It never fails, last week, a new fraternity chapter treasurer told me he wanted to stop mailing paper statements to his members. He only wanted to send an email message to them to pay their bill.
I probably hear this request a few times each month, and I always have the same answer - "no way." (I say it nicely, of course)
The simple fact of the matter is that a fraternity/sorority email invoice or account statement still does not get the attention it deserves. Although it's growing in popularity, email is not enough. Why:
- It's too easy for someone to delete an email message. One wrong click, and someone may not even realize they owe money (or that their child owes money).
- Spam filters block email messages. People have all sorts of settings to receive email. An attachment reaches some people and not others. An HTML message reaches some people and not others. You don't control the spam filters on the computers of your brothers/sisters or their parents.
- There are still plenty of parents who sit at their kitchen table each night, sort the mail and pay their bills using an old fashioned check book. In fact, OmegaFi received 19,668 paper checks just last month (March 2011).
- You can't include a return envelope with an email notification. You expect people to send you money, right? Make it convenient by including a return envelope so they can quickly drop a check in the mail to you. See #3 above about how many people pay by check.
- You think mailing a statement costs the chapter money, right? Not with OmegaFi. You don't pay printing or postage to mail an account statement when you use OmegaFi's Vault Billing & Collections. So, why not give it a try.
- Two attempts to collect money are better than one, right. We've found that the most effective way to collect money owed to your chapter is to send the paper statement by mail and an email notification to the member. You should also discuss it in your chapter meeting. Using multiple channels to communicate the issue will result in collecting more money.
The bottom line: if you want your fraternity or sorority chapter to collect the most money possible, you need to bill your members using direct mail and email. Email is not enough.