By Margie Church
Has your credit union abandoned or embraced email marketing? Since 2007, the number of retail email messages has grown 61%; it achieved a 16% increase in 2010 alone. The economics of email marketing in a down economy could certainly be part of the reason for the jump. The advent of smartphones and electronic tablets also could be contributors.
A July 2011, MailerMailer survey revealed that open rates have increased in banking and marketing, while all the other surveyed industries declined. Open rates have climbed each year to a 12.8% open rate in these two industries, too. Banking also had a 2.9% overall click rate, some of the highest in the industries surveyed. Plus, banking emails sent to 25-499 recipients, for example, had the highest click rate of 14.8%.*
That last sentence is critically important.
We believe that using data modeling to target your message is an important key to a campaign's success. Data modeling helps ensure the recipient is highly qualified and/or highly likely to respond the way you want. By using MCIF or Data Systems information, you may end up sending fewer pieces than you expected, but if the recipients are the most qualified to accept/act on your offer, isn't that more worthwhile?
Use electronic marketing tools
Some credit unions say their members don't like email marketing, or electronic response tools such as PURLs and QR codes. We believe there will always be a portion of your membership that prefers print. It's one reason why we subscribe to a cross-channel marketing philosophy.
But we believe totally dismissing electronic marketing is a mistake.
If members truly don't prefer electronic communications, then why is mobile banking gaining such momentum and acceptance? In 2010, approximately 17.8 million customers used mobile banking, according to data from TowerGroup, a financial services research firm. That figure is expected to jump to 27.4 million customers in 2011. By 2013, it's predicted that 53.1 million consumers will adopt mobile banking.
Electronic communication isn't coming. It's here and growing FAST.
• 91% of the U.S. population uses a mobile device. (CTIA, 2010)
• 420 million smartphones are expected to sell in 2011. That's 28% of the mobile handset market. The figure is predicted to rise to over 1 billion in 2016, comprising half the market. (IMS Research, 2011)
• 23% of the U.S. population uses a smartphone. (Frank N. Magid Associates, 2010).
• 97% of U.S. households use email. (e-Dialog, 2010)
• 82% of smartphone users check and send email with their device. (Google, April 2011)
• Mobile's share of all opened email was 16% in March 2011, an 81% rise from October 2010. (Return Path, March 2011)
Email Campaigns: Inexpensive, Excellent Reporting
By the time you've paid for your print collateral creative, the cost to convert a piece to email can literally be pennies per address. That's right. Pennies. One auto loan can easily cover the costs of the email campaign.
Hot and warm leads are so easy to capture with email campaigns. You'll have the email address of those who opened, clicked through the message, and you'll even know how many times they read. Choose a reporting system that manages unsubscribers for you, too. When email is combined with a PURL for responses, you're able to efficiently capture a lot of information about your membership's behavior. Over time, using email marketing repeatedly provides you a profile of your most receptive email users. There's a valuable marketing tool your credit union can use.
Gen X and Y are using their smartphones and tablets for email, banking, and so much more. Aren't these people the future of your credit union? Consumers are looking for better alternatives to big bank greed. We know that budgets are slim by this time of year. Email is an effective tactic you can use right now to keep your message in front of members.
Pinpoint Direct Marketing exclusively serves the U.S. credit union market. We provide excellent, turnkey or a' la carte creative services at a great value.