How can direct mail enhance your credit union digital marketing efforts?

Recently I wrote a couple of blogs on why I don’t believe in Direct Mail. Since then I’ve heard from a few readers who disagree with me. So I wanted to dig a little deeper into the topic.

First, I want to be clear about this. I DO think that there can be a place for Direct Mail in credit union digital marketing campaigns. HOWEVER, I think it’s important to be strategic and thoughtful with these efforts. There is A LOT of competition in the direct mail game. And not only that, but design and print costs and postage add up fast, so these efforts can break a Credit Union’s budget very quickly.

This debate got me thinking, so I decided to do a little test of my own. For two weeks I saved all of the credit card offers and other bank direct mail that I received at my house. During that time period I received 14 pieces of promotional mail from banks or credit card companies! That’s one per day!

Meredith Olmstead photo June2016

Now typically, I immediately tear these envelopes into at least three pieces and toss them, without opening any of them to check out the specific offers. And I would guess that my behavior isn’t unique.

So my bigger point to Credit Unions about this is… Direct Mail may not be the most authentic way to connect with potential new members.

However, in a recent campaign we helped design for a fairly large CU in the Boston area, we included some direct mail in addition to display ads, social media posting, social media ad support and content marketing. In this campaign we found that the direct mail piece drove 2,500+ impressions to a landing page designed for the promotion, and the direct traffic lead to 38 form submissions, with 18 of these being brand new leads.

These results aren’t ground breaking, but they aren’t terrible either. And they are real leads that member service staff can follow up with and marketing can continue to nurture digitally as they proceed down their buyer’s journey.

A couple of other main points I found…

  1. Make sure your mail stands out from the crowd! If you are going to send mail to potential new members make sure it doesn’t look like all the other bank offers. In my photo you can see that most of these mailers are pretty plain. They tend to be white and blue and don’t really grab your attention. Perhaps your CU can send something that is bright orange and square. Or with a eye catching visual that really gets a person’s attention, BEFORE they simple toss it in the trash with all the rest of the junk mail.
  2. Make sure your direct mail piece can be easily linked to results. So in the case I mentioned above we made a clear landing page that was directly tied to the mailed offer. This helps to track results and these can inform future credit union digital marketing and direct mail efforts.


Meredith Olmstead

Meredith Olmstead

Meredith Olmstead is the CEO and Founder of FI GROW Solutions, which provides Digital Marketing & Sales services to Community Financial Institutions. With experience working with FIs in markets of ... Web: Details