Everyone knows that the future members of your credit union will come from Generation Y.  Everyone also knows that one of the critical challenges for credit unions in finding ways to engage them in the conversation.

Here’s an important reality that will impact your effectiveness as you attempt to do that:  E-mail Won’t Cut It!

Sounds odd, I know.  For the past several years we have all rushed to find ways to create e-mail systems and online presences that help us connect with Gen X and Gen Y.

But the evolution of the smart phone has changed the game.

If you want to reach these folks, you have to start using the tools they use, and for many of them that means text messaging.  They see e-mail as the equivalent of the typed or handwritten note from days past…they use it for formal communication, but skip it for day-to-day interactions.

Frustrating?  Yes.  Real? Absolutely.  Necessary? Only if you want to build effective relationships with the people who will be the future of your credit union.

ACTION ADVICE: Start using this technology and getting comfortable with communicating in short messages. Recognize that you can achieve the same results, it just takes multiple messages…which builds your relationship and increases the depth of your connection as you communicate.  Systems can still be created to deliver such messages to multiple people at the same time, i.e., Twitter, but the one-on-one interaction still rules and it has to be done in the way the member wants it done.  Simply stated:  Generation Y wants text, not e-mail!