Q & A with Eric Budzinski, AVP Marketing, GrooveCar

Eric Budzinski works with credit unions around the country in developing outbound marketing strategies through his on-going webinar series on marketing and business development. He recently wrote an article for CU Insight entitled, Are You Worth Opening? What your email efforts say about your brand,” which delves into the finer points of email strategies. Today, he answers a few common questions about email marketing to help credit unions develop their own best practices.

  • When it comes to marketing efforts, how important is email marketing?
    • The GrooveCar program highly recommends and considers email marketing to be a priority component in the overall success of outbound marketing. To be proactive in promoting products and services to members in the digital age, we have found email to be the most effective channel.
  • What is the goal of email marketing for credit unions when it comes to auto buying?
    • The goal of email marketing is to provide a direct link to the credit union’s auto shopping center at the height of the member’s interest. One of the challenges in marketing is getting our target market from point “a” to point “b” as quickly as possible. Email marketing allows us to achieve this with more simplicity.
  • Why do I need to make sure my emails are mobile friendly?
    • The future of email marketing is found on mobile devices. In fact, 54% of all email is now read on a mobile device (Litmus, March 2017). If your email isn’t formatted for a smartphone, it will be ignored.
  • What is your advice for creating a customized auto loan campaign?
    • My advice is to keep the email message simple, clean and consistent. It’s very easy to get carried away, bombarding the member with multiple messages and call-to-actions (CTAs) within a single email. When you push to many options, your overall message can be diluted. Use a minimal amount of messaging, bright and engaging graphics and a singular CTA. Just a quick plug…At GrooveCar, we provide email campaigns with customization options to help meet your goals of engagement.
  • What is your advice for getting members to respond to a CTA? Or perform any other action?
    • I am a big fan of keeping the message simple. I recommend having a unified email with clean design elements that allow your message to be easily digested. Also, keep in mind the send times of your email and when your membership may be more likely to read and respond. The best time really depends on the content and your audience. According to Smart Insights, informative or educational emails are best sent in the beginning of the week, making this a good time for actionable decisions. As an example, this is a good window of opportunity, for emailing newsletters. Actionable email campaigns, Forbes Magazine has found the end of the week to be effective. Research suggests emails sent at the end of the week will not be competing for space as volume tends to be down on Fridays. It provides opportunity for messages to be reviewed in greater detail. This is a good time for incentive emails and content with specific offers.
  • Are analytics important when measuring results?
    • I like to look at a few different data points when it comes to analytics. Regarding the actual email campaign, look at open rates and click-through rates. These two figures will provide you with an idea of how successful a campaign is. Look at bounce rates and unsubscribes, this would suggest an overload of messaging to your membership.
  • How often does GrooveCar recommend sending emails?
    • This is the million-dollar question and you will find a range of answers. This is tricky because there is no definitive answer. Each credit union must consider their overall marketing strategy and needs of their membership before determining a schedule. Finding the “sweet spot” of email marketing; where your messages are relevant, and being received, are acted on, but where you are not overloading the member with messages, takes time and patience on the marketer’s end.
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