How financial education can support sales

Providing financial education to your community is often considered part of a credit union’s mission, and rightly so. Credit unions were created to improve members’ lives, not generate profits.

Profit or not-for-profit, organizational missions are often driven by a desire to make the world a better place; without a soul, commercial efforts lack focus and meaning.

However, philanthropic efforts must complement financial goals. Without financial success, best intentions fail.

I think that’s why so many credit unions don’t provide financial education, because requires precious resources that could prevent lean shops from fulfilling their primary mission of delivering financial products and services.

What if financial education could be delivered in a way that supports a credit union’s financial success by attracting new members and moving them through the sales funnel?

That goal is the driving force behind FinancialFeed.

FinancialFeed was designed with digital marketing strategies in mind, serving as “attractor content” that raises awareness of your credit union and functions as a top of funnel sales tool.

I recently recorded a session for The Banker Summit, a virtual digital marketing conference for banks and credit unions that runs through April 26. In that session, I shared how digital marketing content can be created to support sales.

The first step is to list 10 to 20 of your best products and services. Once you have your list, add a primary member benefit to each product or service. Then, add a benefit to that benefit.

For example, take an auto loan. The member benefit to an auto loan is car ownership. The benefit of car ownership is reliable transportation that enables employment.

All core content, including financial education, should come from this list. That means you shouldn’t just stop at products and services, which is where so many credit unions go wrong. Conversely, social media posts about National Donut Day and the like can be wastes of time, unless they are written to support the list.

Today’s digital world, which is dominated by social media, requires organizations to first make an emotional connection with customers. That’s why your content should promote the end result of using your products and services, because that is the only reason your members need them.

Don’t just write about your auto loan rate and terms. Include content that helps members get the best deal on a new or used car, and helps them reduce the cost of using that car to get to work. This attractor content raises awareness of your credit union and sparks an emotional connection, which places potential members into your sales funnel.

Too often, despite the best of intentions, financial education is negative, preachy and judgmental. Stop throwing your money away at Starbucks. Take your lunch to work instead of eating out. Settle for less. While these strategies may indeed be in members’ best interests, they aren’t the best emotions with which to attract potential members.  

Even Dave Ramsey, who takes a tough bootcamp approach to financial literacy, focuses on fun and positivity in his messaging. One of the most popular segments on his show is the debt free scream, in which successful customers produce a jubilant video of their family celebrating success. The end goal is what drives people to buy, not the means to get there.

Financial literacy must also provide value. It should include helpful takeaways that don’t require purchase. This value builds trust and brand loyalty, keeping your credit union top of mind as potential members move closer to taking action.

Financial literacy content must also provide an easy way to take action, if the potential member is ready. Our FinancialFeed platform provides a space for a credit union display ad, and allows your credit union to add a link to the products and services that can be used to achieve the end goal. An ad on the same page or a link at the bottom of valuable content isn’t pushy or preachy, just convenient.

Finally, for financial education to be effective attractor content, it must be consistent. The digital marketing space has raised the bar and requires daily messaging. That can be difficult for credit unions, because interrupted service requires all hands on deck to quickly restore it. FinancialFeed automatically feeds daily financial literacy content to your website, only requiring your time if you want to add to the content. It’s truly plug and play daily content.

Let us provide your credit union with valuable, consistent financial education content that attracts potential members and thoughtfully places them into your sales funnel. We’re excited to have an opportunity to play a role in not only helping your credit union fulfill its philosophical mission, but also support its financial success.

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