These eight credit unions leveraged artificial intelligence and other digital marketing tools to boost loan programs, credit card campaigns and more.
Credit unions possess massive amounts of data, notes Preetha Pulusani, CEO of DeepTarget, a digital marketing company based in Madison, Alabama. “This data allows AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) models to continually learn and improve, to predict the characteristics and behaviors of individual users more accurately.”
Pulusani notes that AI can predict how likely a user is to apply for a loan or deposit product and use that information to personalize marketing campaigns and target offers. Plus, AI is faster—and potentially more accurate—than “a human trying to determine a product-fit with limited data manually.”
Below, Pulusani highlights some of her clients’ successes and best practices for leveraging AI and predictive analytics:
AlaTrust Credit Union: This $157 million CU based in Birmingham, Alabama, took a holistic approach to its electronic marketing campaigns, incorporating online and mobile channels for member referrals, auto loans, mortgages, HELOCs, community outreach and other member services. In 2020, members opened 1,137 new accounts influenced by the electronic campaigns in online and mobile banking. The CU had excellent campaign engagement each month: Every 18th unique member in digital banking clicked on an ad, and every 59th unique member opened an account.
Crane Credit Union: This $865 million CU based in Odon, Indiana, used the predictive modeling feature in DeepTarget to identify members who were good candidates for new vehicle loans. It used these audiences in multiple channels—online, mobile and email marketing starting in August 2021, and by early October, the CU had originated 80 vehicle loans for more than $1.9 million. Using AI to target significantly reduced their marketing cost per loan.
InFirst Federal Credit Union: This $224 million CU based in Alexandria, Virginia, implemented a credit card/Destination Savings campaign targeting non-cardholders aged 21-70 with a credit score above 620 and designed to encourage saving money with a rewards card. It creatively used its mascot dog in a fun and eye-catching way, yielding a 2.93% click-through rate, well above the industry average.
Jolt Credit Union: This $440 million CU based in Saginaw, Michigan, implemented a $1000 express loan campaign. Its target-by-rule campaign ran from June to September 2020, targeting individuals aged 18-59 interested in a $1,000 express loan, with no credit check required. The campaign ran on multiple digital channels, including online and mobile banking, and was promoted on other media. Digitally, the campaign had a click-through rate of 3.88%, resulting in 614 loans booked and $21,490 in fee income.
LBS Financial Credit Union: This $1.9 billion CU based in Long Beach, California, implemented a GAP (guaranteed auto protection) promotion that ran from Jan. 1, 2021, through May 31, 2021, using a target-by-rule method to offer free guaranteed auto protection with new or used car loans. The CU saw excellent ad results within both online and mobile banking platforms. With a click-through rate of over 3% and a conversion rate of 11%, it recorded 135 influenced conversions—members who took advantage of this promotion and closed new and used auto loans.
Michigan Schools and Government Credit Union: With debit/credit card purchases shrinking during the pandemic, this $2.9 billion CU based in Clinton Township, Michigan, launched its Everyday Extras campaign, running August 2020 through December 2020, and promoted cardholder credit and debit card usage. In five months, the campaign ran multiple ads in multiple channels, one for online banking and three for mobile, garnering over 7 million impressions with an excellent click-through rate of 7.11%. This generated over 15% year-over-year increase in dollar volume of debit and credit card activity.
Russell Country Federal Credit Union: This $92 million CU based in Great Falls, Montana, launched a home loans campaign, targeting all members with a goal to book $1.5 million in home loans. The CU utilized multiple digital channels—online, mobile, and email—and combined a well-executed follow-up on digital leads. This well-rounded campaign resulted in 2,184 unique impressions, 43 unique clicks, a click-through rate of 1.97%, and total loan dollars booked of $4,954,766. The campaign ended on Oct. 31, 2021, after exceeding its internal goal by 300%.
Seaboard Federal Credit Union: This $277 million CU based in Bucksport, Maine, offered a loan assistance campaign to assist members during the COVID-19 crisis. It provided a low-interest-rate personal loan and a 90-day payment deferment. The digital marketing campaign launched while lobbies were closed and staff worked remotely, netting positive results of nearly 6,000 unique impressions, 1,150 unique clicks, and a click-through rate of 13.22%. The campaign resulted in more than 300 personal loans closed which was an incredible 26% conversion rate.
Owner of Fab Prose & Professional Writing, Stephanie Schwenn Sebring assists credit unions, industry suppliers, and any company wanting great content and a clear brand voice. Follow her on Twitter @fabprose.