4 Key Metrics for Measuring Digital Campaigns in Accounts Receivable

4 Key Metrics for Measuring Digital Campaigns in Accounts Receivable

Every debt collector knows the struggle of getting consumers to answer their phones. Digital campaigns can better engage people who want to pay without requiring them to answer a call. But you need to collect certain key metrics to know these new tactics are working.

Collecting and analyzing your data will help you understand how your business is performing and forecast future engagement and revenue. There are several ways to measure your processes. Here are four ways to know what’s working and where to improve.

“At Cedar, we like to measure specifically how they're engaged through our inbound channels, SMS, email, social media and then what channels are we using outbound to get them engaged? As mentioned, letters can still be considered digital if they have that QR code that's going to lead them to the portal.”

1) Measure Key Metrics by Channel

One basic way to measure engagement is to segment key performance metrics by channel. This helps you understand where your consumers are paying the most attention to your messages. It can also help you identify what may not be working so you can improve.

Portal Metrics

In debt collection, you need to offer self-serve payment options for those who want to pay without an agent’s help.

It’s also important to let people serve themselves in other ways like filing a dispute, finding more information about your company or their account – or even to make a complaint.

Because your portal should offer many different types of actions, you need to be thoughtful about the data you collect. It can help you understand who is visiting your website, when and why. Capture information like:

  • New users to the portal - You should measure how many new visitors are coming to your portal. This will provide a baseline understanding of how popular it is and how easy it is to get there from the communication channels you use.
  • What channels are they from? - Knowing what channel your consumers are coming from (SMS, email, QR code on letter, google search) helps you know which are the most popular. A dip in activity after strong numbers could mean your messaging in a certain channel may need a change.
  • Close rate - How many people are going to your portal and leaving with what they wanted? Gather key metrics on how many visitors are completing the actions they wanted on your site (paying a bill, changing communication preferences, filing a dispute, etc.)
“We also have our portal activity. We're looking at total visitors. You know how many people are visiting our payment portal, our website, every day. And that's different things like the amount of people visiting our website versus the amount of people visiting our payment portals. Two different things. We're also looking at our bounce rates. How many people go to our payment portal but then actually don't even attempt to log in?”


Text and email communications are the most popular digital channels used to engage with consumers. They can help you reach people who wouldn’t answer a phone call or may not take action on a letter but still want to pay their bills. To maximize how effective these channels are for your agency, you need to measure things like:

  • Open rates - how many people opened the message?
  • Click rates - how many people clicked on the link or took the action you wanted them to?
  • Spam complaint rate - how many people are marking your emails as spam?
  • Bounces - how many of the contacts were old/invalid and couldn’t be reached during a send?
  • Opt out rates - how many contacts are opting out of your messages?
“The three biggest metrics that we probably look at on email are spam complaint rates, bounce rates and opt out rates. At the most basic level, if your spam rates are above 2%, then you know your opt-out buttons probably aren't placed in the right place…And those three metrics are probably the biggest metrics. But outside of that, open rates, click to open rates, conversion rates, and callback rates.”

Chat or Chatbot

If you use a web chat channel, you should watch how consumers are interacting with it. The digital metrics you collect might change depending on a live agent chat vs. an AI chatbot but either way, you should measure how easy it is for people to find what they are looking for.

Chat Agents

For live agent chats, you need to watch interactions the way you would monitor a traditional call. Make sure agents are following the standard operating procedures of your office.

Along with compliance concerns and following policy, you can measure how long on average it takes to resolve conversations, how many chats can count as a resolution and how many payments originate from chat.

AI Chatbot

Many companies like chatbots because they don’t require the same amount of manual work as a live agent. AI can direct consumers to most of the resources and solutions they may need without human intervention. You can track:

  • How many consumers use the chatbot
  • What time of day the chat feature is most popular
  • How efficiently your chatbot leads consumers to the resources they need
“Consumer engagement for our chatbot and goal completion. How many of them are using it from beginning to end? Where are they bailing out? What can we change to keep them there?”

2) Monitor Success Metrics

Understanding the positive aspects of the digital customer journey teaches you where you are succeeding and helps you set benchmarks for future improvement. Here are some of the ways you can measure the positive business trends in your digital campaign.

