Could card activation campaigns really help your portfolio?

While we continue to focus on marketing campaigns, it’s easy to forget that no card is profitable until it’s activated and used.

Motivating cardholders to activate their new cards is critical to reaching your revenue goals. Yet the challenge remains – how will you increase card activation and capture more loyal cardholders?

Make It Part of Your Process

While opening a new debit or credit card is a great start, activation reminders can help generate an additional $20 in revenue per activated card, as reported in June of 2018 by Fiserv. Work with your card processor to identify your non-activated new accounts and help establish a timeline for your communication deployment strategy. On average, a reminder should go out 10 days, 20 days, and finally at 30 days after the card is issued.

Offer Something Unique

Personalized offers or incentives are always a great idea however, not all credit unions have access to sophisticated analytics and cardholder data. To offset a lack of data or resources, credit unions can become creative in their offering by:

  • Capitalizing on national promotions or sweepstakes offered by payment networks, like Visa and Mastercard.  Some promotions, such as Mastercard’s Priceless Sweepstakes, are free.
  • Promoting your bill payment or online banking solution as an advantage to encourage the member to activate their card.
  • Promoting the convenience and ease that comes with your digital wallet product, such as Apple Pay or Google Pay.
  • Developing a campaign (if you offer a rewards program) that offers members who activate new cards bonus loyalty rewards.

Special offers or rewards have strong track records as effective ways to increase activation, however you can also be creative in your campaigns and offer products or services that are appreciated or requested by your members. Leverage the insights about your membership and always continue learning about what matters most to them.

Track & Monitor

With every promotion, tracking the results is critical to ensure it’s working and if it requires any adjustments.  With an activation campaign, you must track the following:

  • At each interval (10, 20, and 30 days), track your activation percentage against your history.  Has the number of activated cards increased? Do you need to adjust any of the offerings? Where are you seeing the most engagement?
  • Monitor your cardholders who activated their cards after receiving your promotion.  Monitor their balances and transactions. Are there any trends of increased loyalty?

To stand out amongst the bombardment of marketing messages consumers receive daily – comparing perks, benefits, and reasons why this card is better than the other – it’s imperative to make your product offering and experience a relevant one.  While the incentive could be generic, you’ll likely find increased success in a strategy and message that’s personal, delivers to their needs to make a better connection, and ultimately inspires them to take action.

Aris Jerahian

Aris Jerahian

Aris is the AVP of Card Services at Orange County’s Credit Union.  A payment industry executive with more than 15 years of credit, debit portfolio management, consulting and operational ... Web: www.orangecountyscu.org Details

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