Got two cents? Better save it. Beginning January 8, 2006, you’ll need a 39-cent stamp to mail a letter – a jump in postage of 5.4 percent from the current rate. Two cents may not seem like much of a hike for ''everyday'' mail, but when multiplied by the cost of mailing thousands of account statements to your members every month, it adds up in a hurry.
Unfortunately, your credit union can’t control the cost of postage. But you can control the number of mailings sent to members – and the number of members who receive their statements electronically. If your credit union isn’t offering eStatements, take a fresh look before the new rates take a hit at your pocket change. And if you’re already offering eStatements, now is a good time to consider outsourcing enrollment campaigns to experts with success in rapidly growing eStatement adoption rates. A recent example shows one CU growing its eStatement adoption rate by more than 5 percent in less than two weeks, by using a turnkey marketing campaign with a secure registration page.
No small change
Simply put, paper statements cost too much and offer too little. They’re expensive to handle, expensive to print and, soon, even more expensive to mail. Consider this: Just in the month of October, DigitalMailer’s eStatement clients saved a combined $38,480 in postage. With the new rates beginning in January, that will grow to nearly $500,000 for 2006 – even if they don’t add a single new eStatement user. And if they increase the number of users by just 10 percent, these credit unions will save more than $535,000. That’s a chunk of change!
And with statements growing longer (and heavier) to include members’ EFT transactions such as debit cards, the costs for mailing paper statements will double, moving you into the higher-priced, multi-ounce category of 63 cents or more – an even bigger chunk of change. But postage isn’t the only cost that’s rising. Paper and printing costs are increasing, too. Added together, a sound strategy for enhancing your credit union’s bottom line is to offer eStatements or expand your current program.
Save money and boost member relations
Chris Jenkinson, Vice President, eBusiness and Technology, for CitizensFirst Credit Union, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, says his credit union has realized considerable savings since it began eStatements nearly five years ago. Now, the credit union is planning to make eStatements adoption a major ''push'' in 2006.
''We began offering eStatements in 2001 as part of a complete line of electronic services, which has grown to include home banking, e-SURVEYs, eLERTS and electronic bill payment,'' Jenkinson said. ''Our cost savings have been great and, even better, our members' satisfaction level is nothing short of tremendous.''
But Jenkinson says he knows the credit union will see even more savings – and more satisfied members – by focusing on adding new users.
''Right now, we have about 2,900 members from every sector – seniors, soccer moms, NASCAR dads and young adults – all of whom receive eStatements each month. This next year, we’re going to launch a campaign to grow usage among our full membership, that especially targets our 7,000 home banking users.''
Paper, printing, postage … prices are all going up, which can drive your bottom line down. If your credit union now offers eStatements, this is the time to boost usage. If it doesn’t offer eStatements, there’s no better time to start. But select your vendors carefully. Some providers stay with you through initial enrollment and then pull a disappearing act. Bet your money on a service provider that understands credit unions and will help you each step of the way, from implementation through increasing adoption. That way, you’ll save more dollars, which makes good sense.
DigitalMailer is a leader in eStatement adoption, saving its clients thousands of dollars. Our report, ''Pennies Matter,'' shares successful strategies for marketing your eStatements program. To receive a FREE copy, click on the report icon or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will process your request.
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Ron Daly is President/CEO of DigitalMailer, Inc., a digital communication provider that helps clients gain a strategic business advantage through eStatements, e-Lerts, e-newsletters, email and other virtual tools on the Internet. You can email Ron at email@example.com if you want more information on any topic found in our newsletters or web site.