Holiday promotions: A little extra help matters

by Sarah Marshall, North Side Community Federal Credit Union

It is evident everywhere that it is holiday season.  With Christmas trees, lights, and poinsettias around every corner, shopping special advertisements, and peppermint infused beverage promotions there is no mistaking this time of year as one that carries high expectations.  For many people though, these expectations can carry stress. Sometimes the holiday season holds an extra sense of loss for those who have missing or distant loved ones or those who have had a particularly difficult year. The holidays can be a time of celebration and family or a reminder of goals unmet. It can also be a time of tension for many average Americans who have a gift list longer than their expenses stretch. Many credit unions offer some type of holiday promotion to remind members to utilize products and services.  Be extra creative this season and think about the pain points of your borrowers in your promotions. Skip-a-pay programs are a great promotion, but maybe your credit union could slightly reduce the fee during the holiday season? Perhaps you could increase your non-credit based loan limits by a $100 or so during December? Here are a few reasons to think deeply and more holistically about December loan promos.

Members are borrowing: The average American expects to spend $992  on the holidays this year. Whether that sounds like a lot or a little to you, keep in mind all the boss’ gifts, teacher gifts, neighbor gifts, stocking stuffers, parties and holiday dinners that happen around this time of year. When combined with the recent headline that most Americans can’t come up with one thousand dollars to cover an emergency, something doesn’t add up. Borrowing is one of the big ways to make up the difference, and credit cards can carry high interest rates. Take note of needs and find ways to help bridge the gap. Then in January, promote your holiday savings account like crazy to help members be ahead of the game next year!

Members are busy:  So many of us wait until the last few days or minutes or at least until Black Friday to really start holiday shopping. Once you start letting your members know you really are there to extend some extra help at the holidays they will remember. A holiday loan can be a big relationship building opportunity. Offer the right promo during December and your members will pick up the phone and ask you about it year after year. There is no reason to shop around for financing when they already know their credit union will take care of it!  

Members believe you:  A credit union is a financial institution. It goes without saying for anyone reading this, but day in and day out we can overlook the fact that this carries weight with a lot of people. We know rules and regulation and finance. Our financial education programs are a tool that can educate members about improving their own financial position. If your member has their deposit and checking accounts with you, they have already trusted you with their core finances.   Don’t underestimate the credibility you have during the holiday season. Use this busy, hectic, exciting, stressful time of year to remind your members why you are different than any other bank, fintech, payday lender or financing company out there!

Sarah Marshall

Sarah Marshall

Sarah Marshall is a consultant in the credit union industry, and can be reached for partnership and speaking opportunities through Your Credit Union Partner. Her background in community development includes ... Web: Details