The Big Picture:
Direct Marketing is a tactic used to achieve a specific result from a select demographic group of individuals (such as a new loan, account, or member referral) in response to a specific communication. This interaction can take many forms: direct mail, non-member emails, member emails, targeted ads, and more. Using a targeted and personal approach, Direct Marketing can speak directly to your members.
In addition to effective communication, there are numerous reasons to integrate more Direct Marketing into your plans: You can encourage product usage, boost fee income, increase loan-to-share ratios, and improve your credit union’s ROI. Above all, you can make new and stronger connections with members and potential members, while planting seeds for tomorrow.
Structure leads to success:
First, develop the project’s parameters and goals with a solid sense of direction to give your marketing purpose. Next, determine the audience (demographics) of your project and tailor your message to that group. Use real people, colorful graphics, and ‘white space’ to capture your members’ attention. Also, speak directly to your audience, include features and benefits, and have an easy call to action (CTA).
Remember, asking for an action from your member is the primary goal of any Direct Marketing project.
Finally, leverage your data to make each Direct Marketing campaign more successful. You can use your data to see who is likely to take advantage of your offer and what features matter most. It’s also essential to track and measure results. Without having measurable goals and trackable results, you cannot assess a campaign’s success.
Direct Marketing enables you to:
- Target your copy and design to speak directly to members. Effective targeting will lead to increased response rates.
- Leverage your marketing dollars. You can maximize your budget and get the most for your money by targeting your piece and tailoring the message.
- Build stronger relationships. This is the mantra of every marketer, and Direct Marketing can help you to strengthen those relationships.
- Offer a clear call to action and a clear-cut way for members to reply to your offer.
- Track responses and measure results. This valuable data can aid your current marketing promotions and help adjust future offers.
Grove City Area Federal Credit Union
Credit Union Direct Marketing Example: “Open Any Door”
From May 1 – July 31, 2021, GCAFCU ran a home equity promotion that generated over $11 million in new home equity loans. The campaign utilized a quad-fold mailer along with coordinated Facebook and other Digital Marketing Components. All pieces featured:
- A fresh design with photos of people: This was used to catch the recipient’s attention and help envision their aspirations.
- A reason for recipients to act (immediate gratification): In this case, up to $100 with each approved loan.
- An easy CTA (call to action): A convenient postage-paid loan application was attached as part of the quad fold.
Working together, all pieces created a synergistic effect, reaching more members.
- Colorworks sent 5,959 home equity promotional mailers resulting in 128 responses (a 2.15% response rate).
- GCAFCU approved 126 loans, generating $11,179,098 in home equity loans, $1,945,929 in total interest income, and $1,941,541 in net interest income.
- Based on an investment of $4,388 (including the direct mail piece, postage, printing, poster, web content, and digital ads), the project resulted in an ROI of 44,246.61%.
A final thought.
Avoid targeting too broadly, and don’t forget to include a multi-channel approach and easy CTA. Remember to incorporate a creative, personal appeal to your members, highlighting the personality of your credit union while offering meaningful solutions. And always make it easy for members to do business with you and accept your Direct Marketing offer.