Mission Marketing For The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Credit unions offer holiday-based financial tips that focus on year-round financial wellness.

 
 

Top-Level Takeaways

  • Patelco sends out money savings messages before the holidays.
  • Metco educates on credit reports after the spending spree.

The holidays bring a heady combination of joy and stress to many households and provide the backdrop for some seasonal financial wellness efforts by many a member-owned financial cooperative, big and small.

That includes Patelco Credit Union ($5.9B, Pleasanton, CA) and Metco Credit Union ($31.1M, Cedar Rapids, IA), which exemplify the before and after approach when it comes to seasonal spending sensibilities.

Patelco recently sent an email titled “Money Savings Tip for the Holidays” to nearly 200,000 members. The missive’s messages included observations such as, “Love doesn’t mean maxed out credit. Don’t spend what you can’t pay off.” It ends with “Experiences matter the most” and notes that a savings account for a child is a gift that keeps on giving.

 

 

 

Metco, meanwhile, will be sending its 3,000 members an email in January that acknowledges the reality of holiday overspending and scamming opportunities. It then explains how to get a free credit report and what to do with that information.

To All A Good Night

Credit unions are using holiday marketing emails to help members avoid the holiday hangovers.

California’s Patelco Credit Union sent its missive before the holidays as part of its year-round to integrate key brand and mission messages into its marketing campaigns. Check it out by clicking on the button below.

TIPS FOR THE HOLIDAYS


Iowa’s Metco Credit Union sends a message in January to remind members to mind their financial activities and possible fraud vulnerability. Check it out by clicking on the button below.

TIME TO PULL YOUR CREDIT REPORT

The emails from each credit union are both part of year-round financial wellness and literacy efforts, and Patelco’s chief marketer says the outreach her Bay Area credit union does this time of year can be particularly important.

“We understand the joy and expectations that come from the holiday season and how easy it is to get caught up in holiday gifting and shopping,” says Rina Johnson, vice president of marketing. “Our holiday campaign is a positive and encouraging way to empower our members during a time when the pressure and excitement of the holidays can lead to over-spending.”

Although ostensibly a marketing tool, the outreach is mission-driven, too.

“Our literacy efforts fit right into being the pathway to our members’ financial success,” says Regan Carlo, vice president of operations at Metco. “We want to provide avenues for our members to learn and benefit from and be alongside them for support.”

Metco has a financial education webpage that includes basic information, a link to free financial counseling and planning from the credit union, videos, a free credit report and an “ask me” link to a certified credit counselor nicknamed Mr. G.

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The Iowa credit union puts together three emails and four social media posts every month that focus on financial education.

“A lot of credit unions we see use email and social media for selling, but we want to focus on financial education,” Carlo says. “We believe if we educate our members, they’ll keep coming back.”

Patelco also offers financial education tools, including newsletters and its Financialocity Center. Its holiday campaign was a “content experiment” kicking off an effort to drive new membership growth and participation “through strong brand voice and engaging financial content aligned with our products and services,” Johnson says. Patelco will be promoting more such themed content through 2018.

Johnson also sees emails like this as perfect timing for the promotion of credit unions generally.

“Issues with trust and transparency have more people exploring alternatives to big banks,” she says. “That makes it a pertinent time to promote messages that position Patelco and the broader credit union movement as a financially friendly alternative.”

 

Dec. 18, 2017


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