After Hours Metrics

If self-serve and after hours options are important to your digital campaign, you should track how effective they are. Your key business metrics will help you learn:

  • How many of your consumers are making payments when the office is closed
  • Average dollar amount of after hours payments
  • How fast people can navigate self-serve workflows without agent intervention
“How effective are the digital channels when we're not here? We can be closed most of Saturday and Sunday, but we still have consumers logging in, making payments, using our self-serve portal.”

Return on Investment (ROI)

You should know how much your digital channels are costing in relation to how much you’re gaining from using them. Software prices can seem high but the real story is sometimes more complex. Your ROI is a mix of business performance metrics, taking into account:

  • How many new consumers your agency is engaging that wouldn’t have been reachable by old methods, like phone calls
  • How much revenue overall comes from your digital channels
  • How much money you may be saving by sending fewer paper letters, speeding up account resolutions and using fewer agents to collect more
“What digital has really allowed us to do is not just get to the people who do want to pay, but also hear from the people who know for sure that they don't. And that's just as important because that's countless phone calls in the future, manual work by an agent, or letters that you're sending and just carrying that debt that long that you could avoid by knowing this person has completely requested a cease and desist.”

Customer Surveys

Feedback is the best way to know if what you’re doing is working. Customer surveys help you to know what people liked or disliked about interacting with your company. Taking this into account helps you build on current processes to make the best possible experience for future consumers.

3) Monitor Failure Metrics

Understanding your shortcomings as an organization is the key to improvement. Measuring the negative aspects of customer communication will reveal problems in your processes. However, they can also help you narrow down the best accounts to target during the collection process.

Those who opt out, don’t open any emails or file a detailed dispute on your portal are giving you a clear message on how they want to engage. The information you learn from these key metrics will help you know how to proceed collecting on accounts.

  • Opt outs
  • Incomplete payments
  • Low open rates
  • Low response rates
  • High complaint rates
  • Detailed dispute filings

If you use email, also pay attention to any emails that prompt a different response than intended. If you want people to self-pay, but see tons of calls to agents instead, your messaging may need work.

4) Broad Measurements

Another way to segment the data you’re gathering during digital campaigns is through a broad view. There are three main questions your data should be answering.

Can Customers Find What They Need?

This is the basic measurement of success in your business. It doesn’t matter what the consumer needs or what channel they use, you want them to find their way to a resolution – either with or without the help of an agent.
“Are consumers getting what they need? Are they able to resolve their account in whatever form they want to? So whether that be the outcome is a dispute, or they want to make payment, a settlement – as long as they're able to get some type of resolution, I think that's important.”

Are You Improving Liquidation Rates?

Find out what, from a broader perspective, leads to customers paying you at a higher rate. Evaluate your key metrics, but keep in mind that not every consumer is the same. Many agencies have found that offering an omnichannel strategy is the most impactful way to improve liquidation rates.
“The simple measurement, of course…is are they paying? Are you improving your liquidation rates? But there's layers under that. The payment is the end result. And you don't start the race at the finish line. So you have to know what events lead to that end result. So, yes, what's your close rate? How many people are clicking on your email and then making a payment after? How many people are responding to your text? And then it leads to a payment. But more than that, how many files are now getting engaged where they weren't before?”

Are Your Digital Communication Channels Being Used Properly?

Measure popularity of your digital channels. Do your typical consumers prefer SMS? Email? Perhaps printing a QR code link to your payment portal is the most effective channel. Whatever you try, make sure the digital channels you offer are being used.

If you see a drop in digital engagement, experiment with new messaging or a new subject line in your emails. If consumers keep calling for agents after a self-pay call to action is sent, evaluate your payment workflow.

Your agents should also drive consumers to your digital channels. Train them to ask for updated communication preferences on every call.

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Hannah Huerta - PDCflow Marketing Specialist
Hannah Huerta, Marketing Specialist

Hannah Huerta is a Marketing Specialist at PDCflow. She creates content for the accounts receivable and payment industry.

LinkedIn - Hannah Huerta

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