Marketing on the Internet – Before Talking, Listen

What do credit union executives and marketing managers call a 25.7 percent response rate? At one Maryland FCU they call it opportunity!




What do credit union executives and marketing managers call a 25.7 percent response rate? At one Maryland FCU they call it opportunity! The opportunity comes from members’ responses to the CU’s quarterly eSurvey, it comes from listening…

Deploying eSurveys Strategically

eSurveys allow CUs to reach out and survey members on issues across "service channels" in real-time. Today, eSurveys are providing service-oriented management with the ability to measure key result areas for member service, and for employee and process performance, delivering the information needed to manage toward success. They allow organizations to reach out to survey members on issues across "service channels" in real-time to learn:

  • How members view service at different touch points in the organization;
  • What the CU does well;
  • Why members continue to return to the CU; and, importantly
  • What members don’t like about, or why they don’t do business with, the CU.

As one CU executive stated in an implementation meeting, "I’m not necessarily interested in what a member loves about the CU. My true goal is to find out why they don’t (or didn’t) do business with the CU, so I can take corrective action to acquire their future business."

Survey Says

In 2004, Prince George’s Employees FCU ( launched their quarterly satisfaction eSurvey with a two-fold purpose. First, the $72 million, 11,000 member CU wants to measure members’ satisfaction with the CU’s products and services. Secondly, PGEFCU wants to measure product awareness and the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.

PGEFCU sent an email invitation to approximately 1,000 members that transacted business in the prior quarter stating, "At PGEFCU we want to ensure your satisfaction as our member and value your opinion. We would appreciate hearing your feedback regarding your recent service experience with us and your awareness of our financial products." The response rate to the personal invitation from the CEO was an overwhelming 25.7% completing the 5-question survey.

Polly Eady-Quinn, the CU’s Marketing Manager, considers many of the responses "action items for adjusting my 2004 marketing plan." PGEFCU shared these survey tips for CUs considering eSurveys:

  • Be sure to build in a method to collect a member’s email address;
  • In any "View from the Member" section ask if the member would like a follow-up contact;
  • Have a "not applicable" option in multiple choice questions; and,
  • Don’t force all questions to be answered, let the member pick which ones to complete.

View From The Member

Open-ended questions in eSurveys are becoming a popular means of getting the "view from the member" and often lead to actionable items. When the PGEFCU asked, "please tell us what you think about the CU…" they received over 150 comments, as well as opportunities to follow-up to correct problems or fulfill requests. PGEFCU plans on running the survey each quarter and benchmarking the results. As Polly puts it, "we are interested in making sure that the CU continues to provide quality services in the eyes of our members. eSurveys allow us to check the pulse more than once every two years, as we did with the old comprehensive paper survey.

Location, Location, Location

We constantly see how the placement of a CU’s eSurvey link or invitation drives the response rate of the member. For example, one CU had an online survey image on a single page that only 4% of their members accessed. In the first month 29 members took the survey. The image was then moved to their home page and online banking logon screen, and over 300 members responded to the invitation within a few days. For greater survey results consider placing:

  • Images and links on your top 5 visited web pages
  • Pop-up windows with or without cookies on your site
  • A pop-up window or link within online banking
  • A link or pop-up on the online banking logon screen

To push even further into your membership for responses, consider:

  • Sending to members an email invitation with a link to the survey;
  • Mailing to members a postcard directing them to the survey on your website;
  • Placing posters or cards in your branches directing members to the survey; and
  • Offering an incentive to take the survey.

How to Conduct a Web Survey

DigitalMailer and its partners have put together a report on conducting eSurveys. To receive a FREE copy of the "How to Conduct a Web Survey" document click on the report icon or send an email to and we will process your request.

DigitalMailer’s eSurvey product can get you the answers you need from your members today! Visit, send an email to or call (866) 994-4900 ext 103 for more information on our survey products.

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DigitalMailer is a digital communication company with products such as e-Lerts, eSurveys and eStatements that assist credit unions in gaining a strategic business advantage via the Internet. Please contact Ron Daly or Greg Crandell for additional information or to share your ideas and comments.

© 2004 DMI




March 22, 2004


  • Very interesting article. Much to be learned from these types of tid bits.
  • Thank you for sharing!
  • This is exactly the direction I'd like to see us going in, please send more.
  • Just what I have been looking for to help sell our e-mail marketing programs. Thanks,
  • Just what I have been looking for to help sell our e-mail marketing programs. Thanks,
  • This is basic, grass-roots information gathering with a high tech twist....making it quicker and more cost effective.