Do You Want Fries With That?

That question is one of the most famous examples of up-selling in American history. Today, credit union executives and marketing teams are striving to create the same up-sell message that will increase their service-per-member ratios. The fact of the matter is, credit unions are not really that good at up-selling when they are not face-to-face with the member. Until now...

 

By DigitalMailer, Inc.

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That question is one of the most famous examples of up-selling in American history. Today, credit union executives and marketing teams are striving to create the same up-sell message that will increase their service-per-member ratios. The fact of the matter is, credit unions are not really that good at up-selling when they are not face-to-face with the member. Until now...

How do you seal the deal in a wireless world?

Wikipedia defines Up-selling as a sales technique whereby a salesman attempts to have the customer purchase more expensive items, upgrades, or other add-ons in an attempt to make a more profitable sale.

Not too long ago a member had to walk into a branch to join, add a new service they needed or get a loan for a dream that they had. The face-to-face contact made our jobs easier to up-sell additional products or tell them what was new at the credit union. Not anymore. Members can now join remotely, apply for loans online, make deposits and withdrawals from free ATMs around the world and hit a shared-branch. Have you ever stopped and considered how many members actually walk into your branches? Wonder if some members even know where your branches are? Or quite possibly what a credit union really is?

Sealing the deal in today’s wireless world is challenging credit unions. Experience has shown that credit unions are really not that good at up-selling when they are not face-to-face with the member. Some experts question if they are good when they are face-to-face! (HEATED DEBATE: agree or argue this point on the DMI Blog)

The latest example of success – CU Indirect Student Lending

As more and more lenders exit the student loan market, credit unions are quickly filling the void and gaining ground as indirect student loan providers. That’s great news, with one caveat. Statistically, if you look at the history of indirect auto lending, indirect borrowers do not turn into full service credit union members. Why? When member contact is outsourced, as it is in indirect lending, it’s easy to lose touch with a member and up-sell opportunities. They just pay their loan and disappear.

Leads you to wonder… how quickly will they forget that the credit union was the starting point for their financial transaction? Is indirect student lending doomed to the same one-service fate as some indirect auto loan programs? Or is there a way to address the challenge head-on to introduce CU products and services in a consistent, managed fashion?

Wonder no more

Love or hate indirect lending, credit unions are in it big time. As the number of indirect student loans grow each year so does the challenge of keeping in touch with these members. Now credit unions and technology are combining forces to create their own up-sell success story.

How? Through an email address that comes with every application or account opening! That email address is helping credit unions with virtual up-selling and eliminating manual follow-ups. It’s providing consistent, managed virtual contact that is optimized for efficiency and promotion of product growth. It’s allowing credit unions to automatically stay in front of members at predetermined intervals and it’s doing it for pennies per email.

A program called the Automatic Relationship Builder (ARB), a next generation email engine, is using that email address to help deepen member relationships online. The ARB benefits:

  • Cuts out traditional direct marketing production and postage costs
  • Provides consistent, managed contact that strengthens bonds and grows business
  • Tailors images and content to targeted groups
  • Tracks member interaction to identify areas of interest for targeted, timely follow-ups.

An Automatic Relationship Builder Case Study

Northwest FCU’s indirect student lending program is steadily growing (100 loans in first three months). Their challenge: how to turn a one-product member into a full service one. You see, NWFCU was worried about staying in contact with students and wanted to simply expose them to other products and services they may not have considered previously.

NWFCU turned to their Automatic Relationship Builder to send a series of eight educational and product intro emails to new student loan borrowers. The series called “You Should Know” is kicked off by simply loading the email address into the ARB. From there, the emails below are automatically sent on the scheduled intervals:

Day # 7
Day # 21
Day # 35
Day # 49
Day # 63
Day # 77
Day # 91
Day # 105

Congratulations! You now own a credit union
Did we leave anything out?
To Your Credit
You DO have a name!
Your CU has more than just loans
Checks and Balances
Our newest branch is in your hands!
The Web is your friend

Within four months of disbursement, NWFCU will automatically reach out to students to educate and up-sell useful products. NWFCU will also use the system to remind students each semester that it’s time to get the next disbursement from their credit union.

Best of all, there is no drain on NWFCU’s time or a large capital investment. The ARB series automatically runs for pennies an email.

What if your member already has "fries"?

Good question: For one, the emails introduce two or three services on each campaign so the odds are the member doesn’t have all three in the first four months. For another, the Automatic Relationship Builder is an intelligent system. The more you can tell it about the member, the better the offer can be. The solution has the ability to import MCIF data and matrix mail information from any provider and use it to create targeted email campaigns. Product data is stored in system tables and used to design custom, on-the-fly emails with variable text and images based on the information provided to the system. You’ll never sell “fries” to a member that has “fries” if you tell the ARB.

Stop wasting time and money

The same event driven ARB system and campaigns NWFCU used for its student loan program is available for indirect auto loans, pre-approved mortgage loans, pre-approved auto loans, seminars and new member ‘on-boarding” programs.

Why spend money on direct mail paper and postage when the same thing can be accomplished in email? Let the Automatic Relationship Builder “super-size” your member relationships! Visit our website at www.digitalmailer.com/arb.html for more information or click the Icon for a no obligation test drive.

Ron Daly is President/CEO of DigitalMailer, Inc. a CUSO that combines its technology know-how and online communication tools to create an affordable way for clients to drive profitable growth. For more information, contact DigitalMailer at (866) 994-4900 or go to www.digitalmailer.com. You can reach Ron by email at rdaly@digitalmailer.com.

This sponsored content article is provided to the credit union community for shared insights and knowledge from a recognized solutions provider in the industry. Please note that the views and opinions offered here do not reflect those of Callahan & Associates, and Callahan does not endorse vendors or the solutions they offer.

If you are interested in contributing an article on CreditUnions.com, please contact our Callahan Media team at ads@creditunions.com or 1-800-446-7453.

 

Oct. 20, 2008


Comments

 
 
 
  • Badly need your help. I've been on a diet for two weeks and all I've lost is two weeks. I am from Mauritius and bad know English, give true I wrote the following sentence: "More options for cheap tickets - search by airline exclusive deals on cheap tickets." Thank you very much :-). Addison.
    Addison
     
     
     
  • Nice program Ron -- I'm sure Karen, myself and others at SSCU will be interested in seeing the demo
    Ron Mintus
     
     
     
 
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