Most credit unions have valid email addresses on less than 50% of account holders

Sending email to your credit union’s membership can be a great way to communicate important events, introduce new products, and keep your membership base engaged. This isn’t yet another article explaining the benefits of why credit unions should be using email and other digital channels to communicate. There are plenty of great strategies that have been covered many times before. However, they all miss one important fact:

Most financial institutions have valid email addresses on less than 50% of their account holders.

Our research is based on questions answered by hundreds of financial institutions over the past year. When we asked the institutions what percentage of email addresses they have across their entire account base we heard answers ranging from 15% to 70%. The majority of answers fall between 20% and 40%. The institutions that are able to report rates at the higher end of the spectrum have only reached that point by hard work.

Here are 3 strategies that you can use to increase your success at capturing valid email addresses from your membership.

  1. Require an Email Address During Account Opening – Institutions with the highest reported rates often got there by starting with new members. Make sure you are asking for an email address during the application process and measuring the success of your team when they open new accounts.
  2. Offer Incentives on Your Website – One great example of this approach is offering a small statement credit if a customer provides their email address. We have seen values between $1 and $5 work very well. Remember, there is often a positive ROI for this approach because many future communications can be moved from print to email when it makes sense. We have seen an institution gain hundreds of new email addresses over the course of 30 days by simply placing a very small banner on their website.
  3. Use Direct Mail – If you don’t have an email address for a current member, send them a postcard offering a similar incentive to provide you with one. It sounds a bit counterintuitive to use print to get an email address. However, this is another strategy that has had great success with our clients. We believe in this strategy so much that we even built it directly into Core iQ, our marketing automation platform for credit unions.

We would love to hear of other strategies that have worked for your credit union. Feel free to share your experience in the comments section or let me know directly what has worked well for your credit union.


Michael Browning

Michael Browning

Michael is the co-founder and CEO of Onovative, a company focused on providing technology solutions to help community banks, and credit unions engage with their customers. Michael spends the remainder ... Web: Details