A growing number of credit unions see guaranteed member contact as extremely valuable, especially when you know which member you are reaching, what credit union products and services that member now uses, what he uses at the bank down the street, and what your next offer to him should be. With online statements, marketing teams know this information and are turning their eStatements into revenue generating programs, not just cost savers.
But for some credit unions, are eStatements destined to be nothing more than a money-saving tool? Or can they be strategic member-contact points that can be used to cross-sell and interact with members? If all eStatement users aren't opening their online statement each month, does that mean this service is not a channel worthy of marketers' attention? Some argue that the 10-20% average of “open” or “statement viewed” eStatements does not warrant additional work by the marketing department. But the fact is the “open” rate or “inserts read” rate for paper statements is probably around that same 10-20% average.
Recovering lost Marketing Opportunities
Consider this - in an 80,000 member credit union with 40,000 eStatements, ignoring the members that look at their eStatement is just like saying you're going to ignore taking advantage of the guaranteed monthly contact of 4,000 to 8,000 members. Take today's eStatement technology and add technology that mines data and creates marketing campaigns, and you can have offers directed to the specific needs and interests of those 4,000 to 8,000 – one member at a time.
What if your credit union is not at the one-to-one level just quite yet? Not to worry, statement “onserting” is rapidly catching on. Onserting, the combination of adding links and images to online statements, brings what was once a dead PDF eStatement to life! Onserting uses the same insert codes embedded in your statement files to produce interactive images and links that jump out at your eStatement member and get them to take action. These codes, coupled with new eStatement marketing tools – such as marketing splash pages between the member login and personalized banners on eStatements - are making each member contact much more valuable.
One example of a credit union effectively using insert codes is Seven Seventeen CU ( Warren , OH ). The credit union uses the insertion codes on their Summit system Statements and VISA Statements to drive the marketing messages received by paper and eStatement members. Using DigitalMailer's “onserting” toolbox, Seven Seventeen loads the content, images and click-thru destinations. The software and statement process takes it from there. Members' eStatements display any of the loaded messages assigned to them by the insert codes. Each statement receives anywhere from 0 to 4 onserted messages on their statement. In one application, Seven Seventeen used the capabilities to place credit line increase messages only on those VISA eStatements where members qualified. Other CUs are using the codes to place different marketing message boxes on their members' eStatements.
Advanced one-to-one marketing
Online statement users have entered a space where they can be promoted to in real-time. The mere fact that they are online users increases the marketing reach of the credit union for fractions of the cost of the old-fashion way. One-to-one marketing is getting rave reviews today, but the premise behind it is as old as the credit union movement: personalized attention to members' unique needs. Now, with new eMarketing channels, enhanced digital technology and a little creative copywriting, you can ensure the personal touch that gets the right offer to the right member at the right time. In the June 2007 article “One-to-One Marketing is Here to Stay”, the advances in MCIF technology solutions that make the marketer's job easier were highlighted. Fort Belvoir FCU in Woodbridge , VA , continues to have success using “DeepTarget” MCIF software to place more than 10,000 personalized marketing messages at the top of members' eStatements and in their outbound email.
Increasing Member's online access to information
The industry continues to see advances by eStatement providers towards making members' online experiences more valuable. Fast-loading, custom-designed statement presentations, along with “accounts-at-a-glance” summary sections, are replacing the original PDF read-only versions. Convenience is still an important key as members continue to prefer one login and password to access all their information, all at once. Today's advances in eStatements allow a “linked accounts” network to be built from relationship databases. This feature allows members to switch between eStatement libraries without logging in and out to view statements and notices. With one click, parents can view their children's accounts, spouses can link to each other, and even personal and business accounts can be conveniently accessed.
How far will advancements in eStatement products go? Hard to tell. But secure libraries once reserved for only a single monthly account statement can now access VISA statements, mortgage statements, e-notices, email and nearly every other paper document that currently goes in the mail.
For more information about eStatement technology or one-to-one eMarketing, call (866) 994-4900 or visit http://www.nomorepdf.com .
DigitalMailer ( www.digitalmailer.com ) is a leader in digital communication and the tools needed to reach your online members. To subscribe to our eNewsletter that shares resources, industry trends, best practices and valuable lessons learned from financial service providers, visit: http://www.digitalmailer.com/newsletter.html
Ron Daly is the president/CEO of DigitalMailer, Inc., an eMarketing firm providing digital communication tools to credit unions.