How to use statement inserts to offset total member statement costs.
When it comes to viewing your credit union’s financials from a macro level, one of the easiest methods is to view the four main components making up your net income or ROA.
GI :: Gross Income (Loan, Investment & Other Incomes)
– OE :: Operating Expenses
– PLLL :: Provisions for Loan & Lease Losses
– COF :: Cost of Funds
Net Income (or ROA if using % of Assets)
As marketers, the primary focus is usually on Gross Income. We’re looking to attract new accounts, increase loans, and deepen member relationships by increasing the number of services utilized, etc.
However, generally speaking, anytime a credit union marketer is able to positively affect OE, PLLL or COF, you’re also increasing the financial performance and stability of your institution. And in the example to follow, we’re going to be focusing on a combination of GI and OE through statement inserts…yes, statement inserts.
Why Statement Inserts?
Statement inserts are one of those touchpoints that credit unions either highly value or simply roll their eyes at. But the truth is, when it comes to monthly member statements, most credit unions are still mailing paper statements to over 50% of their membership.
Adoption rates of estatements continue to climb, but the transition can be slow. And while estatements help the environment and create a more efficient usage of funds by credit unions, we cannot simply ignore the current expense being paid to print and mail these statements.
Instead we need to look at this marketing medium as an opportunity to offset the expenditure of the actual member statements.
Using Inserts to Offset Statement Costs
In the following example, we’re going to show how your credit union can utilize statement inserts to help offset the cost of not only the inserts, but the actual member account statements being mailed out.
- Assume a smaller credit union sends out 7,500 paper member statements, with the cost to print and mail these statements at $5,000.
- To design, print and ship 7,500 statement inserts to your mail house, the cost is $1,200.
- Total cost of your member statements plus insert costs is roughly $6,200.
Opting for no insert equates to paying $5,000 per month with a savings of $1,200. Choosing an insert, means you pay the $1,200 in an attempt to offset the total statement cost. Is it worth the investment?
Odds We’d Take
The key to using statement inserts to offset total statement cost lies in promoting services that provide a return great enough to cover the expenses. In our current environment, secured loans, such as auto loans or home loans can be a great way to accomplish this.
The first year interest income on a $25,000 auto loan for 60 months at 4% APR equals $916.11. That would mean we’d need roughly seven of those auto loans to pay for the statements and the inserts from our scenario above (seven out of 7,500 is a 0.09% response rate needed).
Switch from auto loans to promoting 1st mortgages. A $200,000, 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 4% APR equals $7,935.89 in first year interest income. That means you’d only need one of those mortgages to pay for the statements and inserts (one out of 7,500 is a 0.01% response rate needed).
The odds are stacked in your favor if you’re promoting services able to generate an income great enough to offset the expense. Using statement inserts to promote services such as mobile banking, direct deposit, etc., will not benefit you in this strategy. Instead, use more cost effective mediums for those services, such as social media, email marketing, web banners, lobby displays, and so forth.
Don’t Count Inserts Out Yet
If you’re one of the credit union marketers that have chalked up statement inserts as old-school, it might just be worth it to give them a try once or twice more. Given the scenarios above and the renewed focus of “why” you’re using the inserts, even your number-crunching CFO would be interested to see if you could offset the entire cost of member statements each month.
And if you’re unsure if statement inserts are a strong enough touchpoint to generate even the necessary 0.09% or 0.01% response rates needed in our examples earlier, test it first.
A few tips to test whether this strategy is right for your credit union:
- Promote financial services that provide a great enough income to offset the expense of the statements + inserts, such as auto or home loans.
- Test effectiveness by ONLY offering specific incentives through the statement inserts. If members respond, the only place they would have seen the message is through your statement; making tracking easier.
- Go with even smaller quantities to test your offers. Most mail houses will allow you to send smaller quantities of inserts that they will insert until they run out. This way you’re limiting your statement insert cost while testing them on a smaller portion of your membership.
What’s Your Risk?
Ask your CFO or COO for the numbers on your member statements. How many are you mailing each month / quarter? What is the total expenditure? Plug in those numbers as we did in the quick example above and determine your break-even points.
This strategy is especially effective for smaller institutions due to the lower cost of member statements and inserts required vs. larger institutions mailing tens of thousands of statements monthly. Run the numbers, test the strategy and remember, lowering Operating Expenses is a win for your credit union and will definitely leave your CFO happy.
Finally, remember this strategy of using marketing investments to offset OE isn’t just limited to member statements. It’s more about putting a greater purpose behind your individual marketing efforts.
At STRATIX, we help credit unions COMPETE & WIN vs Larger Institutions. Interested? Let’s Chat.