5 Ideas for Driving Credit Union Membership in 2024

By: Web Finance Direct

For credit unions, members are everything. From reduced risk exposure to an expanded impact on the community, the more diverse a credit union’s customer base is, the better its ability to see increased deposits and offer more loans will become. As a result, it’s important to make sure your credit union is striving for new ways to find members while also keeping existing ones happy.


5 Ideas to Drive Credit Union Membership

Step One: Expand Marketing Efforts

To make your credit union from your competitors, high-quality customized, and authentic marketing are all important trends to harness in 2024 and beyond At the end of the day, it’s important to educate potential members about your offering in ways that will best communicate your value and the benefits they stand to gain. So, what are some of the major benefits of marketing for credit unions?

Credit Union Ad Examples

An example of a unique ad concept from Elevations Credit Union.

Top Benefits for Marketing Your Credit Union

Higher Awareness

Perhaps the most significant benefit of consumer marketing for credit unions is increased awareness among potential members looking for a new financial institution that better meets their needs. They may not be familiar with your credit union or the unique advantages you can offer them. Effective marketing for today’s consumer helps to build awareness about credit unions as an alternative to traditional banks and online banking options. A good approach to reach these increasingly marketing-savvy consumers is to highlight unique advantages such as lower fees, better interest rates, and a focus on personal, accessible customer service.

Better Trust

Reaching today’s financial consumer requires an authentic, personal approach. Customers in every industry have come to expect a more personalized experience that speaks to their unique values. Creating and maintaining a genuine, accessible relationship with these consumers establishes trust and credibility. In the financial sector, these are essential factors for attracting and retaining members. Marketing for credit unions that emphasizes transparency, financial education, and community involvement can help credit unions establish themselves as trusted financial partners.

Better Promotion of Products, Services, & More

To retain current members and attract new ones, credit unions need to promote their products and services in ways that successfully reach these groups. Marketing for credit unions helps them to inform potential and existing members of new offerings, special promotions, or updates and changes to existing services. This helps make sure they’re aware of the full range of financial solutions offered by the credit union, and the benefits they provide. 

Step Two: Be Involved in the Community

A financial institution’s involvement in local social issues is of increasing importance to Millenial and Gen Z consumers. Community involvement can be as simple as sponsoring fundraisers for local charities or underwriting organizations that aim to address problems in the community. Not only is community engagement important for credit union members, but it can also be a major selling point for recruiting new employees. 

While supporting the local economy and strengthening the bonds with its members, credit unions can also build partnerships with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies that appeal to their ideal customer base. These partnerships can lead to mutually beneficial collaborations such as joint marketing efforts, shared resources, or co-sponsored events all of which can enhance the credit union’s reach and impact within the community. Progressive or socially minded efforts are an important way to engage these younger demographics, which are an increasingly important market segment.

Similar to marketing, community engagement also helps credit unions establish credibility as socially minded and aware, and fosters trustworthiness. Participating in initiatives such as financial education programs, sponsorships, and charitable giving demonstrates the credit union’s genuine and authentic interest in the welfare of the community.

Authenticity is a key driver of marketing to both Millennial and Gen Z consumers, and it’s important to make sure your efforts here are genuine. Avoid “salesy” language or inauthentic marketing techniques so that you don’t alienate these younger consumers.

Step Three: Harness the Potential of Indirect Lending

Online banking options have increased significantly in the past couple of years. Many online-only banking service providers are offering extremely competitive rates on a variety of lending options, making traditional lending more difficult to present to a discerning marketplace. Indirect lending is becoming an indispensable tool for traditional lenders looking to acquire or retain younger customers who may be more comfortable with online or “fintech” banking solutions. For credit unions, this type of lending can open up access to a wider range of applicants across multiple industries.

At Web Finance Direct, we specialize in helping credit unions and banks connect with qualified applicants. We do the hard work — including all administrative and closing tasks associated with loans — so you have more time to focus on giving your new members a positive experience.

indirect lending credit union process

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Step Four: Invest in Tech

Today’s banking customers expects always-on, easily accessible access to all of their banking services and information. Investing in the appropriate tools and infrastructure to support this sort of customized, personal approach is one of the best ways to stay competitive with younger borrowers. Whether through updated mobile apps, web-based chatbots, customer service options powered by artificial intelligence, or even an updated and mobile-friendly website, convenience, reliability, and instantly available banking features are some of the most important things a lender or credit union can offer its members.

By leveraging better technology and offering a customized and user-friendly experience, credit unions can attract new members by meeting the increasing demand for ease of use, accessibility, and security.

Though investing in and improving on the technology you offer your members brings with it associated costs, the right technology can help you save money over time. For instance, an advanced mobile app or web-based chat service can reduce the need for in-person transactions at branches, helping credit unions save on operational costs. This, in turn, gives staff more time to focus on serving customers in person and enables credit unions to offer more competitive rates and fees.

As we head further into 2024 and beyond, advances in technology, AI, and machine learning will become an even greater part of the financial services landscape. Investing in these technologies now can help ensure you’ll stay competitive, as well as set the stage for future growth and the adoption of developing technologies.

Step Five: Incentivize Referrals

The final — and some may argue most important — idea for driving credit union membership is to provide current members with incentives for referrals. A compelling referral bonus, whether in cash or another reward, may drive them to bring friends and family along, increasing your overall membership and reach within the community.

Credit unions can create referral programs to seamlessly track and measure success, allowing them to assess the effectiveness of their campaigns, adjust their strategies, and optimize their efforts. Additionally, referral incentives could prove to be more cost-friendly than wider-facing marketing campaigns, as credit unions will only need to pay out when they finalize a new member.

To learn more about Web Finance Direct and how we can help your credit union grow your business, contact us to get in touch with our team of experts. You can also check out our blog to read up on the top trends in the financial world.

Credit Union Membership Growth FAQs

How do you attract people to join your credit union?

There are many ideas for driving credit union membership growth. Start with the right marketing, an investment in the right technology, and even indirect lending with Web Finance Direct.

What are some unique ideas for credit union membership drives?

Apart from referral incentives, credit unions can turn to community events, whether by hosting or sponsoring, to get their brand in front of the eyes of potential members.

How can credit unions measure the success of their membership drives?

It depends on what the credit union’s ultimate goal is. You could measure success based on how many new members you attract or even how many people attend the event.

How can credit unions encourage current members to attend events?

The best way is to incentivize their attendance. It can be effective to give referral bonuses, such as cash or event tickets, for bringing friends and family to sign up.

What should credit unions include in their membership drive marketing materials?

The most important marketing materials for credit unions should give new members more information about the credit union, including its impact on the community, rates, special offers, and more.