Design can make or break a product. The rise of the iPhone arguably had less to do with its features themselves and more to do with the design. Competitors could boast similar functionality—but the iPhone’s now-iconic sleek, smart design and novel UI saw Apple carve out an unsurpassable market share.
Bad design, on the other hand, turns customers away in droves. We have all clicked on a search engine result, only to be taken to a plain white landing page with grainy images and endless black text. What is the first thing you do? You hit ‘back’ and make a mental note to never return to that site.
They say that a food’s presentation can affect its taste. Likewise, consumers have to fall in love visually with a product or experience if they are to stick with it. This is especially important in collections. A poor design might lead to customers doubting your credentials, which can delay (or even permanently halt) the process of them repaying what they owe.
But there is good news. The best collections software allows each and every employee to adopt a ‘DIY design’ approach. You don’t need to consult IT staff or specialist design teams. Employees can take it upon themselves to design up aesthetically pleasing landing pages and outreach messages within a matter of minutes.
This blog will examine the 5 essential digital design elements. We will also outline the reasons design should be emphasised not just in marketing, but also collections. Lastly, explore how you can design your own collections outreach payment reminders and landing page all from one platform.
It is time to democratise good design.
Essential digital design elements
There are certain non-negotiable elements when it comes to modern digital design. Optimise these and you will be well on your way to creating a more welcome customer experience, and in turn, to improving your collections success.
Colour plays a pivotal role in how people see the world—both consciously and subconsciously. Most people have come to associate certain colours with certain moods or emotions: red for power, energy, or as a warning, green for sustainability or growth, orange for joy and enthusiasm, and so on.
It is therefore crucial that companies purposefully and thoughtfully pick their colour scheme—whether for their logo, web design, outreach email banners, or whatever else. Brands should ideally have a consistent colour palette that dictates everything from the colour of the font, to the call-to-action (CTA) buttons, to the background, and so on.
Speaking of CTA and buttons. When selecting a color for your buttons, we recommend using a colour that contrasts with the rest of the design. This will allow for any urgent actions to be made without any delay or confusion.
There is little point in having a well-crafted CTA or an informative FAQs page if consumers cannot easily read the text. You need to use a clear font, make sure the spacing between words (and even letters) is consistent and appealing, and that you break up large chunks of text with subheadings.
It is also important to note that you want to choose a company font that works across all of your digital and print products. This is a give-in, but is sometimes forgotten in the quick thought process of pushing out digital materials. When we say legible though, it means use a common font that people are used to across the channels they interact with.
Solid examples of fonts that work—Helvetica, Arial, PT Sans, Open Sans, Roboto, and more. These fonts offer clear and clean spacing from letter to letter, number to number across all digital platforms and devices.
As the old adage goes, ‘A picture tells a thousand words’. Images can visually convey messages in an instant, illuminating their accompanying text or even just entertaining readers. We are not suggesting that you accompany a repayment landing page with a stock image of somebody paying with their credit card. However, even something as simple as inserting your brand’s logo can have a tremendous impact—increasing customers’ trust in the landing page and improving repayment rates as a result.
Spacing can give readers’ eyes a break from any dense text, making the page more visually appealing as well as more readable. Make sure you have plenty of space around important points and buttons so that customers do not get lost in the sauce.
The white space that you place around important details isn’t really empty. It actually can be a powerful design tool. Optimizing your outreach materials will increase the design composition and help create a great balance. The balance is what will help you make your content look nice from a brand and business side. It will also make the content understandable for your customer to see and take action on the important payment details.
Buttons (such as your ‘Click here to pay now’ CTA) are perhaps the most crucial design element. If customers cannot see your button, or do not want to click on it for whatever reason, then your design efforts will be for nothing.
However, optimising your button design can be tricky. If a landing page contains too many buttons then this might confuse customers. Using the wrong colour may also turn consumers away. Research shows that conversions are up to 34% higher when companies use a red button versus a green alternative. Although, what really matters is making sure there is enough contrast between the button and the rest of the designs.
Spacing with buttons is also a key factor. For instance, if the spacing of your text is wrapped around your button too closely, customers may not even see it. That means no payment will be received at that time. You might want to also consider adding a secondary button for further assistance as customers often have questions, especially if they are making their first repayment. It is recommended to also include a ‘contact us’ hyperlink or links on the same page of the payment button as this can help open up conversation with you and your customer.
Why is design so important in collections?
48% of consumers say that a company’s website design is the single most important factor when it comes to determining how credible the company is. In fact, 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if they think it is unattractive (whether that is due to the content or the layout).
Successful collections rests on two key pillars: credibility and getting past-due customers to engage in the repayment process. These two factors go hand in hand. If customers do not think your brand is credible, they will ignore your dunning efforts. However, as the above statistics show, your website design and outreach communication design alone might hinder both of these factors.
It is crucial that you optimise the design of your digital collections experience. By making the experience more visually appealing and easier for consumers to follow, you will increase trust in your brand and boost your customer experience. Consumers will engage more readily with the repayment process and there will be less confusion about what they need to do. In turn, this will transform your repayment rates.
Designing a collections template all by yourself
The best collections management software allows individual employees to craft and edit their landing page/outreach message design without needing additional help from the design team or IT department. With pre-made templates and drag-and-drop widgets, anybody involved in the collections process can design up landing pages, outreach emails, and so on in a matter of minutes.
This will bolster team-wide efficiency. No longer will you have to first consult with IT and then wait however long until you see your desired design changes implemented. Instead, with platforms like receeve, you can change the design and optimize the layout all from one platform.
Not on that. You can rapidly A/B test different design strategies to see which are more effective for each of your target segments. We all know that different messaging works best for different segments, and this is the same when it comes to design too.
Let your design shine
Up until now, digital design has perhaps been considered an afterthought when it comes to collections. However, your design dictates the way in which customers respond to your brand. If your design is consistent, coherent, and catches the eye, then consumers will think more highly of you. In turn, this will increase your recovery rates. On the other hand, if your design is off-putting, then consumers will not trust your brand and might not engage in the dunning process whatsoever.
Fortunately, with the help of modern, cloud-based collections management software, you can design different collections messagings and templates on your own . Drag and drop various elements to tweak and fine-tune your design until you land on the ideal solution for your consumers.
To learn more about how receeve helps you democratise your design process, get in touch.
Zac Fernandez is a content marketing professional at receeve, an all-in-one collections and recovery Platform. Previously, Zac has worked as a product marketing manager in mobile ad tech, a media specialist for non-profits and has directed and editor international documentary films (India & Spain).