What’s your background on Black Friday Specials?
Dan Clarke: I’ve been doing something for Black Friday since 2004. I tried to make it a fun day when I was the CEO of a smaller credit union, and it generated big results for us. As a $15 million credit union, we could bring in approximately 10% of our deposits in a single day through a compelling Black Friday special.
Dan Clarke, COO, Service Credit Union
It was so popular that when we merged into Service Credit Union, we carried on the tradition. Service has offered something special every year since 2009. We’ve tailored the offers to work with the larger branch network and asset size.
What’s the overall goal of the specials? Are you rewarding existing members or bringing in new ones?
DC: The overall objective has been to reward our existing members. This is a day to show our appreciation for them. However, we’ve found the special offers also bring in new members. For example, last year approximately 8% of the new CD accounts opened on Black Friday were new members.
What have you changed over the years? Are there any specials that stand out as particularly successful?
DC: We’ve tried a variety of things over the years. We don’t want the offers to become stale. Last year we offered a 10% APY on a three-month CD with a $1,000 cap. That was quite successful with more than 2,500 accounts opened.
Other offers have included an 18-month CD at an above market rate with no cap, a 2.00% APR discount on personal loans, and bonuses such as fee-free gift cards or $100 when a member refers a friend or opens a new checking account with direct deposit.
Click the tabs below to see Service Credit Union's 2017 Black Friday offers.
We’ve opened the branches early in the past to make it a real event. However, as retailers have shifted their opening times, we have gone back to our traditional hours. In 2004, my former credit union ran a CD special that offered members the highest rate at 6 a.m. The rate dropped every two hours, which created a sense of urgency and brought people into the branch. It was a fun day with a radio station broadcasting remotely from our branch. However, with Service’s much larger branch network and size, it didn’t make sense to do that type of time-sensitive offer.
Are the specials only available in a branch on Black Friday?
5 Tips To Make Black Friday Bright
Dan Clarke, chief operating officer of Service Credit Union, draws on more than 10 years of experience offering Black Friday specials to provide five best practices.
Be different: Don’t do the same things everyone else is doing, and vary the offers to keep it interesting.
Be creative: Show off the fun side of banking. Everyone knows it can be exhausting for those working and members shopping.
Keep the credit unions’ needs in mind: Reward members while helping the organization meet its goals.
Reward staff: Service gives a trophy to the branch that has the best production on that day. It’s a fun competition that focuses on recognition rather than cash compensation.
Keep it light: Help everyone have a great time by keeping the atmosphere light.
DC: The deals are typically available online or in a branch.
We’ve extended the period from only Black Friday to include Cyber Monday and the weekend. The exact timing and specials vary each year as we try to see where we can get the biggest bang for the buck. We also take into consideration the goals of the credit union. Are we focused on growing deposits, for example?
Is there an employee incentive component to make it fun for them?
DC: We give a trophy to the branch that has the best production on that day. It’s a fun competition that focuses on recognition rather than cash compensation.
What advice do you have for other credit unions considering a Black Friday special?
DC: Be different. Don’t do the same things everyone else is doing, and don’t offer the same specials every year.
Be creative. Show off the fun side of banking. Everyone knows it can be exhausting for those who are working, by keeping it light, everyone can have a great time and you can generate real excitement. Our members start asking about what we have planned in October and look forward to the specials.
Once people come in and see what the credit union is all about, the door to a new relationship is opened. It’s also a great way to show your appreciation for existing members by offering a little something extra during a stressful time of year.
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