Camp is about giving the best experience to your campers.
Camp is about relationships with the families that trust you, it is about education, leadership and self-esteem of the adults of the future. It is your mission.
But you cannot do your mission if you can’t pay the bills and you are in the red!
The worst thing that can happen once camp is over and you sit down to get organized and realize you still have unpaid balances from some families.
99% of the time these are not people that did not want to pay you, they just forgot in the hectic speed of life. And life gets a lot more hectic AFTER camp as school starts and everything goes into hyper mode. So getting them to pay after camp is over is going to be 10 times harder.
Many camps decide to suspend their registration software after camp is over, however, one important task, besides using your registration platform as a sales tool, is to close out your accounts.
Closing your accounts is not only vital to your cash flow, it will also allow you to begin your next registration and camp season with a clean slate!
Sending an email asking parents to close their open balance is not hard to create. It’s quick to set up and send out with your camp registration software as well.
With a good camp registration software, the use of tokens is key here, and you can keep the text short and sweet. Tokens, or data points from your software populated into the email text, will help here in getting the message across clearly.
Great tokens to use include:
- Camper’s Name
- Family Last Name
- Specific Balance Amount Due
- List of items that are unpaid / Breakdown of services
You’ll also want to include in your balance due email:
- A good, to the point, subject line.
- The link directly to their registration dashboard so they can pay as soon as they click.
- Simple formatting, with a very clear call to action button/image/color.
Below is an example of an effective email that includes all of the above recommendations. Feel free to use this template, or get ideas. After the email, I break down why exactly each unique element is good and effective for your letter requesting paying on an outstanding balance.
Subject: Urgent! Unpaid Balance for Camp Awesome!
Dear Family Last Name Family,
You’re receiving this email because you still have an outstanding balance due for Camper Name’s from this past summer.
The following balance for Camper Name’s session is: $1,000
Camper Name’s current balance is due UPON RECEIPT of this email!
To complete payment simply click on the button below to login to your dashboard and complete payment. You can view and pay your balance with a saved credit card, or enter a new credit card or bank account.
|pay balance now|
Login with this email and the password you created during registration. If you don’t remember your password, simply click “Forgot Password” to reset it.
Your $1000 payment is for the following items:
Camp Session 2
Camp T-Shirt, Size Small
If you have any questions, just hit “reply” to this email!
If you are unable to complete payment now, please reply to this email or call the office ASAP so we can resolve the issue.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns regarding your child’s application.
All the best,
ph: (855) 377-7707
Key Takeaways From This Email Template
Below I break down why this email is so effective and actionable tips you can use to make your own outstanding payment due email get results!
Effective Subject Line
The subject line grabs your attention!
The subject line is almost more important than body itself. You need people to OPEN this email and understand there is a call to action here.
Details, Details, Details!
This email isn’t a polite note suggesting the parent login to their dashboard and “see” their unpaid balance. The email shows them exactly what they owe, when that payment is due, and a big button directing them on how to pay.
You will have a higher open and payment rate when your email is personalized to the recipient and includes the specifics to their account, including the name of their camper, their name, and their exact balance due.
This can be achieved “in bulk” with your camp registration software. Simply using tokens, explained further below, will allow you to filter for all families with an outstanding payment due and plug in their personal information into your template.
You’ll notice in the email example above, all the bolded areas are “tokens” that can be used to personalize the email including name, specific amount due, and specific items that have a balance.
You can drill down even further with the personalization if that makes sense for your camp including counselor name, sessions attended, previous payments made, etc.
Camp Software Email and Payment Tools You NEED
This email, as well as other registration and payment related emails before camp starts, is a perfect example as to WHY you need a software with the ability to personalize your email text.
The following 3 features are a MUST to not only lower your non-payment rate, but making communicating with parents even easier.
#1 Payment Plans and Automatic Billing
Make sure your registration software allows you to save payment information and offer payment plans!
You can increase your cash flow and lower your non-payment rate BEFORE summer is over, by utilizing payment plans and automatic payments with your software. Your software should allow you to have parents save their payment information, and then select a payment plan when they register.
The payment plan will ensure the balance is paid in full on a schedule that is comfortable for the parent. The saved card will make it easy for the system to just charge everyone on their plan due date.
Parents don’t have to remember to pay, and you don’t have to remember to charge them or worse, spend time tracking them down and reminding them.
Easy for everyone, and you get your money and spend less time chasing down unpaid bills! Or even having to send this email after camp is over!
#2 Powerful Filtering Tools
Ensure your software allows you to filter easily so you can find immediately any accounts with a negative balance to make reaching out easier.
You’ll notice that the “searching” for any accounts with a balance due sounds easy, but can be a complicated request to ask of your software.
Ensure your software has a powerful enough filtering engine that you are able to search for the data points you need in order to conduct business. This means you want to ensure there are data fields that will answer the questions you have, in this case, “who has an outstanding balance”.
#3 Email Token Tools for Bulk Emailing
Once you’ve filtered for the families with an outstanding balance, make sure you can use “tokens” or tools that can personalize ONE email for as many people as you need. Using the email template above can be sent, with tokens, to as many people as you need.
Tokens include: parent first name, balance due, camper name, session name, etc. All bolded words in the email template above are tokens that will be populated with the specific family’s information when sent.
Tokens, as I mentioned above, allow you to quickly create all the email templates you need, and then quickly send to whoever you want with the click of a button.
For example, this email template can be prepared with all relevant tokens whenever you want, and can be reused year after year. Once camp is over, simply use your software to search all accounts with a balance due, select them all and send this message.
Here are some other email templates that make good use of tokens to automate and simplify your camp communication:
Writing an effective balance past due email to parents is easy! Just follow the outline of the template provided in this email, and you’re all set!