It’s surprising how many credit unions do not offer a skip- a- loan payment program this time of year, when consumers need extra cash the most. The reasons vary, from uncomfortable with a fee based promotion, to promoting fiscal responsibility for the member. Others will offer it to their members, but not actively promote it.
What we found, based on our experience as a credit union marketing provider, was that members look for these promotions – especially when extra expenses arise, like the holiday season.
When a marketing program consistently generates closing rates of 25% year over year from direct mail, you can assume members are receptive.
Cross channel marketing is key
With online shopping increasing, you will generate significant interest by having a online presence promoting the option for them to skip a loan payment through your website. And especially use your branch drive-thru locations to advertise.
Some of our clients rely on these two channels and have shared their results with us. Generally they achieve a close rate of around 10% of eligible loans.
If you want to gain a bit more momentum, incorporating email will provide lift. Email is a great channel for a skip-a-payment program. It is low in cost, economically reset to give the campaign pace, and provides easy response when combined with a PURL. A number of our clients use in-branch and web in conjunction with email. We see close rates of around 16% for campaigns using the three channels.
Lastly, the most effective campaigns include direct mail. We see close rates of around 25% of eligible loans when a letter is used in conjunction with web, in-branch, email and PURL. The simple reason is direct mail provides greater reach then email, web, and in-branch. Open rates are difficult to quantify, but the member’s existing relationship with the credit union makes the letter relevant and compels them to open.
Success at your fingertips
The key is to make responding easy by including a well thought out loan form. Offer your members a PURL for quick response and convenience. The member has their own personalized URL (PURL) in all mail and email communication. Pre-populate all forms and the PURL with appropriate information and each eligible loan. It is important to make the member think as little as possible – and all they have to do is click submit.
Just like online holiday shopping.