Online member correspondence – drive adoption with best practices

Nearly all banks and credit unions offer electronic statements. But despite advances in online technology, and in the face of popular sentiment to “be green,” most financial organizations continue to struggle to increase and encourage adoption rates. Indeed, it’s not enough to simply adopt an eStatement solution and move on. The key to success is getting members and customers to opt-in on an ongoing basis.

Are you still printing and mailing thousands of pages of member correspondence every month despite having an electronic statement solution? Without a well-defined strategy to drive ongoing adoption, it’s easy to slip back into business-as-usual. How can you continue to increase adoption rates? Here are a few vital strategies and tactics that will help improve member correspondence and maximize the value out of your eStatement solution.

New Accounts

It makes sense to start your efforts to raise the adoption of electronic correspondence with all your new accounts. Since you are starting a new account and a new customer relationship, now is the time to set the expectation of a no-paper standard. Flag all new accounts and set the default in your system for electronic statements only. Remember, while you are encouraging customers to go paperless, be sure to provide an option to choose to go back to paper statements if they wish. In this case, you may want to consider charging a fee for the paper; more on that option below. You may also consider designing new products that minimize or eliminate fees by virtue of opting for e-statements and other electronic correspondence.

Voluntary Opt-In

The gentlest approach for existing accounts is voluntary opt-in. But raising eStatement adoption while asking members and customers to proactively choose paperless correspondence requires proactive marketing and support on your part. This strategy starts with a thoughtful effort to build awareness. Are your members and customers even aware that they have an option to opt-out of paper in favor of an electronic alternative? What kind of incentives are they given to do so? Does the customer experience, both online and in person, encourage them to go online instead of in the mail?

Reverse Opt-In

Unlike the voluntary method, the reverse opt-in is a hard line approach to raise eStatement adoption. Turning off printed statements at a pre-defined future date is an effective, but potentially risky strategy, however; so it is important to work diligently to communicate to all of your members and customers well in advance so that they are aware of the pending change. It is important also to provide customers and members with a way to opt back in to receive paper correspondence, but you may want to consider charging a monthly fee for the service.

Online Customers

Another approach that falls somewhere between voluntary and reverse opt-in is one that focuses on your current online customers. Since these members and customers are already comfortable with your online services and the online experience in general, turning off printed statements is a natural progression. It is easy to access their statements and correspondence through the existing online customer portal. Again, you can always provide an option to opt back in for paper statements if they wish.

Gain a New Degree of Success

Many vehicles exist to communicate with customers and members – mobile and social platforms, online customer-facing portals, and more. But credit unions often struggle to make the most of member communications due to disparate pockets of technology, siloed people and processes, and a lack of a unified approach to communications management.

366° Degrees℠ by OMI changes all of that with a single cloud-based platform to manage all of your member communications no matter what form they take.  You can easily do things like message personalization, target segmentation and in-depth campaign analytics. Easily reach across communication channels in social media, mobile and online formats and then quickly analyze the effectiveness of those social connections. The fundamental benefit of 366 Degrees is that it is a platform to enable more strategic and thoughtful activity behind how you engage with your members on an ongoing basis. 366° Degrees can drive deeper levels of engagement by centralizing disparate systems and processes that support and improve member and brand experiences.



Brad Banyas

Brad Banyas

Brad Banyas is CEO of OMI, a leading cloud-based customer communication management service and platform provider. OMI delivers cost-effective solutions for marketers and brand managers to connect with customers through ... Web: Details