Inside Marketing: How Credit Unions Can Leverage Tailored Push Notifications to Drive Member Engagement

woman looking at notifications on mobile phone
By Gregg Hammerman

5 minutes

Push notifications can reach members with personalized messages and help earn lasting brand loyalty.

Today’s members want more tailored interactions. A recent study by AWS showed that 50% of digital banking consumers expect their credit union to provide a highly personalized experience. In an increasingly digital world with fewer face-to-face interactions, each member is on a unique financial journey and expects their credit union to communicate in a way that is relevant to their needs.

A great way to deliver these personalized communications is by meeting members on a channel they often use: their mobile devices. Studies show that Americans check their phones 352 times a day, or once every two minutes. Leveraging mobile-first communication methods, including push notifications, enables credit unions to stay top-of-mind and deliver tailored, timely messages that proactively address each member’s financial journey.

Why Push Notifications?

Mobile push notifications offer a communication channel that presents a significant opportunity to reach credit union members. With push notification messaging, members receive messages from the credit union that instantly appear on their screen, even if they aren’t currently using their mobile device. When members tap these notifications, they are taken directly to wherever the credit union would like them to go—whether that’s a specific website, landing page or the mobile banking app itself. This creates a new chance for members to engage and interact with their credit union provider.

Communicating via mobile-first channels is preferred by more and more members, as 89% of consumers regularly turn to mobile banking applications when interacting with their financial institutions. Thus, leveraging mobile push notifications unlocks the following communication advantages and enables credit unions to greatly enhance their member engagement strategies.

1. Deliver Personalized Messages

To increase the relevance of each push notification distributed to members, credit unions can personalize messages to fit their unique financial needs. Credit unions can gain a better understanding of each member’s financial journey by conducting data analysis that indicates their financial habits, account status, how often they interact with the credit union, the products and services they are accessing, etc. This data can then be leveraged to deliver intuitive messages that are targeted to address the financial needs and goals of each member, which will in turn increase chances of engagement.

2. Stay Top-of-Mind

Push notifications are a powerful communication channel because they are proactive and allow credit unions to stay top-of-mind even when members may not be thinking about engaging with their providers. Paired with the fact that each notification is practically guaranteed to be seen by members on the day of distribution, credit unions using push notifications are often more likely to be regarded as a trusted financial guide.

3. Earn Greater Engagement

Push notifications have significant potential to boost member engagement rates, as each message encourages immediate action. These alerts are typically seen as trustworthy by members because they are distributed directly from the mobile banking app and members must opt-in to receive the notifications. Data from Larky indicates that about 85% of members opt-in to receiving push notifications from their credit unions, meaning that these members are choosing to engage and there is a stronger likelihood they will read all received messages.

Compared to more traditional communication methods (i.e., email, SMS texts, etc.), push notifications often offer seven times higher tap-through rates. These alerts can also increase mobile banking platform use by up to 88%, as each tapped notification directs members back to the application for further engagement.

4. Build Stronger Loyalty

When members experience their credit union acting as a financial resource by providing timely and relevant information to meet their banking needs, they’re not only more likely to engage but also to place greater trust in the credit union. This trust inherently paves the way for deeper connections and stronger brand loyalty.

Leveraging Push Notifications

Credit unions can easily begin using push notifications by distributing a variety of messages through their mobile banking app. Many providers create messages to alert members of account status updates, branch announcements, new products and services, relevant financial wellness tips, upcoming community events and more.

A few examples of the different topics that credit unions can approach with members via push notification messages include:

  • Transaction and application status notifications: Provide timely alerts on transactions, loan application statuses or reminders about upcoming payment dates.
  • Personalized offers and cross-selling opportunities: Encourage members to explore additional products and services relevant to their financial needs that they may not know are available. For example, providers could promote low auto loan rates available to members or applicable credit card offers.
  • Security notifications and education: Credit unions can send members security notifications to provide peace of mind (or request timely action) along with providing details on the security features available to them. These types of notifications specifically are more likely to be trusted and acted upon as they are coming directly from the member’s installed mobile banking app, as opposed to messages they receive via email or SMS text, which could be fraudulent.
  • Community Events: Share upcoming events within the local area to establish the credit union as a reliable community resource.
  • Financial support messaging and tips: Increase engagement by sharing relevant financial tips and support attuned to the needs of each member. If applicable, credit unions can also create messages to alert members of upcoming financial wellness classes and additional educational opportunities.

Push notifications offer credit unions an optimal channel for reaching members at the right place with the right messages customized to their needs. By communicating with members through a preferred mobile method, credit unions build greater engagement, deeper loyalty and a stronger reputation as a trusted resource within the community.

Gregg Hammerman is the CEO of Larky, a market leader of consumer engagement technology that empowers financial institutions to proactively communicate and engage with their audience at the ideal time and place. Larky can be followed on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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