Helena Partnerships used customer insight to send a personalised piece of communication to 1,800 under-occupying tenants who had failed to engage about Welfare Reform.

This communication was sent out in the final weeks before the bedroom tax was introduced in April 2013.

Designed to look like a purse or wallet, the outside of the direct mail issued a clear call to action featuring the tenants name to grab their attention. The information inside focused on explaining the bedroom tax in simple language with personalised figures for the number of bedrooms that person was under-occupying by and the amount of housing benefit they were set to lose. It also set out clearly approximately how much extra money they would need to find each week and included signposting to the advice and support services available from Helena.

A case study mirroring that individual’s housing circumstances was featured to bring their situation to life, and tenants without a direct debit received information about the benefits and help available with setting up a bank account. Each tenant was also provided with the name of the Welfare Reform Officer focusing on their area.

In the days after the leaflets were received, the volume of calls and number of tenants visiting Helena’s neighbourhood offices to seek advice about Welfare Reform saw a large increase and the organisation continues to monitor the situation for evaluation purposes.

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