Obtaining new members as a credit union can be challenging. It takes a rather large nudge to get folks to switch banking institutions. Generally speaking, even getting people to consider switching banks takes a significant life event such as a move or change in marital status and can require some great credit union marketing effort. 

That’s why establishing a precise and robust credit union marketing plan is crucial. Here are six proven tactics that will help you grow your credit union and gain members like crazy. 

First, a few helpful hints on credit union marketing. 

Credit unions are neck and neck with national banks in rankings of where consumers will likely take their business, but trailing behind regional and local banks. That’s why it’s so essential to establish an excellent credit union marketing strategy. 

Also check out: Top software for banks to increase efficiency

Before you dive headfirst into the bottomless pool of credit union marketing options, take a moment to get your plan in order and budget. Don’t waste your time and resources, simply throwing many ideas at the wall to see what sticks. 

Nail down a credit union marketing strategy.

It’s tempting to go down all of the various rabbit holes of marketing for the most exposure. However, try to narrow your focus, at least at first. 

Being more clear-cut on the scope of your strategy will make things easier. Start with the tips we have provided below and master those avenues before moving onto other endeavors.  

Have a solid credit union brand image and mission statement.

If you think about it, most credit union ads are pretty indistinguishable from one another. That’s why you need to do a bang-up job making your credit union stand out. 

Develop a one of a kind credit union brand and a powerful mission statement to set you apart from another financial institution. Think about bold logo choices and impassioned statements. Do your homework to ensure your development efforts appeal to your target audience. 

Stay consistent.

Since you’re going to be working with a handful of marketing strategies simultaneously, make sure that your messaging is consistent across the board. Always use the same logo and brand image, even some of the same content throughout each campaign. 

1. Invest in quality content marketing.

It seems like all marketing is content marketing, right? Well, partially. All of your ad campaigns, seo, and marketing tools will entail content designed to convert potential members. However, very specifically, content marketing is centered around providing relevant, valuable, entertaining, and consistent material for your audience, often used as a lead generation tool. 

Quality content is achieved in  a few ways: 

  • Blog posts – think about what your prospective members want to learn about, and how you can generate content that will highlight the value your credit union brings to the table.
  • Releasing case studies and infographics – feature interesting stats and demographic data about credit unions, and of course, their long list of benefits. 

Membersfirst credit union’s blog is a great example. They keep it simple and offer super informative infographics that are easy to read and aid members.

As with all your marketing endeavors, make sure that you have a solid strategy for your financial services’ content. Don’t just post for the sake of it to get more random stuff out there. 

Provide your potential new members with useful information. Offer answers to common questions or help them find a solution to a problem. This way, they know they can look to you for guidance, which will instill trust in your organization. 

2. Good old advertising.

Advertising is where your super solid branding and mission statement comes in. Use all of the hard work you’ve put into your credit union’s brand and content creation to generate action-oriented ads.

We know that any advertisement’s goal is to introduce products to new customers/members, convert their interest into a sale, and showcase new products to existing members. With these main points in mind, focus your ad campaigns to do exactly that. 

A general rule of thumb is to keep the ad simple, while still hooking the viewer’s attention and being informative. That can be a fine line to walk. Take a page out of teg federal credit unions’ book with their “rejection hurts” ad campaign. 

They grab the viewer’s attention with a bit of comedy, highlight a pain point for the average consumer, outline why their credit union is the right choice, and provide easy to click contact information—all in one little ad. 

3. Start a referral marketing campaign.

Ask happy members to tell a friend, and then reward them for doing so. It’s a win-win! You gain a new member and have added even more value to your services for an existing member.

This strategy of incentive marketing is becoming pretty standard and is super easy to get off the ground. For instance, you can send a message to existing members with your credit union’s latest refer a friend bonus with some catchy content. 

Within the message, provide them a clear path for getting their friend’s info into your system as a lead. Such as a link to a sign-up form. Make sure to explain what the member should expect when that lead turns into a new customer. 

Here is an excellent example of a fun little infographic from archer heights credit union. It hits the main points, clearly states what the customer should expect, and offers them a few referral options. And most importantly, it has a button to direct them to the appropriate site.

4. Engage the community.

Members want to know that your credit union cares about more than just the bottom line. They want to feel that your organization is invested in the community and engaging with residents on a level that isn’t strictly monetary.

Incorporate giving into your credit union’s core mission as an institution. There are various ways that you can show community support. Here are just a few suggestions. 

Sponsor a local charity.

Invest in your community by sponsoring or donating to local charities. Consider non-profit organizations that are near and dear to your target audience’s heart. You can’t go wrong with the local humane society or a charity for children.

Some credit unions even ask organizations that receive donations to participate in a financial evaluation for their employees. Financial evaluations help solidify your credit union’s connection to these charitable organizations by offering their staff financial guidance, plus it opens up the possibility of more leads. 


Starting an employee volunteerism program at your credit union is a fantastic way to bring your brand into the community. Align your volunteer efforts with your donations to send home your credit union’s goal to invest in local charitable efforts. 

Also, don’t forget to publicize your work. You can even build a whole ad campaign around how you are known for being the most involved credit union in town. Taking time to get out into the community and offer a helping hand goes a long way. 

Host a food drive.

First, find your local food bank and initiate a collection strategy. Having a food donation location at your office can bring folks in. While they are there, use it as a chance to chat about your community outreach programs, and of course, all of the wide variety of services you offer. 

Take this opportunity to send out some great content to existing members. Put together a messaging campaign to let them know you have organized a food donation drive and to tell a friend.

5. Utilize social media.

Recent studies show that most financial institutions will be spending roughly 62% of their ad budget on digital marketing media alone. 

So if you are going to be dedicating such a substantial chunk of your marketing budget to digital marketing, you better make sure all that work pays off by being abundantly present on social media platforms. 

Social media holds a whole lot of sway these days. So there is no wonder why marketing on the most popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn is booming. Use these online spaces to showcase just how great working with your credit union is. 

6. Try out Podium.

This is a great tool for any marketing initiative. And a bonus? There’s a free option available to help keep your budget down. Podium is a multi-faceted platform that allows you to manage all of your online marketing efforts in one easy to access place.

Podium’s webchat service gives you the ability to interact instantly with interested viewers who visit your site. With the click of a button, potential members can initiate a text conversation so you can convert those clicks into membership. Plus, it tracks those conversion stats for you. 

Podium also offers a one of a kind platform for reviews. Compiling all of the most relevant review sites and giving you the tools to automate review requests across all platforms. Podium makes it simple for your members to rate your credit union to help you grow a large positive online reputation. 

Stand up to the challenge.

We know it can be tough gathering new members for your credit union. Staying relevant in an increasingly competitive market is an ever-evolving struggle. However, we have faith that with these six tips for marketing your credit union, you can land more members than ever before. 

Just remember to invest in producing top-notch content and stick to simple, finely tuned ads. With that, captivating content put together incentive referral programs to reward existing members and generate new leads.  

A little community involvement goes a long way in cultivating a strong relationship with your credit union. Show your neighbors how much your organization cares by donating and volunteering with local non-profits. 

Engage new and existing members on social media and do that seamlessly with Podium. If you do these few things, we’re confident you’ll stand above the rest. Did we mention that you can get started with Podium for free?

Jeff Moss
Jeff Moss AVP of Financial Services Enterprise Sales

Jeff Moss is a credit union and bank professional at Podium, the leading messaging platform that connects financial institutions with their members and prospects.

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