What Credit Union Marketing Automation Is and Why It Matters

Believe me, we get it: marketing efforts can lead to headaches. Nobody likes getting cold calls, people mute commercials, and pop-up ads are the worst.

Not all traditional marketing strategies result in headaches, though. Credit union marketing automation is different. It’s far more sophisticated—and less intrusive—than those marketing strategies.

Marketing automation relies on different principles. It’s more about guiding web traffic and site visitors from organic searches. Content, inbound funnels, and email nurturing campaigns educate curious parties about their interests. Then, the automation keeps them engaged until they’re ready to make a move.

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

What Can Automated Marketing Do that I Can’t?

Cold calls, commercials, and pop up ads give sales and marketing a bad name. And it’s easy to see why:

Those strategies are rarely relevant to the people who see them. Boner pill ads will show up for your grandmother as often as they will for someone who needs them.

Ads for things you don’t care about will be a nuisance at best. If the only way you advertise is by blasting your message indiscriminately, you’re probably bothering a lot of people. That’s a terrible way to build brand loyalty.

Here’s what marketing automation does:

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 the what people search for and read on your website. They look for things like:

  • 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 email address. 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. Now 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

Nobody wants to ask their doctor if—I don’t know… Drifexia?—is right for them. It’s probably not.

Similarly, your college student members don’t care about your credit union’s mortgage rates. Members looking to finance a new car don’t care about your great boat loans.

Using marketing automation, you effectively let your members tell you which services they care about. 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 have to 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

At CU 2.0, we’ve noticed another unsung benefit of marketing automation:

Consolidation.

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

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

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 marketing practice represents a major shift in marketing approach. You have to be ready for it, both technologically and culturally. However, for a little more work up front, you can drastically increase efficiency and efficacy down the line.

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. Also, it aids understanding of individual members. Really, it also takes a lot of the work out of the whole thing. Instead of manually configuring and starting workflows, the software can do it instead.

Learn more about marketing automation 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