The temptation is tough to resist. Some credit union marketers have begun treating their members’ email addresses as a giant candy jar. You know the feeling: Maybe you don’t really like jellybeans, but they’re so easy to grab for a quick snack … and just a few won’t hurt, right?
One of the greatest boons to credit union marketing in the past few years has been the ability to collect and use email addresses to promote a new product, cross-sell services, or alert members to a car loan sale. National surveys continue to show that consumers typically trust credit unions and most members are glad to share their email addresses so they can receive product or operational alerts. But if we’re not careful when we dip into the email candy jar, it might bring unintended consequences. If you send members too many email alerts that they consider irrelevant, they may begin to think the credit union is getting “fat” from that candy jar and opt out.
Cut the Fat
The solution? Cut down on messages members don’t need. Instead of an all-or-nothing permission-based approach, give your members control over what they receive by offering preference-based alerts.
A recent survey by Forrester Research* shows that a growing number of online consumers welcome email alerts from their financial institutions -if those alerts provide information consumers want. Forrester says preference-based alerts in three categories are most likely to attract more online users’ attention:
- Preemptive alerts enable your members to take actions such as circumventing fees, paying bills or transferring money from one account to another.
- Account-based alerts let your members check on the status of anticipated funds, make sure a check has cleared, or otherwise monitor their money.
- Product-purchase alerts provide your members with requested information about products or services, or notify them of a drop in loan rates.
With email alerts gaining momentum, your members are likely to be inundated with messages; if these messages don’t fit members’ interests, they will ignore them or, worse, opt out altogether. Why not use your valuable email promotional space to send messages your members will want to read?
Satisfy Members’ Sweet Tooth
Preference-based e-LERTs allow members to choose which types of email notifications to receive. They can enroll online for any of the “tell-me-when” fields the credit union offers, and the preference-based system helps identify member interest. That makes the marketing job easier – and more effective. When a qualifying event occurs (e.g., a new product is introduced that fits a member’s interest or an account balance falls below a certain level), the credit union sends an e-LERT. The point is, by choosing to be notified when the rate drops on home-equity loans, you have a satisfied member and a prospective buyer.
Many credit unions are finding that marketing through e-LERTS adds to their bottom lines. That’s because preference-based e-LERTS are geared to reach the right audience, with the right message, at the right time. And allowing members to choose their email alerts positions your credit union as a financial partner, instead of an unwelcome nuisance.
Now, that’s sweet with no added fat!
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DigitalMailer employs active white-list management and opt-in email practices that help credit unions use the Internet to communicate with their members. Our digital communication products such as e-LERTs, eSurveys and eStatements assist credit unions in gaining a strategic business advantage and generate additional revenue. Please contact Ron Daly firstname.lastname@example.org or Greg Crandell email@example.com for additional information on products and services or to share your ideas and comments.
*Strothkamp, Brad. “What Types of Alerts Are Financial Consumers Interested In?” Trends. Forrester Research. April 4, 2005.
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