Going green saves trees … and saves green in the budget

Going Green Saves Trees … And Saves Green in the Budget

Spring is here! Birds are singing, snow is melting … and postage rates are rising. As has been true for the past nine years, spring grows more than flowers. But rather than grumble about the growth in postage costs, why not go green instead? With spring in the air, it’s time to make the digital shift at your credit union. Honor the season and the planet by switching to an electronic communications approach. Your members will appreciate having less paper to chase, as well as saving a few trees. Today’s technology makes it easy, and members’ acceptance of digital apps has never been higher.

Looking good in green

Whether you go green for the cost-savings, the environment or both, digital communication strategies bring many rewards. For your members, convenience and speed likely top the list. A March 2015 study by the Natural Marketing Institute shows that U.S. consumer attitudes toward companies that consider the environment has reached an all-time high over the last five years. When given a choice, they favor companies with green technologies and sustainable practices:

  • 54% are more likely to try your products or services
  • 53% are more likely to buy your products repeatedly
  • 45% are more likely to tell friends and family about you
  • 30% are less concerned with price

To help your credit union get started, consider the benefits of these “green” offerings:

  • Electronic brochures – Reduce marketing costs and track members’ reactions to product and service offers by switching to e-brochures, such as DigitalMailer’s Leeflet. Marketing materials usually include agreement terms, rates and conditions, so traditional print brochures and tri-folds are often obsolete long before supplies run out. With e-brochures, you can easily update information and get it to members on request. A pilot program by the Filene Research Institute on the Leeflet service found that, on average, credit unions saved 65 percent of their costs by using electronic versus mailed brochures (after cutting the number of print brochures and adding Leeflet costs).
  • Digital member notifications – Increase member retention and attract more prospects by digitally optimizing your website to fit smaller screens, such as smartphones and tablets. Then, integrate remote delivery for member alerts, offers and other communications to address members’ growing demand for simplicity and the desire to connect with your credit union on their own terms. Today’s tools and technologies are designed to work with existing systems and synchronize with your members’ mobile devices.
  • Marketing campaigns – Keep members engaged by offering customized promotions, targeted specifically to their needs. Sure, generic cash-back promos, mobile payment apps and reward cards entice some recipients, but to truly grab members’ attention, offer them what they want in any channel they want – text, voice, email, online. Working with firms like DigitalMailer, you can be both high tech and high tough, making use of your CRM and core data to create promotional offers that get to the heart of individual interests.
  • eStatements – They’ve been around for awhile (DigitalMailer began its service in 2000), but it’s never too late to make eStatements the default option for members’ reports. With April’s jump in postage costs – and its inevitable hit to the budget – increasing your eStatement adoption rate deserves serious attention. Consider: If you mail 100,000 statements a month, the rise in postage could drain some $40,000 of your credit union’s capital every 12 months. Your members want options that are easy to use, convenient and fast. With eStatements, you can provide all three.
  • Online forms and applications – To grow your membership or make more loans, make it easy to complete the paperwork through online, interactive forms. PDFs are “so last year.” Today, consumers appreciate access to automated forms that can be completed – and signed – online. And here’s a bonus: Programs such as DigitalMailer’s Secure Forms allow your credit union to monitor member activity with features like lending-response tools that track a form’s progress or follow up on abandoned applications.

Going for the green

These days, members expect more from their PFI by way of green initiatives … and the right technology with the right business partner can help get you there. By integrating both mobile and environmental efforts into your e-communications strategies, you’ll create maximum impact. Whether it’s informational alerts, eStatements, promotional offers or loan applications, going digital means going green. And that means more green to the bottom line.