We all know your credit union's website is the gateway to your credit union on the web. If a potential member is online searching for typical auto loan terms, information on buying their first house, or switching their checking account after a move, your webpage determines whether they choose to move forward with your credit union. So, are you making the most of this online member generation opportunity?
Just last week I attended a 2-day conference on effective marketing strategies. The conference covered 29 strategies, including sessions on those marketing 'hot topics': Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, just to name a few. While all of the sessions were captivating and offered unique insight on key marketing topics for 2010, there was only one that really made me sit back and say "wow, this could be really powerful for credit unions because it’s not costly at all and can have almost immediate success": optimizing product web pages for new member lead generation.
What we think looks great on a webpage – catchy copy, great imagery, and links to various important resources – could actually be driving away potential members. The good thing is by just taking time to think about the sequence of thoughts you want on product web pages, your credit union can better engage members and potential members through your website.
The 4 Conversion Impediments
There are 4 common conversion impediments on web pages that need the user to take action: whether to sign up for a rate change alert, download a white paper, or receive more information.
- Lack of Clarity
If you had 2 seconds to tell someone why they should join your credit union or apply for your loan product, what would you say? When someone lands on a loan product page, a membership page, or even the homepage of your website, you have seconds to explain the value on those pages. An easy to read and clear vision of why the member, or potential member, should stay on your web page to learn more should be the first message communicated on the webpage. Then, carry that value proposition throughout the text.
- An Undisciplined Eye-path
When someone lands on your webpages, is it visually clear the direction you want them to take? You want your member and potential member to easily follow a visual train-of-thought. You want to keep their eye moving in a path you want them to take based on the goal of the page. Utilizing the five elements proven to keep online users on the right path will help you toward your marketing goal for that page: size, color, motion, shape and position.
- An Insufficient Value Promise
When you ask for members and potential members to enter in their information, have you clearly stated what they’re signing up for? When trying to capture personal information, you want to clearly state the value of signing up or downloading a piece of information. Using a strong headline clearly stating the benefits – not the features – of membership or of a product will help the potential member support their decision to move forward.
- Excessive Friction
Are you asking members and potential members for several action items on one page? Many times webpages request and showcase several products and benefits, while also asking for a page lengths worth of personal information from the user. This causes aggravation on the part of the user because they are unsure what they should do next. Avoid using several images and lots of calls to action on one page. Instead, think about the ultimate action you want your member and potential member to take on that webpage.
Depending on your credit union's focus for 2010 – increasing member credit card accounts, cross selling various loan products, or just member growth – addressing these four impediments will support these goals through your website.
I highly suggest walking through one of your top viewed web pages, and competitor webpages, over the next few days. See if you can make some improvements by addressing these four impediments. I can almost guarantee that you will catch issues and think of new ways to present your credit union's value on that webpage.