-mind that payments won’t be forgotten, or missed. At the same time, for housing associations, processing automated payments is more efficient than the likes of cash and cheque transactions.
       

      The solution

      Bacs joined forces with Community Housing Cymru Group (CHC) – the membership body for housing associations in Wales – to develop a Direct Debit campaign to support CHC’s ‘Your Benefits are Changing’ (YBAC) initiative, set up to raise awareness of the welfare reform due to be implemented across Wales by 2016.

      The campaign ran between 30 June and 1 December 2014 and saw 16 housing associations throughout Wales sign-up, with the aim of increasing the number of tenants paying by Direct Debit. As an incentive to switch payment method, a prize draw of £2,000 worth of shopping vouchers was up for grabs.

      ​To help housing associations promote the campaign, Bacs supported the production of a range of materials drawing on their wealth of experience in campaign development and consumer understanding, creating leaflets, web assets and posters, as well as providing PR and social media support throughout the five month campaign period.
       

      The results

      • Number of participating Welsh housing associations: 16
      • Number of tenants targeted: 40,000
      • Highest increase in Direct Debit sign up: 18.7%
      • Highest campaign response rate: 8%
      • Greatest uplift in campaign response rate vs 2013: 12%.

      Testimonial

      Stuart Ropke, Group Chief Executive at Community Housing Cymru Group, said: 

      “Working in partnership with Bacs really complemented our Your Benefits are Changing campaign – set up to raise awareness and provide advice and solutions to tenants affected by welfare reform.

      “With the acceleration of Universal Credit into Wales, more and more tenants will be personally responsible for the payment of rent to their landlord, which will represent a considerable change for many. As a result this campaign enabled us to work with our members to promote Direct Debit as an easy and convenient way of managing these payments.”
       

      How you can benefit

      For further details on how Bacs can support your Direct Debit marketing campaigns, please contact Dawneth Perry, Market Sector Manager at d.perry@bacsservices.co.uk​ 

    ​Future campaigns

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