Though email is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, it is not to be ignored. According to HubSpot, email generates $42 for every $1 spent, which is an astounding 4,200% ROI, making it one of the most effective options available. So while new social media channels may be all the rage, don’t swap something that just works for the latest trend. Email marketing is a tried and true method that’s been honed over the years, and credit unions can use it as a way to grow and foster membership.
Why Email Works for Credit Unions
There are 4 billion daily email users. This means your members and prospective members are likely checking their email each day. If you’re not in their inboxes, you might be missing an opportunity. Email can help you attract new members with hard-to-beat offers and helpful content, but it can also help you nurture your current members by offering them upgrades, free tools and insights into your shared community. You have the ability to make emails as personal and segmented as you want. In any case, when your emails provide real value to your recipients, you know they’re working.
As with everything in digital marketing, a good approach to email starts with a strategy. Here’s what you need to know to start developing an email marketing strategy for your credit union.
Create a Way to Gather Emails
A successful email marketing strategy begins with building a healthy email list. More than likely, you already have the emails of most of your current members. Start there, then seek to add new, potential members to your list.
One of the most effective strategies for acquiring new emails is an information capture mechanism. This is when you offer something of value in exchange for information – in this case, an email address). That “something of value” could be a financial tool like a mortgage calculator, a quote for a product, a financial newsletter, or some other creative offering you come up with. From your overall email list, you can then create more specific groups to target, called segments.
Segmentation is the process of separating your email list into smaller groups so that you can target recipients with content that is relevant to them. This helps you avoid sending unwanted content to leads who may click “unsubscribe” after receiving something they don’t want. On the other hand, it shows your members and other leads that you care enough to send them tailored content. According to HubSpot, marketers who use segmented campaigns note as much as a 760% increase in revenue.
One approach is to segment your members by the products they use. For example, for members that have a mortgage with your credit union, you can enter them into an email flow with tips to raise the value of their home, options for refinancing and types of loans that can enable them to do home improvement projects. If you have demographic information, you can also segment by age or stage of life. The more segments, the more complicated your strategy becomes – but the open rate also increases as the content becomes more relevant.
Create a Content Plan That Provides Value
For each segment, develop a content plan that offers value over sales pitches. Before you begin asking for any money or commitment from your recipients, give them something they might like. It could be a helpful blog, a guide, quick financial tips, or a budgeting tool tailored to their product interests. And even when you do eventually include an offer for a lower rate, cash back or something else, do it in a way that shows your reader the benefit.
When it comes to laying out and writing your email, do your research to best optimize it for your audience. You can start by reading our blog, Email Marketing for Beginners.
Consider Frequency Carefully
How often should you send emails to your members? That’s an important question. You want to send them often enough to stay top-of-mind, but not so often that they get annoyed and unsubscribe (we’ve all been there). According to Coschedule, nearly half of people unsubscribe from emails due to receiving emails too often.
A good rule of thumb is to start with one email per week to each recipient, regardless of what segment they are a part of. From there, you can experiment with increasing or decreasing your frequency to see how it changes indicators like open rate and click-through rate. Many organizations have found success when they decrease their email frequency, so we recommend erring on the side of less.
Make It Mobile-Friendly
Nearly 1 in 5 email campaigns is not optimized for mobile devices. This is a BIG no-no, as nearly half of all people prefer to open their emails on a mobile device. So if your email looks janky and doesn’t work quite right on mobile, you’re turning away a good portion of your recipients. Don’t be that 1 in 5. Get with the times and make sure everything you create on the internet is mobile-friendly – including emails.
Most modern email marketing platforms including HubSpot, MailChimp and Constant Contact will do this work for you, so it doesn’t have to be a big lift. Just make sure you send a test email, check it from your phone, and make it looks and works the way you want it to.
Need an expert to help you plan and execute your email marketing strategy? At PRIME, we have the experience to help you launch an email marketing strategy with a proven return on investment. Reach out to us to start the conversation today.
If you enjoyed this edition of PRIME Pulse, take a look at some of our other related articles:
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- Social Media for Financial Institutions: What's Relevant?
- How to (Effectively) Gather Feedback About Your Financial Institution