Email marketing: To opt in or opt out?

A question for marketers.

by: Karen Bankston

Members who supply their email address to their credit union have opted in to receive messages, and using that permission judiciously by sending only messages that will interest or benefit them is the best way to head off their desire to opt out.

If they do exercise that option, the credit union’s best response to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act and members’ wishes is to remove them from your email marketing entirely.

To prevent that eventuality, Ron Daly, formerly president/CEO and now chairman of CUES Supplier member and partner DigitalMailer, Herndon, Va., suggests proactively giving members a range of opt-in choices up front: Do they want to receive your newsletter? Educational content on specific topics (such as shopping for a house and mortgage, protecting and improving their credit standing, and/or saving for retirement)? Rate updates? Special offers? That approach gives members the ability to opt out of specific emails down the road but still receive other useful messages and after-market cross-selling, he notes.

A related strategy is developing a variety of email newsletters, based on demographics, family circumstances, and special interests. That way members could sign up for newsletters and articles on the credit union’s community connections and financial tips for families with young children, for example, or for financing a business start-up or managing retirement accounts.

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