Key methods to effectively measure your credit card acquisition campaigns

Credit unions that want and need to grow their credit card business, and even sustain it, need to continuously generate leads. But they can’t rely on lead generation alone. It’s also about evaluating how well key business objectives are achieved and measuring the effectiveness of each campaign.

For several years now, we’ve seen an increase in time and resources invested in data analytics. With access to so much consumer information, we find ourselves generating more reports than ever to better understand our members’ behavior and purchase patterns, sometimes getting so granular to the point we may even know the type of coffee they drink. Analytics has helped us make better, more informed decisions, promote appropriate solutions, and offer personalized products. However, generating reports and understanding what to do with them are two separate challenges.

With any successful credit card campaign, it is critical to have an acquisition plan to generate the leads and/or new business. When all the data analytics are in place, always consider these questions:

  1. How am I tracking my acquisition performance?
  2. Do I have the correct key performance indicators (KPI) to measure acquisition performance?

It’s important to review these questions on a regular basis or when you have a running acquisition campaign in place. Without the appropriate KPIs, your credit union might be reporting and making decisions based on misleading information.

At minimum, a best practice is to measure the overall response rate (number of applications received /number mailed or emailed). Response rates are the first step in understanding how your members take action (or lack thereof) on your message and tracking those indicators will provide you with important baseline data to then help you assess the effectiveness of your lead-generating strategies.

As you explore more ways to track the effectiveness of your campaigns, the KPIs listed below can give you a deeper insight on the overall campaign:

Direct Mail

  • Response Rate – Number of applications received /number of mailed
  • Approval Rate – Number of approved accounts /number of applications
  • Cost per Account – Total cost of campaign/number of new accounts
  • Cost per Active Account – Total cost of campaign/number of active accounts

Online Marketing

  • Click-Through Rate – Number of clicks on a call to action/number of impressions
  • Impressions – Number of times an ad is viewed
  • Email Open Rate – Number of email opens/total number of emails sent
  • Abandonment Rate – Number of applications abandoned/total number of applications

A usage feedback loop is also necessary to review ongoing results and to enhance your acquisition strategy. Remember, a new account that has not activated their card and/or isn’t using their card is a lost opportunity for revenue and for future acquisitions.

Keep these KPIs in mind when you’re evaluating the effectiveness of your campaign:

Feedback Loop

  • Activation Rate – number of new accounts activated/number of new accounts opened
  • Usage Rate – number of new accounts active/number of new accounts

A tip: don’t overlook the opportunity to learn from those that interacted with your campaign. This can be accomplished by post-campaign surveys and focus groups. By asking and receiving confirmation directly from your members, you can validate that your strategy is working. This is also helpful for improvement as any critical feedback helps to reaffirm the need to further test and explore different ways to approach future acquisition strategies. Again, it’s more than running reports and gathering the feedback – you have to learn and apply your members’ comments, suggestions, or dissatisfactions to your processes to continually improve your campaigns.

With any campaign, acquisition KPIs are a valid way to evaluate the impact of any kind of marketing activity to generate and/or open new credit card accounts. By leveraging this, you not only take your financial performance monitoring to the next level, but you keep a finger on the pulse of what your membership wants and needs. But never stop there – use that information “gold” to tailor your products, services, and objectives to remain top of members’ minds, maximize growth, and succeed in accomplishing your goals.

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: Details

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