3 Credit Union Marketing Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Written by Devon Wilson

December 5, 2022

credit union marketing mistakes


Credit union marketing mistakes are easy to make. You have a monthly newsletter, and you recently added social media and other marketing channels like email promotions or app communication to your marketing mix. But things aren’t progressing the way you want – what are you doing wrong?

Let’s talk about some of the top credit union marketing mistakes, and how you can fix them to boost your engagement, your member numbers, and your brand reputation.

Mistake #1: Not Setting Clear Measurable Goals for Your Marketing Efforts

If you are increasing your number of weekly social media posts simply because a marketing blog told you that 5-7 posts per week is optimal, you likely won’t see the results you’re hoping for with those marketing efforts.

Credit union marketing mistakes often start with a failure to create measurable and targeted goals and objectives.

Let’s stick with the social media example – what’s your goal with those platforms? The goals can be specific to the platform or to your credit union’s yearly goals for member or loan growth, community outreach, or even staffing.

Common goals include growing your audience, increasing traffic to your website or apps, and overall conversions. But it’s important to remember that social media marketing is a specialty, and you can’t just copy and paste your monthly credit union newsletter into small Facebook or Instagram posts.

No matter what platform or medium you are using for your marketing efforts, it’s important to analyze the effectiveness of your marketing vehicles against the goals you have for your credit union marketing efforts.

Mistake #2: Thinking of Your Programs as Individual Marketing Assets

Your credit union’s brand voice and reputation should be cohesive. But another one of the top credit union marketing mistakes that we see often is a sort of piecemeal implementation of trendy or short-term programs that don’t really enforce your brand or help your members.

For example, many banks and credit unions are seeing the benefit of removing fee structures. This includes things like transaction fees, overdraft penalties, and more. They are finding that the revenue they lose by doing this is more than made up for in new and more engaged member communities.

Business leaders are often talking about “the big picture,” but that big picture isn’t measured solely by your profit margins. If your credit union is in a more rural or agricultural area, the big picture will look different than one that is located in a low-income community within a larger city. And that’s a good thing.

When you are thinking about using your marketing efforts to promote new services, it’s often helpful to take some time and look at how those new services are going to be beneficial to your members. What are their goals? Do you work within a specific industry? Are there ways to cater to your different member segments with new programs that fit your overall structure as a credit union?

Your credit union marketing efforts should be based on your audience and their specific problems. And don’t be afraid to think outside the box a little. If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that some credit union marketing mistakes can turn into amazing opportunities.

Mistake #3: Not Personalizing Your Marketing Efforts

Personalization often makes people think of adding a First Name to an email subject – and while, yes, this is a type of personalization, there are so many other ways to incorporate unique and specific perspectives into your marketing efforts.

As you look through your credit union marketing mistakes, it’s easy to get lost in the many channels you can use to get your message out, but it’s important to also stop and analyze what your members are doing and how you can help them do it, using your products, services, and assistance.

For example, CUInsight just shared a great article about how credit unions could be missing great marketing and sales opportunities by simply facilitating members as they are operating, rather than offering to use your services to optimize their financial experiences.

The article recounts a discussion about how staff members can use member lending data to create opportunities for your credit union instead. Essentially, if you know your members have auto or other loans through third-party vendors, why not compare those loan details to what you can offer and see if you can’t offer them a way to save some money by working with you instead?

Personalization and market segmentation are all about following the stories of your members and finding solutions and helpful programs they could enroll in at your credit union instead of going elsewhere.

Send loan program emails to members who have expressed interest in revamping their lending options. Create and share surveys and questionnaires that help your members dig into what areas of their personal or business finances could use some adjustments. Everyone who comes into your credit union and opens an account has already trusted you with their money, and they’ll feel great knowing that you can help them “hack” their finances to optimize their savings, grow their investments, and reach their goals.

Marketing Tip: Focus on Member-Facing Web Solutions with IMSI

IMSI’s services are helping credit unions optimize their member experience. Great member experience can create its own marketing opportunities in business partnerships, positive reviews, referrals, etc.

IMS Integration is here to help you implement elegant, member-facing web solutions, including:

  • Make a Statement: communicate more efficiently with your members using eStatements, eNotices, and more.
  • Online Courtesy Pay+: an online solution for electronic, opt-in enrollment that is quick, easy, and seamlessly integrates with existing intranets and other online platforms.
  • Online Self Service Forms: increase member autonomy and agency with dozens of customized self-service forms that include things like Add Joint Owner, Check Reorder, Email Change, Express Services, and more.
  • Trial Balance+: a versatile tool that allows users to access and export member account information from any branch with single log-on.

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