Callahan's E-mail Communication survey, conducted through our Online
Survey Consortium, indicated that members do in fact embrace e-mail as an
effective mode of communication and while members have privacy concerns, by
and large they are willing to accept e-mail communication from their credit
Where to Begin
Now that we've established that members do indeed use e-mail and ways to alleviate
privacy concerns, you want to jump on the e-mail communication bandwagon. So,
where do you start?
One of the biggest questions you need to ask before beginning an e-mail communication
program is, ''How can my credit union collect e-mail addresses?'' A good way
to do this is through an ''opt-in'' policy where a member has to actively select
to receive e-mails from the credit union. You can promote your campaign on your
website and let members sign-up to receive e-mails on line. Remember though,
just because members have agreed to give you their e-mail address does not necessarily
mean they have opted in for your whole e-mail communication campaign.
Another excellent way is to simply collect e-mail addresses from those members
who have mailed in a request or question.
What to Send?
The best way to find out what members want is to ask. Callahan's E-mail Communication
survey asked over 18,000 credit union members what they would be interested
in receiving from their credit union. The results showed that members have a
very good idea about what types of messages they would be interested in receiving
and the frequency of those messages.
Among the most popular were messages that directly related to a member's accounts:
balance alerts, loan payment notices, and unusual credit card charges. Surprisingly,
members also expressed some interest in general communications such as, newsletters,
website changes and financial planning information. (For those of you out there
wondering, ''general communication is synonymous with ''marketings'').
In terms of how frequently members want to hear from their credit unions, 48%
of members said that an e-mail once a month from their credit unions was enough.
Only 43% of members were willing to accept more than one e-mail per month from
their credit union.
The survey found surprisingly that members are typically very open to e-mail
communication from their credit unions. However, their willingness comes with
several large conditions. Even with that caveat, the research suggests that
there are very significant marketing opportunities for credit unions to use
this ''old piece of technology'' that has never reached its maximum potential.
For more information on Callahan's Online Credit Union Survey Consortium, and
how your credit union can participate, please visit: SurveyConsortium