Improving communications using behavioural insights – new results from TEST + Build


August 2, 2018 Miranda Jackman and Owain Service

TEST + Build, one of our growing range of BI Ventures, draws on behavioural insights to improve communications. Since launching last year, we have worked with nine organisations to send out over 55,000 communications.

One of those organisations was Mansfield Council.

Using TEST + Build to encourage more households to pay their Council Tax by Direct Debit

Mansfield Council designed two new letter inserts using TEST + Build, highlighting the benefits of switching to Direct Debit.

One letter simply encouraged taxpayers to ‘Switch to’ Direct Debit. The other highlighted that ‘Life’s easier’ after signing up to Direct Debit. The designs were then quality assured by Behavioural Insights Team researchers, who also conducted the final analysis.

Both of the new letter inserts significantly increased sign-ups to Direct Debit – by over 18% relative to the Control (from 4.3 to 5.1% in both cases). We estimate that the inserts led to an additional 101 direct debit sign-ups in a single month.

We were also able to break down the results to see what effect they had on different residents within Mansfield.

The inserts were most effective for residents that don’t receive the Single Person Discount (i.e. people living by themselves who are eligible for a 25% discount on their Council Tax bill). Individuals who did not qualify for the Single Person Discount were 32% more likely to sign up when they received the ‘Life’s easier’ message.

Our analysis also suggests that inserts have significant effects for taxpayers in the households that pay the lowest levels of Council Tax. Taxpayers in Band A that received the inserts were about 27% more likely to sign up for Direct Debit than those in Band A that received no insert.

How can TEST + Build help you?

On the back of a growing range of successful TEST + Build trials like this, we’re excited to announce that we’ll be launching an upgrade of the TEST + Build platform in early August.

The new system has a fresh look, is easy to operate, and has new content curated by The Behavioural Insights Team. There are new features such as our Insights Library (with even more information on behavioural science, past BIT success stories, and new design templates), secure file upload and two-way commenting on uploads for collaboration.

We’re scheduling demonstrations of the new site and signing up new customers on a first come, first served basis. Don’t miss out! Register your interest now.


Subscribe for updates about BIT’s work

Authors