My business credit card is expiring in a few weeks. Soon enough I’ll have to go through the banal exercise of updating the card on file with companies I buy from.
After checking my credit card statements I noticed that seventeen vendors have this card on file for more than one-off transactions. These vendors are either a) SaaS providers that bill monthly or annually or b) marketplaces where I make repeat purchases (Amazon, AppSumo etc).
Of these seventeen vendors, only three reached out PROACTIVELY to nudge me to update my credit card.
Companies that did reach out: Squarespace, Namecheap and Upwork.
Here’s the email from Upwork:
While it may seem trivial I think this is a “blue ocean” for marketers.
I’d bet that most customers don’t keep track of which vendors have their cards on file and on top of that which cards are expiring. Sending proactive card update emails helps lessen the possibility that a customer will inadvertently have their service turned off.
What’s the old saying: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”
Thinking about worst-case scenarios it’s easy to see how someone could forget to update their card and the service gets shut off. Bad moment for the brand and the customer.
Best practices I’ve noticed:
- give timeline: Notice how Upwork gives specific dates of when the credit card expires and when the update needs to happen.
- explain consequences: It’s obvious to most that without a credit card services will stop. This email is a gentle reminder that fixing the issue now will eliminate problems down the road.
- incentivize credit card update: a credit card on file is one of the most valuable assets a business can hold. The downstream effects of an outdated credit card are well worth investing against. Perhaps a percentage discount or special offer would make it a priority for the customer to update their credit card.