Project Description

There’s a lot to be said for sophisticated data analysis – but sometimes a simple approach to marketing yields surprisingly robust results.

A $1.7 billion credit union in Washington State implemented a consistent, uncomplicated communications plan, reaching out to two groups of members to say “welcome” or “thank you.” At the end of a year, the results exceeded all expectations.

The first target group consisted of new members, traditionally considered prime prospects for new products and services. A monthly matrix led this group through a series of letters and emails discussing checking, eservices, investment services and a variety of loans. With a direct response rate of 12.80%, the program generated loan and deposit balances exceeding $39 million. Indirect responses accounted for an additional $11.5 million in balances.

The second program sought to capitalize on the credit union’s relationship with high-usage and long-time members. The idea was to reach out to these members on a personal basis, thank them for their business, and strengthen their ties with the credit union.

Each quarter, the top 50 members were identified at each branch for tenure, deposit balance and loan balance – a total of 150 members per branch. Each of these members received a letter from the branch manager. Rather than promoting products, the letters gave some background information on the manager and encouraged the members to reach out with any financial needs, concerns or questions.

The branch letters were followed up by phone calls, a proven strategy for optimizing the results of any campaign. By taking the initiative to make personal contact, the credit union took the burden off the members and opened the door for casual conversation or more in-depth financial discussions.

In subsequent months, members who had already been contacted were excluded from the list. Thus, the program reached a new set of people each quarter.

This relational approach quickly generated responses, with a direct response rate of 8.66% and new balances of more than $11.3 million. New deposit accounts showed the most activity, with respondents mainly opening Certificates, a logical next step for many of those who already have substantial balances.

The credit union is well-known in the area and well-positioned with competitive rates, two factors that have served them well over the years. A deliberate emphasis on timely, personal communication proved to be another winning factor through these two successful campaigns. Reaching out to a relatively small group of members generated significant, high-dollar activity, and set the stage for personal interactions in the future. The credit union is sure to be top-of-mind for these members when financial needs arise – and the simple, repeatable strategy will reach additional members as time goes on.

Branch Mailings
Overview of Results:
Marketing Costs $6,900
# of Pieces Mailed 4,132

# of Responses 358
Direct Response Rate 8.66%
Direct Balances – Deposits $6,621,553
Direct Balances – Loans $4,706,425
Direct Profit (margin based) $169,760
Direct ROI 2360.13%