Nudging customers off the fence and over the line for RingGo

the Story

Behavioural biases can get in the way of even the most well-designed sales journey. Potential customers might be interested in what you have to offer, but their curiosity is outweighed by caution - especially if there are long-term contracts and big budgets on the line.

We’re a resident creative partner for the UK’s no. 1 parking app, RingGo, and their international big brother, Park NOW Group. RingGo came to us for help to crack their customer conversion conundrum: they had an audience of sixty UK local authorities and parking operators they’d been in conversation with over the last twelve months, but who they hadn’t yet managed to take the leap and become customers.

The ask was simple: use a direct mail campaign to nudge them from just thinking about signing up for RingGo’s parking payment service to signing on the dotted line. 

KPI: One 12-month contract signed

the Science

Risk aversion – “What happens if I say yes, and this goes wrong?” Nobody likes feeling regret after a decision they made goes South. Our desire to avoid feeling this way is powerful and it can make us overly cautious – we’d rather do nothing at all than risk making the wrong call.  We knew this communication had to build trust quickly and help people to feel in control and confident to commit to a decision.

Commitments and concreteness – let’s be real: asking decision-makers to take a punt on a new supplier is asking for a big commitment from them. People feel better making commitments if it’s crystal clear what they’re signing up for, how easy it is to get out of it and what they get in return. Be concrete to win a commitment.

Limited attention – it’s hard to create post that captures our short attention spans for long. It’s even harder to be persuasive and memorable. We had to create a communication that screamed “open me, I’m worth your time!” right from the doormat. 

the Share

Using behavioural science to show Direct Mail a little love looks a little like this:

  • First impressions count. The paper quality and orientation of an envelope can influence how many people do what you’re asking them to do – Ogilvy used this simple trick to increase donations to a charity by 17%. And if you’re writing to a small batch of customers, like RingGo, handwriting the address and using a good old-fashioned stamp instead of franking makes people more likely to open your letter.
  • The personal touch is everything when it comes to persuasion. We personalised the content to talk about the town of the local authority, kept all our language natural and easy to read, and signed it off from a real person to build a relationship between the letter writer and the reader.
  • To spark curiosity with spontaneity, we stuck a handwritten post-it on the letter to grab attention. The Irish Revenue Service have used this technique to double responses to their survey. Not so easy to do for communications going out in big numbers but if you have the luxury of a small campaign, it’s worth going the extra mile.
  • We framed our message around what feels most relevant and helpful to readers - RingGo’s TouchFree parking feature, which has helped lots of councils to increase their parking revenue by offering motorists a safe, pandemic-proof way to pay for parking. We broke down the facts into a snappy infographic to make the story bitesize and compelling, lightening the ‘cognitive load’ for readers. This meant that minimal mental effort was required for readers to get the gist of the detail.
  • To really make our message memorable, we injected a little novelty. People are tactile creatures – we love to use our hands. So, we included a RingGo-wrapped pack of branded, eco-friendly alcohol hand-wipes, with one final message… “Since you can’t give these to every motorist, give them TouchFree parking instead”.

the Stats

In response to our BeSci-informed communication, five new contracts were signed, sealed and delivered for RingGo. Three of the contracts won were for strategically desirable destinations for RingGo, since these areas are likely to enjoy huge visitor numbers this year as people make the most of their much-missed freedom with ‘staycation’ holidays.

This is the infographic that went out with the letter.
Nudging customers off the fence and over the line for RingGo offering image
Converting local government customers is no mean feat and we’re delighted that by applying behavioural science, Copy & TV helped us to build trust, deepen relationships and grow our customer base ethically and authentically. This campaign has won a lot of hearts and minds within our business and inspired colleagues to get excited about behavioural science, too.

Chris Edwards, Marketing Director Park NOW UK

if you'd like to do direct mail differently with us, get in touch