Thursday, September 17, 2009

The email challenge

I recently ran some research among superannuation fund members. Of those surveyed, over 50% said they preferred to receive newsletters and other discretionary information via email. However, only 7% of the fund's members had subscribed to the its electronic news service.

This isn't due to lack of incentive or effort on the part of the fund's communications team. Over the course of the past 18 months, two recruitment programs for email subscribers have been conducted offering incentives of a flat screen LCD television and a choice holidays to North Queensland or Fiji.

While this doubled participation from 3% to 7% of fund members, it is nowhere near the 50% who expressed a desire to receive information this way. The fact that the second campaign attracted far fewer subscribers than the first suggests that the number of subscribers is approaching a plateau.

Now superannuation (pension fund for overseas readers) is a low-engagement product for many but, nonetheless, how do you explain the fact that it appears some people would rather give you $1000 than yield their email address?

Is there anyone out there who knows the trick/s of the trade for building email databases? And please, no funny remarks about finding a job in a more engaging sector, unless you're willing to offer one with the appropriate amount of remuneration attached!

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