Send marketing messages members actually read

Provide communications that anticipate consumers’ financial service needs.

December 7, 2022

Sending marketing messages your members want to read—even if they don’t know it yet—is the best way to increase your response rate. 

A message your members want to read will:

  • Anticipate their needs for financial services. 
  • Meet their expectations for products and services that match their life cycle.
  • Be delivered at the right time on channels your members already use.

It all starts with a smart communication strategy that takes advantage of data segmentation and then combines email with other channels that are less saturated and less intrusive.

Don’t overwhelm members

Your communication strategy should deliver marketing messages to members without overwhelming them. It should include communication rules to limit the number of messages members receive in different scenarios. 

For example, you might want to limit promotional emails to one each week while excluding fraud warnings and birthday greetings from the limit. You should also determine which promotional emails take priority when people qualify to receive multiple messages, such as prioritizing home equity lines of credit over credit cards.

A 2022 email survey explains why limiting messages is important by ranking consumers’ top three reasons for unsubscribing from emails: 

  1. Too many emails (69%).
  2.  Irrelevant mails (56%).
  3. Content that fails to match the recipient’s expectations (51%).

Overall, only 23% of emails sent by the financial industry are ever opened. That means email alone is unlikely to be effective, especially if you’re sending generic messages.

To break through to members you must increase the relevance of your emails and complement your reach with other channels, such as banner ads displayed in online and mobile banking.

Data drives relevance

Strive for marketing messages that are relevant to your members. Data plays a critical role by enabling you to use segmentation to create a targeted audience for a specific message.

Each targeted audience is comprised of a group of people who share attributes that make them more likely to take advantage of a specific product.

Your audiences may be based on a combination of: 

  • Demographic data, such as age, income, and home ownership. 
  • Credit score, which can determine whether the member qualifies for a loan offer, for example.
  • Behavioral data, focusing on members’ engagement with the credit unions’ technological systems such as the mobile app or online banking, including specific features.
  • Lifecycle data, which reflects how members’ financial needs change based on life changes and choices from parenthood to retirement.

A marketing automation platform makes it easy to assemble the data and then specify the rules that define the audience for each campaign. 

‘Show me you know me’

Personalizing your marketing messages with text and images that speak directly to members is the next step to enhancing relevance. 

You’ve already targeted a member group based on a common quality, such as having an auto loan that is nearing repayment. Now you can fine-tune the message using additional data points. 

For example, based on demographic data like ZIP code, you can personalize an auto loan email with a pickup truck image for members in a rural area while using a compact car image for urban members. 

Prisma’s automation platform does this automatically, without the need for manual entries or human intervention. That enables you to create messages to members that “show me you know me.”

Automation makes it possible to efficiently create, schedule, and refine these campaigns so you can deliver them to multiple member micro-audiences during the same time period. Credit unions who are experienced marketing automation users may have as many as 100 campaigns running simultaneously. 

Building support

You can improve your marketing messages now by taking small, incremental steps to enhance the use of data to identify targeted members and create relevant messages.

At the same time, you should assess your options for using marketing automation and multiple channels to reach members with messages that anticipate their need for information. 

Instead of bombarding members, you’ll be helping them by sending the information they need, when and where they need it.

FELIPE GIL is co-founder and CEO at Prisma Campaigns, a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider.

This article is part of Marketing22, a CUNA News special report on marketing innovations, sponsored by Prisma Campaigns. Follow the conversation on Twitter via #Marketing22.