What Credit Union Marketing Automation Is and Why It Matters

Here’s the problem:

Digital marketing suffers from low conversion rates, an overabundance of tools and platforms, and poor transparency. Marketing automation platforms address all of those issues.

Read on to learn more about what marketing automation is, how it works, and what it can do for your credit union.

And, if you work at a credit union, subscribe to our newsletter! We offer lots of tips, tricks, and best practices for marketing automation.

The Current State of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is a wild world right now. There are so many options to choose from, and all of them require some level of expertise. That’s a lot for some credit unions to handle. Consider:

  • Social media
  • Email
  • Paid display and retargeting ads
  • Content
  • Paid search engine marketing

Those digital marketing strategies merely scratch the surface of what’s out there. Often, each strategy requires its own suite of tools to make it work. But, while those strategies will bring people to your site, they can’t make them convert.

The average conversion rate for site visitors is between 2.5–3%. To bring people back to your products, promotions, and offers, you might need to give them a nudge.

That’s where marketing automation comes in.

What if you could guide site visitors to the products they want and qualify for? Imagine bringing people back to your site after they leave so you can help them learn more and make a better buying decision. Imagine getting new leads from Google search visitors who read your content and get interested.

Now, imagine doing that all from one place. From a single dashboard. And seeing how each user interacts with your site.

After a while, you’d get pretty good at knowing which visitors what which things… and you’ll be able to tell a hot lead from someone who’s just browsing!

What Can Automated Marketing Do That I Can’t?

A lot of digital marketing suffers from the same problems as traditional marketing:

It presents irrelevant offers to uninterested people. Can you imagine offering a home improvement loan to a member with $50 in their share draft account and no mortgage? Or suggesting a premium credit card to a member with a 500 FICO score?

Marketing the wrong products to the wrong people drains your resources and bothers your audiences.

Marketing automation improves your ability to accurately target qualified leads with content and offers that appeal to them. It follows up with related material and marketing actions automatically.

Content becomes a powerful marketing asset when used in conjunction with inbound funnels and nurturing campaigns. Automated lead scoring completes the package.

Here’s more of what you can expect from a marketing automation platform:

Automated Behavior-Based Outreach

Marketing automation tracks digital engagement across your credit union’s channels. It provides quantitative analysis of all online interactions, from your website to your social media accounts.

This allows automation platforms to be much smarter about advertisements. They track what people search for and read on your website, including:

  • Which pages people visit
  • How visitors arrive there
  • Visitor time on page
  • Where they navigate after
  • When people open emails

If someone searches for “auto loans near me,” you’ll know if they landed on your website from that search. You’ll know if they read about car buying tips, or if they checked out your rates.

From there, an automation platform can take over. If they’re not already a member, the platform can help you get their contact info. Then, it can send related material to help them through the loan application and car buying process.

How Nurturing Campaigns Work

This follow-up with related material is called a “nurturing campaign.” Nurturing campaigns are subtle email reminders that your credit union can provide value through their buying process.

For example, you might send them blogs about how to get the best deal while car shopping. You could follow that up with an infographic about leasing vs buying, or an offer for a low introductory rate.

(The visitor already self-identified as a prospective auto loan target. So, any further outreach should be about auto loans or related services.)

Even if the lead doesn’t apply for a loan from you, you’ve provided value. You’ve helped them through a major life event by providing education and support. They’ll remember that. And that’s the credit union difference!

How Lead Scoring Improves Marketing

Marketing automation tracks visitor interaction across your digital platforms. It monitors their activity with your credit union, granting you granular insight about individual engagement with things like:

  • Social media
  • Email
  • Your website
  • Other websites or web activity

After collecting enough data about your members’ habits, needs, and wants, you can gain a clearer picture of what makes them tick. It’s much easier to identify which of your products and services are relevant to them.

Plus, marketing automation assigns values to different kinds of activity. Those values are added up as visitors continue engaging, which creates a lead score. Higher total scores indicate a more interested visitor.

Through lead scoring, marketing automation can help you learn who is most interested in your services. If they have sufficiently high lead scores, you can target them for further marketing or a sales call.

Good lead scoring ensures that by the time you reach out, you’ll know your lead is interested.

Who Really Benefits from Automation

It’s important to meet your members on their terms. Behavior-based outreach ensures that you can do just that. Plus, with lead scoring capabilities, you’ll be able to increase or decrease your efforts as necessary.

Oh, and the best part? That’s all done automatically. Lower effort, higher reward. Credit union marketing automation software streamlines and optimizes the relationship between credit union and member.

1. How members benefit from marketing automation

Your marketing is guaranteed to be relevant to your audience.

By tracking site visitor activity, you let your members show you which offers they want. If someone is looking at credit cards on your site, the automation platform will send them only content about credit cards. That helps your credit union provide value to your members by helping them find more information about their interests.

If someone is demonstrably not interested, the automation software understands that and backs off.

2. How credit unions benefit from marketing automation

Marketing isn’t always easy. Sometimes credit unions feel that they are simply throwing money into a void and hoping for the best. Other times, credit unions take wild guesses about where to advertise, and to whom. That can feel like taking aim and pulling the trigger without a target.

Marketing automation software paints the target for you, and then it tells you when to fire.

Ultimately, the benefit to the credit union is that they gain a better understanding a few basics:

What to advertise, who to advertise to, and when to do it.

Bonus Round: Tool Consolidation

Why use three tools instead of one? Or four tools. Or five. Et cetera. Marketing automation platforms help credit unions de-clutter their digital landscapes. Automation can replace any number of the following:

  • Email marketing platform
  • Social media manager
  • CRM
  • Form builder
  • Visitor ID tool
  • Campaign analytics tracker
  • Chatbot

If that’s not enough, there are always the apps and integrations. The point is that you don’t need SurveyMonkey, SalesForce, and HootSuite. At least, not if you don’t want them.

Is Marketing Automation Right for Your Credit Union?

Bringing automation into your credit union may be a big change. You must be ready for it, both technologically and culturally. However, for a little more work up front, you can increase efficiency and efficacy later.

Relying on traditional marketing strategies can certainly work. After all, it’s gotten us this far. Still, a robust marketing automation suite can drastically reduce:

Marketing automation software is the best way to begin understanding the needs of different member segments… and then serving them in a timely, relevant way.

CU 2.0 partners with Total Expert to deliver marketing automation solutions to credit unions of any size. See more in the link below:

Learn more about our marketing automation solutions here.

To learn more about credit union marketing automation, strategy, and fintech partnerships, follow the links below!

Credit Union Marketing in the Digital Age

Email Marketing vs Marketing Automation for Credit Unions