Dunning Emails in Real Life: Bidsketch, by Ruben Gamez

Ruben Gamez runs Bidsketch, an app that helps his customers to produce awesome client proposals in no time. It’s helped his customers to close over 250 million in sales. From what I understand, he has over 1500 paying customers, so he must be doing something right!

Here’s how Bidsketch does dunning.

When billing fails, they send the email below, then they try to re-bill the customer every three days, up to 15 days, sending the same email each time that billing fails.

Subject: Your Bidsketch renewal failed

Body:

We were unable to charge your credit card XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-7879 $29 for your Freelancer plan. 

We will continue to attempt your credit card for the past due invoice over the next several days or so but eventually we'll give up and you will not have access to your account.

Please visit your account page at the following URL to update your payment information as soon as possible:

http://[account_url]/account/billing

Thank you for your business!

Team Bidsketch

This email is quick and to the point. It wastes no time getting to what the customer needs to know. It says right in the subject line that they payment failed, and then the email immediately tells them which card has the issue, how much the charge attempt was for, and what plan they are on. That’s just the subject and the first sentence, and the customer has a lot of information already.

Then, the email says that they’ll attempt to charge the card for awhile, and uses the language “past due” because that shows the customer that they are already in a situation that isn’t great.

Then, it tells them that eventually, Bidsketch will give up trying to charge them. Normally, I think it’s best to tell them exactly how many more emails they can expect, and how many more times you’ll try to charge them, but Ruben may be on to something here. It’s quite possible that not giving them an exact number of attempts or a date that their account will be cancelled actually causes people to update their billing information immediately, because they don’t know how many more warnings they’ll get.

Then, the email gives them a link to update their billing information, and thanks them for their business.

Short, sweet, effective.