Leveraging eStatement Marketing Opportunities
EStatements can be revenue generators, not just cost savers.
Most credit union programs were launched solely to reduce statement delivery costs and speed up statement delivery. Among our own clients, anywhere from 2% to 50% of their members are enrolled in eStatements, clearly saving postage and mailing costs in proportion to their respective adoption rates. But 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?
To find out, your credit union must ask “What is the marketing value of a guaranteed contact with our members?” If the answer is “nothing” or “very little,” then you rest squarely in the tactical camp which believes eStatements are operational products with cost-saving features. But 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. These credit unions are turning their eStatement programs into revenue generators, not just cost savers.
Evolving Marketing Channel –
a Strategic Contact Point
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. Some argue that the 10-20 percent of “open” or “statement viewed” eStatements, when compared with the total eStatements delivered, may not warrant additional work by the marketing department. But the fact is, even for paper statements, the “open” rate or “inserts read” rate is probably around that same 10-20 percent. And consider this: In an 80,000 member credit union with 50% eStatement enrollment, ignoring the members that look at their eStatement is ignoring the opportunity to communicate with 4,000 to 8,000 members each month. 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.
Think about it … one member at a time. This concept was once an insurmountable obstacle for marketers. Imagine stacked, one-to-one offers that present themselves to members at various touch points such as online banking, eStatements or email marketing - stacked offers, built in advance, that are relevant to each member, just waiting for the next opportunity to cross sell the next new product. Sound too good to be true? Advances in MCIF technology solutions that compile masses of data and make sense of it all are in place today, making the marketer’s job easier.
AdeptMedia’s DeepTarget software with multi-channel, one-to-one targeting capabilities is just one example being put to use in eStatements and outbound email communications. For example, Fort Belvoir FCU ($236 Million in Woodbridge, VA) is using DeepTarget MCIF software to place over 7,500 personalized marketing messages at the top of members’ eStatements. This knowledge, coupled with new eStatement marketing tools – such as marketing splash pages between the member login and available statement library and “onserting” selective messaging and images on eStatements - are making each member contact much more productive.
Mixing in permission-based emails
Today, more and more marketers are starting to take advantage of one of the largest opt-in, permission-based email lists they’ll ever have – the monthly eStatement notification list. They’ve come to realize that even if a member never views their eStatement, there is still the opportunity for that once-a-month contact in the eStatement email notification. The days of the generic “Dear Member: Your eStatement is Ready” notice are fast disappearing. Marketers are seizing opportunities to say something important to the thousands of members that open their email from the credit union. Targeted email notifications with one-to-one offers inside take advantage of this contact to grow awareness and cross sell additional products and services.
Fort Belvoir FCU is also using its DeepTarget information in 22,000 opt-in email notifications and email alerts each month. By moving to a one-to-one marketing strategy, the credit union is now reaching all eStatement members with well-timed, individual messages more closely tied to their own needs. That’s the power of the right offer, in front of the right member, at the right time. And it has never been more successful than when you let the technology do the work for you.
Increasing member value to eStatements
The industry continues to see advances by eStatement providers towards making members’ eStatement 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. We’ve seen single sign-on to available statement libraries from online banking platforms since 2000. Today’s advances in eStatements now 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, email and nearly every other paper document should read used to go in the mail.
Ron Daly is President/CEO of DigitalMailer, Inc., an eStatement and digital communication provider helping clients gain a strategic business advantage through electronic statements, e-alerts, e-newsletters, targeted email and other custom CRM tools in the credit union industry.
For more information visit www.digitalmailer.com or call (866) 994-4900.