For over a month now, we’ve been publishing articles that focus on the lifeblood of credit unions: member retention.
In our first installment of this series, we explained the reasons why member retention is even more important than member acquisition. In the next article, we examined some of the leading causes of member churn (and the best ways to avoid them). After that, we recommended some ways your marketing department can lead the charge on member retention. And most recently, we published some additional strategies for increasing retention.
Of course, many of the member retention strategies and ideas that we’ve recommended also have the benefit of encouraging new member acquisition. For example, if your credit union launches a friend and family referral program (as we advised), it will delight existing members who receive an incentive for their referral, while also increasing the number of new members. It’s one of many “two birds with one stone” strategies that simultaneously boost retention and acquisition.
So for the final piece in this series, we’d like to expand our focus “beyond retention,” and list some of the additional ways that credit unions can attract new members (while still keeping the old ones). After all, while retention may be more important than acquisition, both are critical concerns for modern credit unions, and they have a tendency to go hand-in-hand.
Offer competitive rates and fees
One of the most effective ways to attract new credit union members is to offer (and advertise) competitive rates and fees.
Credit unions have the advantage of being able to offer better rates and lower fees than traditional banks because they are not-for-profit organizations. Make sure that your credit union’s rates and fees are competitive with other credit unions in your area, as well as with traditional banks. You can promote your rates and fees on your credit union’s website, social media, and advertising materials.
Offer online account opening
Many people prefer to do their banking online, and offering online account opening can make it easier for potential members to join your credit union. Make sure that your credit union’s website is user-friendly and easy to navigate so that the convenience factor encourages prospective members to finally join. You should also offer online chat support to help potential members with any questions they may have about setting up their account.
Promote the benefits of membership
Another way to attract new members is to emphasize the benefits of membership. Most credit unions have big selling points they can tout, such as lower interest rates on loans, higher interest rates on savings accounts, and free financial counseling. Make sure that your credit union’s website and marketing materials highlight these benefits, along with all of the other unique member services that your institution provides.
Host free events
Previously in this series, we’ve talked about the importance of “community outreach,” including participating in community service projects and supporting local charities. You can also sponsor charity runs, or get a booth at a local festival to pass out freebies and network with others.
But it’s also a good idea to host your own events that are open to everyone in the community. For example, you might offer free financial literacy classes (that aren’t just for members). Or you could host a family-friendly outdoors event with barbecue and bouncy castles.
Looking to attract more young professionals to your credit union? Have a presence at the next craft beer festival or Oktoberfest.
Use social media
Social media is a powerful tool for promoting your credit union and attracting new members. If you don’t already, make sure that your credit union has a strong presence on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Post updates about your own credit union’s new offerings, as well as news and information related to the financial industry. You can also use social media to engage with your existing members and answer their questions, which will help potential new members see your credit union as responsive and engaged.
Develop targeted marketing campaigns
Developing targeted marketing campaigns can help you reach potential members who may be interested in your credit union’s products and services. You can use data analytics to identify potential members based on factors such as age, income, and location. Once you have identified your target audience, you can create marketing campaigns that are tailored to their needs and interests.
In order to identify your target audience, you need to understand your own membership base. Sogolytics’ member experience management platform allows you to understand who your members are, what they want, and what they don’t want. Sogo allows you to gather credit union member experience feedback from branch visits and digital channels, via live chat, mobile banking apps, and more. Sogo then saves you hours of sifting through the data with its powerful analytics, providing actionable insights that allow you to create a better experience for your members—and discover what appeals to potential new members.
As we said earlier, member acquisition and member retention go hand-in-hand. See how Sogolytics can help you improve both by starting a free demo today!