“Our credit union is too small to compete.” While this may sound like a statement of unfortunate fact, it’s a common excuse that exposes a lack of will and creativity. The small credit unions that we work with prove this as they continue to grow and put up impressive numbers.
Recently, one of our smallest (and most successful) credit unions held a basketball-themed “Money Madness” promotion. The creative was a simple message promoting the fact that they had “over $1 million to lend” in March. Any member who moved their loan to Spartan Federal Credit Union would have the chance to be one of five members rewarded with a $100 cash bonus during the month.
Since this credit union has experienced loan growth every quarter for the past few years, we knew the campaign would be successful—but we never imagined how successful. “The best month for loans ever, in the history of the credit union.” With only two full-time lenders (one who missed a few days due to illness, and one who was covering the teller line for a week) the credit union, which averages monthly loan totals around $600,000, posted total loans of almost $800,000! They also welcomed a record number of new members in March.
We don’t recommend promotions like this to all of our clients, as it’s easy to become hooked on what we call “cocaine marketing.” However, for a credit union that already had a strong value proposition and high performing lenders, it was a fun promotion that captured the attention of new borrowers and introduced them to the credit union. It also helped that the lenders were stellar at mining opportunities to help new members and growing share of wallet for the credit union. This combination created a win-win for everyone.