e-LERTs: An Opportunity to Notify and Market at the Same Time

Credit Unions using e-LERTs are opening members’ e-mail inboxes to targeted offers for products and services. In addition to the requested notice, each e-LERT contains a customized marketing message from the CU, making it an excellent cross-selling tool. Here’s what e-LERT information members are requesting…


By DigitalMailer, Inc.


Credit Unions using e-LERTs are ''opening'' members’ e-mail inboxes to targeted offers for products and services. In addition to the requested notice, each e-LERT contains a customized marketing message from the CU, making it an excellent cross-selling tool. Here’s what e-LERT information members are requesting…

Members Request More Info

Members select their e-LERTs from a list of ''tell-me-when'' choices designated by each credit union. What types of e-LERTs are members signing up for? ''Surprisingly, we found that e-LERTs for rate changes are not the top request,'' says Joan Stroud, Marketing Manager at Northwest FCU (Herndon, VA). ''Our enrollments indicate that our members are interested in special offers and products from NWFCU and want to hear from us.''

Of the members that sign up for Credit Union e-LERT notifications:

  • 85% request Special Offer and New Product e-LERTs
  • 63% request Free Seminar e-LERTs
  • 61% request Loan Rate Change e-LERTs
  • 60% request Share Rate Change e-LERTs
  • 59% request CD Rate Change e-LERTs

Based on their enrollment information, NWFCU will send additional e-LERTs in 2003 focusing on the Credit Union’s products and services. In mid January, NWFCU plans on issuing a ''new service'' e-LERT announcing the Credit Union’s rollout of online check images.

What’s the Added Value for the CU?

For one thing, e-LERTs increase the number of e-mail contact opportunities to inform and cross-sell CU products and services to its members. In this age of Spam, CU’s are often worried about sending junk e-mail. E-LERTs give the credit union the ''OK'' to send e-mails at the request of the member. In NWFCU’s case, some members receive 5 e-mails per month from the CU; one that their eStatement/newsletter is ready and four for their weekly e-LERT on certificate rate changes, of course all with additional marketing messages. Other value created by e-LERTs include:

  • Providing marketing with instant measurement;
  • Fast communication that is less expensive than traditional channels;
  • Creating a database of CU member e-mail addresses;
  • Using existing technology investments made by the CU; and
  • Creating a self-service environment where members edit e-LERT preferences or remove themselves from notification list.

Business Advantage = Credit Union

Here’s how one large credit union plans on using e-LERTs and available member information to gain a strategic business advantage over the competition.

A Targeted e-LERT for an auto loan rate change:

  1. Member requests an auto loan rate change e-LERT through the CU’s web site
  2. CU reviews auto loan rate change e-LERT database prior to loan rate change and, using available information, pre-approves members in database for car loan
  3. CU changes auto rates
  4. CU distributes two separate auto loan rate change e-LERTs to members
    • One to pre-approved members with targeted offer that they are pre-approved for loan from CU with a link to a message center for details and acceptance of offer
    • One to remaining members informing them of rate change and link to rates page and/or online loan application

ADVANTAGE = Credit Union! Their member now walks into a dealer with a pre-approved CU loan in hand!

e-LERTs: the Next Level

Outbound e-LERTs are just one tool for communicating electronically with CU members. In the near future, credit unions will be launching the second, operational phase of e-LERTs, where the majority of the communication with an ''online'' member will be done electronically. Credit Unions are planning to use the secure, private message center to load electronic communication such as eStatements, e-LERTs, notices and e-mail. The message center will have the ability to deliver targeted offers for CU products and services while the member is reviewing digital communication messages from the CU.

DigitalMailer’s e-LERT, an e-mail notification system, is an e-mail address collection service that gives CUs the ability to offer members ''tell-me-when'' e-mail notification services. For more information, contact DigitalMailer directly at 866-994-4900, or via e-mail at info@digitalmailer.com

To subscribe to our E-mail newsletter that shares resources, industry trends, best practices and valuable lessons learned from credit unions and financial service providers, click on the link below: http://www.digitalmailer.com/newslettervol2iss10.html

DigitalMailer’s (www.DigitalMailer.com) digital communication products assist credit unions in gaining a strategic business advantage over competitors via the Internet and their website. DigitalMailer provides products such as eSTATEMENTS and e-CHECK for credit unions that are designed by CU professionals to reduce operating expenses, enhance cross-selling opportunities and increase revenue for our clients.

Contact Information:

Ron Daly
Toll Free (866) 994-4900 ext 102

© 2003 DMI


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Jan. 13, 2003



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