5 Steps to Increase Credit Union Engagement Marketing

5 Steps Engagement Marketing Cover
(Last Updated On: March 16, 2023)

Attract and retain members with engaging benefits and a plan to educate people about them!

Editor’s note: This is based on a post from our colleague, Trae Turner, from StrategyCorps (as are the images). We couldn’t resist adapting a “5 steps” article; that’s our thing! In a time of economic unknowns and desire for financial security, it’s essential to play to your credit union strengths. And then offer members just a bit more!

Mobile is where it’s at. I could be talking about anything, so let’s narrow it down. Life in one place. Access to whatever resources you may need throughout a day. And while nothing reaches the sheer influence of phones, tablets and laptops fill the remainder of needs. Yes, there are still desktops, too, but ask anyone under 35 who isn’t a gamer if they have one.

Speaking of, consider the 137 million digital native Gen Z and Millennials who are ready to adopt mobile services that make sense. So, if this huge portion of people want “life in one place”, what are you doing to fulfill that desire when it comes to creating and expanding banking relationships?

It’s Not (Only) About Rates

A Motley Fool study polled 1,700 banking customers to learn the most compelling features people looked for when shopping for a new bank.

Of the top 10 reasons, interest rates was No. 7. This from a survey completed in December 2022, when rates were already rising.

What was the #1 reason? Quality of customer services. Number 2 was low fees.

We talk a lot about offering innovative and compelling services. This article is even about it. Yet your credit union’s strongest feature is the ability to deliver a personal touch (supported by your well-organized data!), in-person or digitally.

Play to Your Strengths

Trust. It’s why people choose to remain members of your credit union. The industry (community banks included) regularly rank highest in trust of all financial institutions. Additionally, the United States has a larger portion of accounts with these players. Of developed countries (90%+ of population has a bank/credit union account), the top 5 banks here hold about 50% market share.

Big Banks Penetration Survey
We’re the lowest of any surveyed developed nation.

Your credit union has a significant role in the lives of members and Americans at large, even as digital banking services continue to transform the industry. And you already have what’s needed to compete in this mobile-first, digital world. As banking evolves, you can use this evolution to come full circle to “banking life in one place”.

Engagement marketing plays on this fact. It also allows you to create a year-round plan to attract people to your credit union, grow relationships, and retain existing members.

5 Steps To Better Engagement Marketing

  • Curate a comprehensive financial experience: Build a product lineup that includes benefits people need. Use these to build out their “financial foundation” at your credit union, so have no need to shop around for each piece.
  • Create an annual engagement plan: Remind members that you’re more than just a place to put their deposits and apply for loans.
  • Use omnichannel efforts to get the word out: Insert compelling messaging in branches, brochures, postcards, posters, advertising (online and off), social media, and across your digital presence
  • Educate staff, especially your public-facing branch workers: Motivate your team to share the benefits you offer so they become champions of your unique features. This should also include engaging training so they are comfortable sharing.
  • Have fun! Create contests for members to share stories about how they use your benefits, and gather testimonials to share in your marketing and promotional content.
Checking Cheat Sheet Tablet Cover

Your checking program is where loyalty, engagement, and onboarding really begin. So what are you doing to ensure it’s firing on all cylinders? This Cheat Sheet will give you 4 quick, actionable steps to make the most of your checking program.
Get the Cheat Sheet

Let’s See Your Engagement Marketing!

With these pieces in place, you’re ready to build out your full spectrum engagement marketing campaigns!

Here’s what that can look like:

  • Start an engagement campaign, then plan to expand upon it quarterly. Keep the excitement going!
  • Themes based on benefits, including “wellness” for healthcare savings; “family fun” for concert tickets, restaurants, theme parks; “travel” for roadside assistance, gas discounts, as well as national and local food discounts, etc.
  • Omnichannel for best reach: That means emails, social media, web ads and content (blogs like this one, etc.), print and electronic newsletter, and in-branch materials like brochures, signage, and postcards.

Finally, ensure everyone knows about the benefits your accounts offer, and remind people who already have accounts what they have access to enjoy. Talking about valuable perks never gets old!

Joe Winn - CU Geek

Blogger. Speaker. Futurist. Part-time Jedi.

Dedicated to helping your credit union, large or small, deliver mission-focused financial empowerment to your members. And make a positive impact on your community while you’re at it.