Credit unions and other financial institutions send billions of boring notices, statements and acknowledgements each year. And every one of those represents a sunk-cost – an expense that has been incurred as a part of doing business and cannot be recovered. The “sunk” part really means that you spent the money, but you’re not really getting any value out of your investment. And as any savvy business or financial executive will tell you, if you are spending money and not getting any value out of it, it’s time to rethink your strategy.
Sunk Cost or Super Value?
The cost to create customer-facing documents is a significant expenditure for most financial organizations. While your stats and numbers will vary, let’s assume that it costs your firm approximately two dollars to print and mail a simple, single page customer account statement. Now multiply that two dollars by the number of account statements that go out the door every month. That number can easily reach into the tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even if you have converted members to become ‘paperless,’ the effort and activity to communicate via text, mobile or online also costs you. The question is: are you getting a super value or simply more sunk costs?
Vital Tools for Marketing
Member documents like account statements, acknowledgements or invoices represent more than simply a cost of doing business; in fact they can be vital and valuable marketing tools as well. The reason for this is that these transactional documents get noticed. Customers are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages each day. And most of those messages get ignored. But transactional documents almost always get attention. One study from research firm InfoTrends found that account statements are opened and read by more than 90% of consumers. This is a powerful finding. What other type of marketing communication can claim that kind of customer open rate?
Orchestrate Your Message
How can you get more value? One way is by adopting a strategy and systems that enable integrated marketing and message orchestration across the various documents and channels with which you communicate with members – e-mail, text, online and on paper. Cloud-based platforms, like our own 366 Degrees, help leverage routine customer communications by allowing marketers and campaign managers to easily integrate campaign content into all outbound communications. Now your social, mobile, print and marketing activities can all be on the same page.
Higher Conversion Rates
For years, member communications have been issued with little effort to personalize these routine notices. Although software has been available it has been regulated in the document composition software where marketers have had no access. Utilizing customer-facing communications such as marketing conduits creates a 25-30% higher conversion rates for campaigns versus any other marketing channel. Now is the time to for marketers to manage the audience selection, content and context in which messages are included on outbound communications to increase up-sell and cross-sell conversion rates and increase revenue.