Text Messaging is by far the most effective way to get a marketing message to credit union members. In general, Text Messages are more likely than email to be opened and read. Furthermore, according to voicesage.com, 90% of text messages are read within the first three minutes in which they are received.
The most successful text messages share a few characteristics:
- The content is valuable. Once members realize that the information you’re sending is informative and beneficial, they’ll consistently open your messages. Reminders about loan payments can be very helpful, for instance. Conversely, Text Messages with no real substance will be ignored.
- Urgent texts are direct and offer a clear call to action. For example fraud detection in an account or credit card would generate an alert, as would a low account balance.
- No holds barred. Any sort of conversational engagement over the phone can be done using Text Messaging. From mortgage documents to college savings plans, there is no limit to what a credit union can offer via SMS. Determine what each of demographic wants to learn more about, e.g., retirement plans, vacation savings, life insurance, and create marketing plans that specifically focus on those interests.
- Two-way text messaging reduces traffic coming through call centers and therefore lowers phone abandonment rates.
Two-thirds of Americans between the ages of 50 and 64 send or receive text messages. Roughly one-quarter of those over age 65 use texting. Although older Americans aren’t as used to receiving texts, when they do get them, they are more likely to respond.
One way to increase Text Messaging adoption among those text-shy members is to foster familiarity: A text from a recognized phone number is more apt to be read than one from an unknown number. Credit unions can take advantage of their public, well-known, phone landlines by sending texts directly from desk phones.
Eltropy’s Text-to-Landline functionality lets credit unions send and receive text messages using their existing published phone number specifically enabled for texting. Members see the text coming from the credit union phone number, and if it is in their contacts list, the credit union’s name will also be shown. The number is easily verifiable through a quick online search, easing fears of identity fraud.
Text Messaging continues to grow in popularity as a quick, efficient and easy method of communication. Understanding what content your credit union members want and providing it is the ticket to satisfying customers, and, ultimately, will further increase your Text Messaging program — even among those who at first shunned the technology.