Thought Leadership

How to Use Inbound Leads to Grow Your Credit Union

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November 7, 2018
How to Use Inbound Leads to Grow Your Credit Union
By Bryan Adler

Inbound marketing leads are things that every business wants. Whether it be a financial institution, a startup, a tech company, or a mail-order cactus purveyor, all businesses want leads to approach them on their own accord. Here are a few steps to take to grow your credit union using inbound leads.

To better illustrate how to grow your credit union, I’ll briefly walk through a few stages of inbound marketing strategy. Think of it as an inbound marketing crash course.

Side note, if you’re interested in learning more about other ways to reach new members, check out our other blogs about MEMBER ACQUISITION and DIGITAL MARKETING.

… Cactus Purveyors?

Succulents and cacti are considered nearly impossible to kill, and yet I know several people who have managed the feat. Repeatedly. Despite the hardiness of the plants and their resistance to neglect, my friends found their Achilles root: overwatering. Turns out that some plants don’t like too much attention.

Similarly, not many people like outbound marketing. I wouldn’t mind if I never received another cold call again. Even if it’s a product I really like, part of me will be turned off out of sheer annoyance.

The idea is: don’t force it.

You’ve got the products people need, the onboarding experience they want, and the trust of your existing members. Prospective members have already heard of you; all you need to do is occasionally remind them that you’re there, and they’ll come.

Three Steps to Grow Your Credit Union

There are a few steps you may want to take to increase the number of inbound leads you get. They’re part of a relatively slow process of building reputation and credibility.

1. Transactional Base Marketing

Think of transactional base marketing as marketing with a purpose. For credit unions, think about what specific product of service you offer that you could market on its own. This could be a checking account that accrues interest, an auto loan, or something along those lines.

Getting your name out there for the specific product or service you’re advertising. Over time, you can build brand awareness for that particular solution.

The first step can be repeated for any number of available services you offer. To grow your credit union, you need to build up a critical mass of members before other inbound strategies start to shine. Also helpful is building a critical mass of marketing outreach for specific products.

Transactional marketing is a good way to attract members who need that specific product or service. With enough transactional marketing, you start to get brand awareness, recognition, and…

2. Word of Mouth

Word of mouth makes credit union marketing outreach that much easier. Word of mouth is free advertisement.

It’s a lot easier to grow your credit union when your existing members refer new members your way. One of the best ways to ensure your growing member base remains happy—if not delighted—with your credit union is by taking care of them from the start.

Offering things like a seamless credit union member onboarding program can go a long way. Also effective are a friendly welcome, special offers for first products, and any kind of relationship-building solution.

Producing or highlighting relevant content or member resource literature may also help new and prospective members answer any pertinent questions. Helpful content can improve your members’ financial health and increase brand visibility at the same time.

3. Let’s Get Visible, Visible

After building up strong brand recognition and a large and delighted member base, it’s time to stay visible. If you wanted generalized marketing strategy, this step is tailor-made for you.

Strategies like banner, billboard, and newspaper ads fit the bill perfectly. The idea is that, now that you’ve built up mass and momentum, people already know the products and services you provide. Better yet, they already know that you’ve established trust with your members.

At this stage, you’ve got the products people need, the onboarding experience they want, and the trust of your existing members. Prospective members have already heard of you; all you need to do is occasionally remind them that you’re there, and they’ll come.

And that’s how to grow your credit union with inbound leads.

Just Like Growing Cacti

Except not.

You don’t need a green thumb to grow your credit union—all it takes is transactional marketing strategies, critical member mass, and visibility. Basically, it’s way easier than those succulents.

And yes, the “friend” who overwatered the cacti? It was me.

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