Credit unions had a banner year in 2014. In the third quarter alone, credit unions passed the 100-million mark and originated more customer loans than ever before.
But credit unions have a unique set of marketing challenges in reaching the uninitiated. The problem is an interesting one. By and large, if someone has been a member of a credit union or if their parents have been members, they generally have a good opinion of the advantages of being a credit union member. If a person hasn’t been a member previously, credit unions can be a bit of a mystery. This is a giant hurdle, but by no means insurmountable. Here are five indispensable credit union marketing strategies to help your credit union convert more customers in 2015.
Make your customers brand ambassadors
Shine the light. Use customer testimonials in your messaging. Let your customers share the credit union experience. “People are attracted to stories because we’re social creatures and we relate to other people,” explains John Hopkins researcher Keith Quesenberry. This can be done with short online videos, radio ads or even one-on-one in the flesh. State Credit Union of North Carolina disseminated the word-of-mouth endorsements of 3,200 recruited volunteers.
Improve the customers’ online experience
To attract more customers from the traditional bank model to your credit union, you need to provide an online experience that rivals the best of the banks. According to a recent Javelin Strategy and Research report, nearly 40 percent of bank customers say that one reason they stick with a traditional bank is the online experience offers everything they need. To outperform your neighborhood bank, your credit union needs to offer a better online experience.
Upgrade your mobile offering
Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. If you haven’t already, this would be a great year to develop a responsively designed website that seamlessly adapts to whatever screen your customer views it on. Banks and credit unions need to play catch up when it comes to apps. Today only 40 percent of credit unions between $50 million and $100 million in assets offer an app. Regardless, some are doing a great job. Take Enrichment Federal Credit Union in Tennessee. Their app is available for the iPhone, Android, iPad and Kindle Fire. Customers can use it to access online banking and bill pay, find nearby branches and ATMs, look up office hours, view current loan and investment rates and transfer funds. It even connects you with the credit union community with a “push alert” feature, which tells you all about new promotions and the latest credit union news, including events, office closings and other information.
Location. Location. Location.
No matter what sort of online experience your credit union affords, brick and mortar locations, number of ATMs, drive-thrus, etc. all matter when people are deciding where to put their money. And thanks to mobile devices, there is also an opportunity for your credit union to leverage customer location awareness for providing informed alerts and messaging.
Trust only experienced counselors
Because credit unions are the best-kept secret around, make sure the marketing partners you choose are not among those “in the dark.” Select digital and marketing professionals that have experience with creating and implementing successful credit union marketing strategies. To attract more customers to your credit union in 2015, it’s essential that you have the right team in place.
If you are looking for a marketing partner with a knack for customer conversion, contact us today toll-free at 866.642.7559. Best of luck in 2015.