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Setting Flags in Electronic Bank Alerts

Inbox_flagNow that consumers are beginning to receive multiple alerts and other email messages from their financial providers, you risk the problem of "alert fatigue." It happens with any warning system. If you get too many warnings or status messages, you start to ignore them, rendering the system ineffective.

One way to make your message standout is to add a "high importance" flag to your outgoing message. In Outlook and Outlook Express, a small red exclamation point will show on the subject line in the message list (click on the inset for a larger image). In this example, the Washington State Department of Revenue added the flag when it sent password-changed alert. But it didn’t add the flag when sending a routine payment confirmation.

The key to making the flag effective is to not overuse it. Don’t ever put it on an advertising or marketing message. And use great restraint when attaching it to balance or confirmation messages. It’s best use, might be for security-related notices such as password resets and other sporadic and relatively unusual activity.