3 types of emails your credit union must be sending

Have you ever wondered about the types of emails that your financial institution absolutely must be sending? Well, here’s a list of three kinds of emails that all credit unions should be sending to members on a regular basis.

In general, most of our clients don’t email enough. People have gotten so afraid of overdoing email that they’ve kind of taken a step too far back. What happens is when you’re emailing people on a weekly basis, they get used to seeing your content. And when the content is varied and useful, they won’t unsubscribe. If they don’t have time to look at it that week, they’ll just hit delete and move on.

But when you only email somebody like once a month, if that content isn’t what they’re looking for, a lot of times they’re going to unsubscribe much faster, believe it or not. And there’s lots of great data out there that actually suggests that more emailing is better. We recommend to our clients that they’re emailing a minimum of once a week. These emails should include shorter offers, more educational content, content that is useful, engaging, interactive, and helpful.  

Our favorite type of email is behavior-based emails. What this means is utilizing tracking code on your website or digital branch to know when a visitor, a known contact that you already have in your system, is visiting your digital branch. This should be able to tell you which product or service pages that they’re visiting and then you can immediately email them about that product or service. 

And before you stop and say, whoa, that’s creepy, that’s too much, just hear us out! We have been doing these kinds of emails for clients for years now and those emails have the highest open rates, the lowest unsubscribe rates, the lowest spam reports and really high clickthrough rates because they’re timely. 

We do recommend that you put a process in place so that if a user visits five or six pages, they don’t get five or six emails immediately, but instead take that first page visit for that product and have a 20 minute delay and then send the user more helpful and informative information.

This gives the visitor time to continue to look at the website, continue to look at what you’ve got to offer before that email pops up in their inbox. And for those who are browsing maybe on their lunch break and they get that 20 minutes later, they might not check it till that evening, but they have something in their inbox about that product and service. This is a powerful way to show the right person the right information at exactly the right time!

Nurture emails are kind of along the same lines. These emails also work to send people the right information at the right time, but in a slightly different way. You should have a lead capture on your website, not just an apply now button, but another kind of lead capture, say an eBook or an infographic or some other kind of downloadable content. Then you’ll want to make sure that you’re sending some nurture emails after somebody downloads this lead capture content.

We recommend not just one email with the item that they wanted to download, but give them a little bit of time to digest it and then follow up with some other information or some additional educational content. 

We also like to send nurture emails from a salesperson as well. This makes it look like an individual is emailing them and saying… “hey, I noticed that you downloaded this eBook, did you get all your questions answered? I’m here to help our members or our customers. Here’s my contact information, would love to be a resource to you if you have any additional questions.”

This kind of nurture email should then be signed by an actual salesperson and sent from their actual email. So that all the user has to do is to hit reply and they can actually get a real person to respond to them quickly at the financial institution.

These kinds of emails should be set up using an automation platform, and configured to look like they’re coming from somebody. The actual salesperson will need to know that they exist and that these kinds of nurture campaigns are running in the background, but they aren’t actually having to physically send out those emails every time they go out. 

This saves a tremendous amount of time in sales follow up. And then if somebody hits reply to one of those nurture emails, you know that they’re a hot lead and they’re ready for follow up. This is a great way to give your sales team hot leads at the right time and to send the correct information to people when they’re in market for it.

The final type of emails that financial institutions should be sending are newsletters. Traditionally these go out as statement stuffers or an actual physical mail piece. But over the years they’ve transitioned to digital newsletters at some sort of frequency, typically monthly. But here’s the thing … If a monthly newsletters is all you’re emailing your membership or your clients, you’ve got a problem.

If you email one newsletter and it doesn’t have something in it that one month that somebody wants to read, they’re much more likely to hit unsubscribe. Whereas if you’re emailing people a little bit more often during the month, believe it or not, they’re less likely to unsubscribe because they know that you’re emailing them regularly with smaller amounts of different, varied content and varied educational content. So the more variety that you can send out, the better. 

You can include some of that variety in a newsletter of course, but you also want to be emailing on a regular basis other than the newsletter. Another thing that we have seen happen is newsletters after a major event happens, like a merger or an online banking conversion, some of that big stuff. We’ve seen the newsletter go out and it says something like, a message from our CEO. And those do have really great open rates and typically some higher than average click through rates. Open rates are much higher because people feel like that message is coming directly from the CEO. 

In contrast to that though, we do have a client that we’ve worked with where all of the newsletters come out from the CEO, it’s like a message from the CEO. And it doesn’t perform quite at the same level as the one-offs from the CEO. So if you plan on using your newsletter to convey messages from the CEO or use that message from the CEO subject line to boost interaction with the email, we would recommend using it sparingly because it does kind of lose its luster when it’s just consecutively the same kind of average newsletter month over month.

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Meredith Olmstead

Meredith Olmstead

Meredith Olmstead is the CEO and Founder of FI GROW Solutions, which provides Digital Marketing & Sales services to Community Financial Institutions. With experience working with FIs in markets of ... Web: www.figrow.com Details