Marketing Automation for Credit Unions: It’s Total Expert vs Everyone

At CU 2.0, we think that marketing automation is necessary for any organization that cares about digital engagement. It’s why we recommend it to every credit union:

Marketing automation platforms offer a view of consumers and consumer behavior unrivaled by just about anything else. That view is key to providing individualized experiences. Especially at scale.

Recently, CU 2.0 partnered with Total Expert to improve the credit union member experience. Here’s why we made that decision.

 

Where Marketing Automation Succeeds

Modern marketing automation platforms do a lot more than marketing. They’re also about sales, organization, and consumer engagement. And, while things like email platforms and CRMs can come close, they’re simply not comprehensive enough. They don’t offer the same holistic view.

The whole point is that a good platform will tell you a lot about a member. It will let you do all the following (and more), automated and at scale:

  • Know who’s shopping for an auto loan and send them targeted offers;
  • See how members speak with and about your credit union on social media;
  • Congratulate members on life milestones and financial achievements;
  • Provide additional information based on their interests or browsing history.

Contacting members about irrelevant products—or with unhelpful advice—is a sure way to make your members feel misunderstood. It may even erode confidence in your credit union.

Marketing automation ensures that all your interactions are personally relevant to each member.

 

Where Marketing Automation Fails

Not all marketing automation is created equal. And often, a platform that works well for one industry doesn’t work well in another. CU 2.0 has helped many credit unions get up and running with marketing automation. Here are a few common pitfalls:

  • The credit union lacks the internal resources to properly use the platform;
  • The pricing structure of the platform is prohibitively expensive;
  • The platform is too complex for untrained users.

Many credit unions have tried marketing automation with a mountain of enthusiasm… and then abandoned it with the same level of enthusiasm. That’s because creating custom workflows, updating rules, and ironing out technical kinks during setup do take time and energy.

 

Why We Partnered with Total Expert

CU 2.0 has worked with several marketing automation platforms. We’re familiar with Hubspot, which is the gold standard for many industries. However, Hubspot’s pricing structure is nuts for credit unions, making them a very poor choice.

We use and sell SharpSpring, which has been very successful for non-credit union clients. Unfortunately, the learning curve is steep for new users and there are no prebuilt campaigns to draw from. It’s a great option for credit unions with a DIY culture, but not great if you want all the setup done for you.

Marketo costs more than SharpSpring but offers less. Zoho was clunky, limited, and ultimately ineffective.

Ultimately, the main issue with most solutions is that they’re made for multiple industries. They don’t cater specifically to credit union needs. That affects everything, from setup speed, to compliance, to the support experience.

Which brings us to Total Expert. Total Expert initially contacted us a while ago and offered a demo. We accepted. And… we were impressed. Their platform is tailor made for credit unions (and other community financial institutions).

Their experience platform—not “marketing automation platform,” they’ll remind you—combines marketing, sales, compliance, engagement, and education… and automation, of course. But there were three things that really impressed us about Total Expert.

  1. Total Expert is darn near omnichannel. They help credit unions connect with members through more than just email. Social, SMS (text), phone, etc.
  2. Total Expert’s support staff knows what you need. We found that other platforms’ support staff needed the quirks of the credit union industry explained to them. They were usually confused about why a solution that works for banks or retail establishments wouldn’t always work the same for credit unions.
  3. Total Expert is dead simple. Not only does Total Expert provide some out-of-the-box workflows, but they make it easy to edit or create your own. Not that marketing automation is difficult, but they’ve straightened out the learning curve significantly.

These three things are what give us so much confidence in Total Expert. We felt that the majority of credit unions we’ve spoken to would see more success with Total Expert than with other platforms. Of course, all credit unions are different, and other platforms may be better suited to credit unions of different sizes, demographics, etc.

This is one of the rare times we’ll say:

Let us know if you’d like a friendly introduction to the Total Expert team!

Additional Reading

If any of this went over your head, don’t worry. We wrote a whole primer about it right here.

The CU 2.0 Facebook group recently had a good discussion about member experience platforms. If you haven’t yet, join us! It’s all discussion, no sales.

Join the CU 2.0 Strategists Facebook Group!