The collection letter is one of the most difficult of all letters to write, for the reason that it must induce a person to do that which he is inclined to put off until a more convenient time or until the demands on his pocketbook are less pressing and for the reason that it must, at the same time, retain the good will of the customer.
The first essential of a good collection system requires that statements be sent out exactly on time. On the last of each month a statement should be rendered so as to reach the customer on the first or second of the month. If there is a delay in sending out statements, the customer naturally feels that it is not important that he settle promptly.
In treating collection letters, it is well to observe a slight mark of distinction between the two classes of collections (1) accounts with business concerns (2) accounts with private individuals such as retailers' accounts and installment accounts.
In the first classification, we deal with business men on a business subject with which they are thoroughly familiar from daily contact. In the other class, we are dealing with individuals not with a highly developed business sense on the average and not constantly in contact with business matters. The method of appeal in handling the two classes of readers, of course, varies somewhat.
To be effective the collection letter, like the sales letter, must have personality. A touch of the human interest element in a collection letter will get next to a man where mere conventional forms would do little more than irritate and antagonize.
Sometimes a single letter with a strong human interest element will catch the favorable attention of debtors and effect a settlement promptly, but often a series of three, four or even five letters, each a little more insistent than the previous one, is required.
The Collection Letter :
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