Monday, September 26, 2011

6 Ways to Bring in Black Friday Gold

By Margie Church
Tie your next promotion to a current event to increase your credit union's year-end sales goals, membership, and visibility in the communities you serve.  I'm sure you've tried the following promotions before, but what if you remodeled one especially for Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Depending on your promotion, you could start a few days prior to Thanksgiving and extend the offer until Christmas.

Put a new spin on one of these timely promos.
  1. Auto loans are very hot right now. Offer a very competitive rate. Capitalize on any manufacturer incentives available for new car loans. Consider offering discounted GAP insurance, holding a grand prize drawing for a substantial gift card, making their first month's payment (including the interest), 90-days-no pay to get through the holidays, or some combination of these.
  2. Skip-a-Pay, personal loan, and credit card promotions. Help shoppers feel better about managing holiday expenses by offering a skip promo. These are incredibly popular. Offer a special, lower interest rate on personal loans. Reward new credit card accounts with a cash incentive to transfer higher interest balances and save. Provide payment/savings examples for instant appeal on any loan products.  
  3. Increase the dividend rate on a CD or other investment product. Have a gift tree or prize box members can select from when they take advantage of your offer.
  4. Using QR codes, hold a website scavenger hunt to get members to try electronic banking services.  Make sure landing pages are formatted for mobile viewing.
  5. Hold a Help Our Neighbors project. Invite community members to drop off an item or cash for the local food shelf or other charitable organization your credit union supports. Provide materials to write holiday cards to deployed soldiers. Hold an adopt-a-family promo to help ease holiday/winter anxiety for a deserving family.
  6. Hold a membership drive at the branches and online. Treat new members right by waiving or matching the membership fee and deposit the money into the new member's share account. Provide refreshments and plenty of enthusiasm to whoever comes by. Let children decorate ornaments or cookies while your staff talks to the adults.
Cross-channel marketing: a must-do

A combination of electronic marketing tools with print is the best way to get your brand and your offer in front of busy people. We recommend this strategy all year long, for every campaign. Shoppers especially look for holiday bargains on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and during Christmas week. Online sales sometimes eclipse onsite sales on Black Friday. In a September 15, 2011 article, Google predicts 15% of Black Friday searches will to be made using mobile devices (smartphones and electronic tablets). The bottom line is you can't ignore the preferred method of shopping and information-gathering for Gen X and Y: it's electronic. Whether your campaign runs for a few hours or longer, we can help you can turn Black Friday into gold.

Start your promotion with a personalized postcard, statement stuffer or letter. Include a QR code for mobile device users to respond. Follow up with an email. Use PURLs/GURLS to capture responses fast. (Did you know that when a person clicks on the PURL/GURL, their information is captured and you have a lead, even if they don't submit their information?) Landing pages must be formatted for mobile viewing. Many website and blog hosts provide this service already and with a click of a button, everything is reformatted for you.

At the branch, use banners, posters, counter cards, fliers, and buttons to grab attention from members and prospects. Use website banners to alert online bankers to your promotion.

Do you have a great campaign success story or an epic failure to share? We'd love to hear from you.

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