Strategic Link Partner, Vetter, Shares Insights on Growing Credit Union Membership

Three strategic approaches help credit unions target potential members.

Vetter logo4/2/2019

Your credit union has a lot to offer members, but despite benefits such as lower rates, lower fees, and outstanding member service, some people are reluctant to join, or aren’t aware they have the option. Fortunately, credit unions can leverage several strategies to help grow membership. Each avenue requires a little investment, but the cost is outweighed by the potential future gains.

Through the use of sophisticated data analytics, Strategic Link partner, Vetter, helps credit unions target potential members by deploying proven digital marketing strategies.

“Vetter helps empower credit unions by driving growth, profitability, and an improved member experience,” said Jason Smith, Northwest Credit Union Association Vice President of Strategic Resources. “By accessing one of the largest consumer and business databases in the country, Vetter helps credit unions drive their marketing efforts to the specific audiences they’re targeting for membership.”
 
The Case for Digital
Younger generations interact with the world differently because they’ve been using computers and smartphones for most of their lives. Any strategy to grow credit union membership needs to embrace technology.

Going into a credit union to deposit a check, take out a loan, or move funds around means taking time out of one’s day to show up to the branch, wait in line, and ask an employee for help. People who work long or unpredictable hours can’t always rely on getting to their branch during operating hours.

So, maybe younger generations want the same functionality as they would receive at a branch, but on a digital interface. That way, they can manage their money when they want, where they want, on an intuitive mobile platform.

Embracing proven or new, digital-forward, member-facing apps or services can help attract new credit union members.

Financial Planning and Wealth Management
Younger generations are aware that sound financial planning and wealth management are paramount to a healthy future. However, their options for increased financial literacy often come from massive banks or internet sources who may not have their best interests at heart.

Your credit union can distinguish itself with educational offerings and outreach. Helping younger generations establish budgets, savings goals, and a path to wealth will establish trust. Trust means loyalty. And loyalty—for generations who crowdsource advice ranging from what to make for dinner to which credit card to use—means word-of-mouth endorsements.

Ensuring a financially literate and healthy member base is a great way to retain existing members while also attracting new ones.

Increase Your Visibility
One of the most tried-and-true methods of growing your credit union’s membership is just by getting the word out. It may sound wild to those of us who work in and around the industry, but there are people who don’t know what a credit union is, what they offer, or how to join one. Gaining increased exposure to your target markets will always help attract new members.

Advertising is costly, but effective. Traditional routes like television or newspaper ads can help with visibility, as do billboards or bench signage. Digitally focused avenues such as email campaigns, content marketing, and a strong social media presence may help engage more tech-savvy prospects.

Another emerging avenue is to work with a company that can leverage big data to better identify, target, and engage potential members. By focusing on qualified, already-interested prospects, you may see a higher return on investment for your advertising dollar. Sure, there’s plenty of fish in the sea, but it never hurts to know where to cast your net.

For more information about Vetter, contact NWCUA Vice President of Strategic Resources, Jason Smith. To learn more about Strategic Link’s partnership with Vetter, visit its webpage.