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Harland Financial Solutions and CUTech Inc. provided this quick look at ways credit unions can create a set of electronic marketing policies that will help them communicate with members effectively without spamming them. Here’s what the two companies had to say: Before: Before crafting e-mail policies and e-mail messages, credit unions need to develop a comprehensive member electronic communications strategy. This should include offering members the ability to OPT-IN for one or more of the following: a) Offer members the ability to receive e-mails with the status of their accounts – e.g. balances, checks cleared, loan payment reminders, bills paid, ATM usage, etc. b) Offer members the ability to receive e-statements by e-mail. c) Offer members the ability to receive all credit union notices and letters by e-mail. d) Offer members the ability to receive credit union products and service updates, promotions, etc. by e-mail. e) Develop an online brand identity including the web address (www.cu.org) and an e-mail address (e.g. memberservices@cu.org) Once a credit union gets members to OPT-IN for e-mail based information services that members want, it can get members to opt-in for e-mail marketing. In addition, credit unions can embed target marketing messages in each e-mail sent to members.) After: After such a strategy has been adopted, credit unions can implement e-mail development policies that should include such elements as: a) No spamming. Period. b) Collect e-mails at every point of contact. c) Make sure that the member opts-in for e-mail messages. c) Send e-mail messages only to members that have explicitly opted-in to receive- and for the specific products that they signed up for. d) Make it easy for members to opt-out of these e-mail based information services. e) DO NOT SHARE member e-mail addresses with any other entity – no matter that it be a business partner offering a lucrative compensation for the e-mail addresses. f) If the credit union uses an ASP model to deliver services such as e-statements, make sure that the service contract explicitly prohibits the vendor from either using the e-mail addresses, or transferring them to any other site/service or selling them to anybody. In addition, these contracts should call for all member data (including e-mail addresses) to be handed back to the customer and then deleted from the vendor system. g) Personalize every e-mail message. Address the member by first and/or last name. The sender should be able to be replied to. h) Personalize the marketing embedded in every message. Use the relevant target marketing messages into the e-mail messages. i)

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