Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Why Would You Skip a Skip?

By Margie Church

Traditionally timed for the holiday season and summer vacations, credit union members find skip-a-pay promotions as irresistible as fresh popcorn. They provide a service that members want and generate income for the credit union. In other words, skip-a-pay promotions are gimmies.

You don't have to do anything extraordinary to have a successful campaign. Our clients who send a simple letter have seen 137% ROI. Those who use more than one channel – either a letter with a PURL or email with a PURL—see significantly higher returns. In fact, one client saw an ROI of over 1,500%. While that number is atypical, many clients see 300% or more ROI.  As you can see, the fee income is usually more than enough to pay for the promotion (at least at our place), and the interest income is an added bonus. Some clients have experienced such success with skip-a-pays that they promote them as part of the initial loan offer. There's a win-win for everyone involved.

Skip promotion also give you a relevant, timely reason to contact your members. They boost your visibility at a time when home and auto loans are scarce, and credit card use has declined. Do you know the formula for creating top of mind awareness? Contact the same person three times in seven nights sleep to remember your message. To have long term recall, you also need to have that contact on a regular basis. Long-term recall is critical to building brand awareness. Remember, when need meets awareness, you get a sale. 

Even if your budget has been spent or nearly so, resist the urge to cut a promotion that's a sure thing. If you've never tried a skip-a-pay, isn't it time to add this effective tool to your marketing plan? 

When you think about it, not having an annual or semi-annual skip-a-pay promotion actually costs your credit union money in terms of lost income.

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