E-mail has become as common to consumers as a telephone. Despite inherent challenges the public has become obsessed with reading e-mail. We live in a society today that is very fast paced, and in the middle of it all is our e-mail in-box. We check our e-mail at work, at home, at the library, at the airport, and just about any other place with an Internet connection. Society has even created devices to check our e-mail on the go when we are away from our normal Internet connection. Chances are you have a device sitting right next to you at all times capable of receiving your e-mail (PDA, cell phone, etc). These devices have been created and built because of consumer demand.
Your members are no different. If you are considering e-mail as a means of communicating to your member but are unsure if they are willing to give you their e-mail address…simply ask them. Consider doing a survey of how your members would prefer to receive communications from you. Very often the member will want to communicate via e-mail.
Not Sure What to E-mail?
All too often when a credit union decides to conduct e-mail marketing they think they have to gather thousands of e-mails before they can start. Did you know that one of the most successful e-mail communications a credit union can offer is a simple monthly Welcome E-mail Newsletter to new members? One of the worst things you can do is gather a member’s e-mail address and not send anything to them for a year. If a new member has recently enrolled in your e-mail list and given you permission (Opt-In) to e-mail them, chances are significantly higher that they are going to open your first e-mail. credit unions can take advantage of this opportunity by re-iterating the online services that are available. Tell your members what types of communications they can expect to receive, for example:
- E-Statement Notifications
- Product Promotions
- Workshop & Seminar Invitations
Starting off with a clear, concise and beneficial Welcome e-mail could be just the ticket to kick starting a successful and long-term e-mail marketing strategy.
Overcoming the Challenges: Spam and Phishing
Why should you be concerned with spam if you don’t spam your members? Because spam is so common these days, the problem is your legitimate e-mail message might get placed in the members’ junk-mail folder. Here are some things you can do:
- Encourage your members to add the e-mail address you send from to their safe-list
- Establish whitelist status (will go directly to inbox) with ISP’s: AOL, MSN, etc.
Should my credit union avoid sending e-mail because of the threat of phishing? Whether you send e-mail to your members or not phishing will continue. Why not take advantage of e-mail to not only train your members on avoiding phishing scams, but to also set the standard for e-mail messages coming from your credit union? Give your members the information they need to tell if an e-mail they have received is actually from the credit union. Establish an e-mail standard and maintain that standard in all communications. Some possible standards include:
- Personalize the e-mail with the name of the member
- Include the last three digits of account number (or some portion of data that the member and credit union knows)
- Append a unique code to every e-mail that can be validated by the member inside of online banking or by a call center representative
- A combination of any or all of the above items
Want to learn more about e-mail marketing?
Contact DocuMatix to learn more about e-mail marketing. To schedule your FREE webinar and learn more about e-mail marketing ( click here ) or contact Joan Gurr, National Account Executive at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-877-362-8628 ext. 204.
DocuMatix, LLC, is a provider of online marketing tools and services to include permission based e-mail marketing, surveys, secure e-mail, online elections, and e-Alerts. The flagship product of DocuMatix is the DocuMatix Product Suite which includes a powerful creation wizard and a robust real-time reporting engine that allows for the creation of virtually unlimited designs and new levels of professionalism offered within every e-mail.