The U.S. credit union movement has seen record growth in the past year and now boasts more than 110 million members, one-third of the U.S. population. Sounds good? The caveat…when comparing credit union’s market share of total assets to large and small banking institutions, they only have about 7% of the assets (FDIC, NCUA & CUNA source). Americans may be joining credit unions but it has been difficult getting them to handle most of their financial needs at the credit union.
In this hyper, over communicated digital world that we live in, credit union marketers need to think differently to find more ways to make their members feel special across multiple digital channels. Also, in this tech savvy world, prospective members are in charge of how you interact with them; social media and search engines are all about connecting with your audience when they’re looking for you, not the other way around.
Simply put, marketing automation refers to a software platform that is designed to more effectively market on multiple channels online and automate repetitive tasks, ultimately optimizing your staff’s time and sales efforts. Being creative and relevant to your members is key to pushing the ROI needle upward. Think about the last time (most likely today) that you looked in your email inbox and perused your personal emails. Most likely you had a bunch of e-mails from businesses you signed up with because you are interested in what they have to offer. Was there an email that felt like it was speaking very personally to you? Did you respond? Think of a time that you did? That’s how credit union marketers need to be engaging with their members to build relationships and secure future business.
Here are some key marketing automation strategies to help make this happen:
- Dynamic Content – Put the knowledge you have of your members to good use by delivering differentiated content that reflects your members’ behavior and history, which is more relevant to them.
- Drip Campaigns – Drip campaigns are targeted email communications that go out to your base at regular intervals to educate members, welcome new members and warm up new leads. Drip campaigns are easy to set up, but managing them effectively is key.
- Nurture Campaigns – Lead nurturing is often visually depicted as a funnel, but it’s more accurate to see it as a watering can – it allows your audience to branch out and choose their own journey through your pre-planned automated campaigns. In the same way, dynamic content will change an email based on static fields in your database or CSV upload, a nurture campaign will segment your audience based on their interaction with your communications, automatically sending them in different directions based on their interests.
Audra Wilder, VP of Strategic Analytics & Marketing for GE Credit Union found marketing automation to be extremely effective for her credit union. At Trellance’s recently held annual conference, immersion18, Wilder shared the journey and success experienced by her credit union in implementing their marketing automation program. Her concept, simply stated, was to design multiple targeted emails that corresponded to different demographics under one product or service “path” or “umbrella” where the credit union continually targets members with specific, relevant messaging. This multi-tiered approach assists the credit union in reaching out to their members in a timely manner and with emails that are pertinent to the products and services they are using or ancillary benefits that might further enhance their experiences with the credit union. Wilder and her team realized the following measurable results over a 12-month period:
- Increased depth-of-relationship (services per) by ^8.30%
- Increased number of loan households by 442 or ^5.99%
- Reduction in statement costs – enrolled 2,104 members in estatements (an approximate annual net savings of $3.84 per member)
- Low unsubscribe rate (0.0005% 2017 average – delivered 409,254 emails to members with an average open rate of 43.45%)
- Reduction in disclosure related costs – actual reduced printing costs to be tracked in 2018 as they migrate towards esign
- Increased email collection and verification collecting – 2,601unique member emails
- 86% of new membership accounts have valid email addresses!
- Decreased Single Service households by 0.75%
Wilder notes some things to consider as your credit union embarks on its marketing automation journey: Make sure your data is clean to see true results; Be careful not to dilute your ROI with members that are incorrectly targeted; Watch your negative behaviors and try to mitigate their inclusion in the data stream; Base your digital message on member action, timing, age, product usage and more; Outline your automation paths before you start along with the timing of the messages – understand what you are trying to achieve with the path and use only the data that is necessary.
Remember, marketing automation will not market for you, it’s just another tool to help you to reach your members timely with relevant offerings; giving them what they need and want when they need and want it. Also, be kind to yourself – anything new takes some getting used to. For more thought leadership insights visit www.ThePaymentsReview.com or contact the experts at Trellance for guidance at firstname.lastname@example.org.