Magazine article American Banker

In Brief: Ind. Thrift: E-Mail Program a Success

Magazine article American Banker

In Brief: Ind. Thrift: E-Mail Program a Success

Article excerpt

A year after beginning a marketing effort using an e-mail newsletter, Union Federal Bank of Indianapolis plans to expand it.

The $3.5 billion-asset thrift is a unit of Waterfield Mortgage Co. Inc., the largest privately held mortgage company in the United States. Preston W. Thornton 3d, Union Federal's assistant vice president for Internet sales and development, said it worked with another Indianapolis company, Neighborhood Email, to develop the newsletter.

"It was a miniscule expense versus what it might cost to implement other marketing initiatives," Mr. Thornton said in an interview Jan. 21.

Before signing up with Neighborhood Email early last year, Union Federal had no database of e-mail addresses other than its online banking customers and no way to compile the e-mail addresses of its Web site visitors, he said.

But it produces Money Center, a financial advice "microsite," in conjunction with The Indianapolis Star. The site's content was used to build the newsletter, also called Money Center, which Union Federal launched in March.

Neighborhood Email helped the thrift build the newsletter's template and compile a mailing list from sign-ups at the Money Center site and at the thrift's own site.

The marketing company also rented other e-mail lists for the thrift, and it managed the "opt-in" for mailings, so Union Federal would not be accused of sending unwanted e-mail, or spam, Mr. Thornton said.

The first newsletter went to only a few hundred recipients, but the latest quarterly issue, published in October, went to more than 10,000. …

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