Who Should I Contact?

I’ve been working with credit unions for Marketing and Communications related projects for close to 3 years, and the number one question I am asked every time we start building out a campaign together is, “Who should I contact?”

My answer would usually start out with something like, “Well, here’s what’s worked best for other credit unions that have done something similar,” however these recommendations may not always fit your needs.

To better identify your ideal audience, I recommend focusing on answering three questions prior to diving into the data and creating your campaign audience:

  1. What is your goal?
  2. What is your budget?
  3. Who qualifies?

We’ve all heard the thought of, “Let’s contact everyone over the age of 18 that is in ‘good standing’ with the credit union, and see who bites.” While this isn’t necessarily a bad idea, I encourage you to take a step back and think about the impact this may have on other staff, your membership, or statistics. I’ve seen cases where lending executives aren’t always the biggest fans of ‘contacting everyone’ as this can double the amount of rejection letters, as well as double the approvals. It also leaves out the possibility for any A/B or control group testing when we contact everyone in the same way, which I know marketing directors can be such a big fan of.

Instead of rushing into things, take your time.

Focus on your goals: Are you looking to obtain a specific dollar amount, percentage in growth, or to recapture as many outside loans or products as possible?

Focus on who qualifies: Do you have a minimum credit score requirement? Does the loan special only cover new money to your credit union? Do you have a preference for recapturing outside loans? And, most importantly, do the number of members you find in this audience actually line up with what your original goal was? If you wanted to see an increase of 33% more of your membership with using a specific product, but you only find 10% of your membership qualify, you may need to adjust either your goals or who qualifies.

This last point also falls in line with the question of your budget. If you can only afford to contact 10% of your membership, but want to see 25% more using a particular service, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Doing the research before hand can save you a lot of headache with your teams later, and set you up for success.

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