We’ve previously discussed how email marketing is the most common form of communication for banks and credit unions to their customers and members. And while financial institution marketers strive to keep their email lists up to date, there is still a lot of room to grow when it comes to increasing the number of valid email addresses banks and credit unions have for account holders.

We have surveyed over 300 banks and credit unions and found that the percentage of valid email addresses ranges anywhere from 15% to 70%, with an alarmingly low average of 30% to 40%. Collecting email addresses is a common struggle among many financial institution marketers, yet there are four simple ways you can begin capturing more email addresses, today.

1. Require Email Address at Account Open

If you’re not already, it is a good practice to begin requiring an email address to open all of your new accounts. This will begin to help you capture all new member and customer email addresses and an easy way to increase your lists going forward.

2. Direct Mail Campaigns

Once you begin collecting email addresses for any new relationships, the thing that marketers find the most difficult is updating and collecting email addresses for existing relationships. Bank and credit union marketers have found success in executing direct mail campaigns to collect those addresses, and there are a few different ways you can do so.

Sending out a direct mail campaign a few times a year can help you gather those missing account addresses. Your campaigns should offer an incentive to drive customers and members to participate. Some ideas include:

  • Drawing
  • Giveaway
  • Statement Credit

One way to accomplish this is to send your direct mail piece with the offer and a unique URL to sign up. A unique URL works by directing the account holder to a landing page that mimics the offer and has a form for data collection. Your customers and members must enter their information, including their email address, to be entered to win or participate.

3. Employee Contests and Participation

Holding internal contests to see who can collect the most email addresses is a fun and effective way to improve your number of valid email addresses. There are many ways you can choose to incentivize your employees to participate, and holding occasional contests a few times a year is an effective option.

Offering a prize, days off, or some other kind of reward are common ways to accomplish this. Encourage employees to verify and update account holder email addresses any time someone comes in to a branch or calls into a branch. This is a great way to append missing account information to your customer and member profiles.

Another alternative idea for an employee contest is to hold a phone campaign. Employees can call account holders to verify their account information and email addresses so in the event of an emergency they can easily communicate any closures, important updates, or notices on their accounts.

4. Email Sign-Up on Website

Lastly, a kind of “set it and forget it” way to help improve the number of valid email addresses you have for your customers and members is to include some kind of email sign-up form or registration link on your website. This will subscribe them to your communications and provide you with their email address.

More email addresses mean more member and customer engagement. Following this philosophy will help you increase your cross-sell opportunities, customer loyalty, and retention.

These four easy strategies can be done throughout the year, helping you to continuously grow your email address lists and improve your overall marketing strategy.