Today’s credit union website designs are guilty of vain repetition. They display the same thing to every visitor, even though each individual is unique. There are many different reasons people visit your credit union website, which means a one-size-fits-all experience is actually a one-size-fits-few problem.
But now, you can make your website more relevant to each visitor with personalization technology. Real-time personalization is the most impactful new trend in credit union website design because it dramatically increases engagement and conversion. A study by Forrester found that “77% of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience.”
Credit unions tend to think of website pages as static designs. For example, the all-important homepage is considered a single destination with a single layout and static content. But, given that every visitor is different, shouldn’t the homepage adapt to each individual’s interests?
What if your homepage could change on the fly based on what you know about a user? That could mean having 3, 5, or 1,000 different homepage variations. To see how that would work, let’s look at the new, personalized website being designed for Yolo Federal Credit Union.
Example of a Personalized Website: Yolo FCU
Yolo FCU is a California-based credit union with a rich history (their name comes from Yolo County, California; they were Yolo before YOLO was cool). They have high standards for their products and services and want their new website to embody their personal, caring touch. Accordingly, Yolo’s marketing team readily embraced the idea of designing a new website that personalizes content in real time.
My team and I at BloomCU talked with Yolo about different types of credit union website users and identified three primary personas:
Then, for each of these three personas, we designed the three custom templates shown below.
As the name implies, a First-Timer is a person visiting Yolo’s website for the first time. A First-Timer is probably a nonmember who is researching financial products and services. Therefore, the homepage template designed for First-Timers focuses on Yolo’s brand and explains why you should become a member of the credit union:
Immediate interaction is important because studies show that gradual engagement increases conversion. That’s why the homepage invites First-Timers to immediately interact and self-identify their interests. For example, in the “Your Story” section, a user might choose “I want to borrow for a new car,” then click “Begin Your Journey:”
A Shopper is a person returning to Yolo’s website after showing interest in a product or service on a previous visit. For instance, let’s say a Shopper perused the auto loan page on her last visit. Her browsing behavior hints that she probably wants to buy a car. Hence, the homepage template designed for this Shopper shows information about getting an auto loan from Yolo:
For the interested Shopper, the new homepage also presents rates, a short quiz, FAQs, and blog posts centered on auto loans:
Within the Shopper template, there are dozens of variations based on Yolo’s products and services. You’ve seen what that looks like for auto loans. Here are a few more examples:
- A variation for users who are interested in certificates of deposit
- A variation for users who are interested in home loans
- A variation for users who are interested in vacation loans
A Login-er is a person returning to Yolo’s website after logging into online banking on a previous visit. For a Login-er, the homepage emphasizes an easy-peasy experience for signing in to online banking:
Importantly, a user is only a Login-er if she has not shown interest in a product or service. Accordingly, an unobtrusive promotion is placed just above the login box; the promo is simply a sentence with a link. This subtle promotion area enables Yolo to communicate a marketing message in hopes of creating a new interest, while maintaining a pleasant user experience.
How it Works
Personalization is made possible through cookies. Not the delicious chocolate chip kind, but the kind that store data about users’ browsing behaviors. Using data from cookies, we plug text and images into personalizable components throughout a web page. That way, when members return to Yolo’s homepage, for example, they are greeted with an experience that’s tailored just for them.
(Learn more about how to add personalization to your credit union website design, including existing software solutions, how to build your own personalization software, and how to run personalization campaigns.)
Credit union website design is all about guiding users through the buying decision process. Along this decision process, one of our most important design principles is relevance. Personalization is about crafting personal, relevant experiences that genuinely help users. In return, you get more engagement, more leads, and fewer frustrated members. That’s why personalization is the future of credit union website design