NWFCU Gets Local
How a credit union made a new branch
stand out to area consumers
Northwest Federal Credit Union was opening its new branch in Leesburg, Va., and needed to get it operational and profitable quickly. The branch is in a dense residential area – with limited commercial development and street traffic. Thus, getting feet in the door was the challenge.
To spread the word, NWFCU employed a multi-pronged marketing program: member referrals, email messages, radio ads, robo-calls from the CEO, bus panel ads, scratch cards, sign-up bonuses and community sponsorships.
The campaign also included ScoreLogix Consumer Risk Scoring Analysis in collaboration with DigitalMailer, NWFCU's email marketing firm. This strategy resulted in a highly targeted listing of "ideal" credit union members.
Based on its knowledge of consumer behavior and experience working with MCIF data, DigitalMailer worked with NWFCU to create a profile of an ideal profitable member. DigitalMailer interpreted the data and worked with ScoreLogix to identify the right metrics to build NWFCU's target list. The ScoreLogix analysis included 20,000 households near the Leesburg branch, ranking them from most to least profitable. This was based on data identifying income potential, job security and credit history.
With list in hand, Karyle Thornton, AVP of Marketing and Business Development at NWFCU, identified the most profitable potential members and designed mailings targeted to them.
"We wanted solid relationships with members who will stay with us for the long term, and this analysis identified consumers who were the best prospects," she said. "The premise was to acquire quality members at costs much lower than traditional marketing. The strategy delivered what it promised."
NWFCU CFO Greg Gibson agrees. "It's amazing how precisely we could identify the right profiles. This drill-down, one-to-one marketing is the future – not blanketing areas based on zip codes or proximity."
The campaign's goal was to have 400 new members by the end of 2011: Less than a month after the grand opening, NWFCU had acquired more than 200.
According to Gibson, the campaign's success resulted from having "lots of lines in the water at once. But, there's no doubt that this unique direct-mail targeting played a role in our results," he said.
Thornton agreed it was a good start for developing banking relationships. "We spent approximately $700 on incentives for members attracted through the targeted mailing. Adding in postage and list costs, the price per new member was less than $100. When compared to the average cost to attract a member, which is around $385, we did very well."
She also noted that these members will likely prove to be among the credit union's highest quality, adding to the campaign's success. "Another strength is the strategically developed mailing list," she says. "The quality of the list was excellent, with very few returned pieces. That was a real benefit."
This was the first time NWFCU used all available marketing tools in a single campaign – including the new targeted direct mail capability. "The returns have been great, out-performing any other campaign we've done," Thornton said.
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