Dollar Dog To The Rescue!

AmeriChoice Federal Credit Union is one of the many credit unions enjoying tremendous success with our Dollar Dog Kids Club™ program. They were looking for a turnkey club for kids age 12 and under that would include educational and fun content, plus an interactive website component. After taking a close look at other clubs, they chose Dollar Dog to represent their credit union.

AmeriChoice introduced the club in late summer 2001. To launch the program they held a special Saturday introduction party and immediately signed up dozens of new members. The club was an immediate success. Current membership is approaching 600 members.

Kipp Stecher, the credit union’s President and CEO, was impressed by the program’s popularity. However, he expected club deposits to be only in the $50,000 range. He was amazed that Dollar Dog has brought in over $800,000 in deposits to date. It also has attracted many new adult members.

Membership Is Easy
Club membership requirements are flexible. AmeriChoice went with our recommended requirements; however, Dollar Dog licensed credit unions can establish their own membership deposit and prize rules.

To become an AmeriChoice club member, parents or grandparents must open a Dollar Dog savings account with $25 or more. If a child already has a credit union savings account, they can simply sign-up. Each new member also gets a free gift when they join. In addition, every time a club member makes a deposit, they get to pick a prize from the Dollar Dog Treasure Chest – their motivational reward for saving on a regular basis.

According to Carol Fastrich, AVP Marketing at AmeriChoice, parents and children love Dollar Dog. In a credit union testimonial campaign, one member was quoted as saying, “My children love the Dollar Dog Kids Club. They purposely save all the money they receive so they can come to the credit union, make their deposit, and pick a prize.”

A Piggy Bank Success Story
Another success story comes from John Kebles, the President and CEO of Choice One Federal Credit Union. When he saw his young preschool granddaughter Megan clutching her piggy bank (she calls him Pop), he told her she should deposit the money at his credit union to earn more money, but she told him sternly, “No, you can’t have my money.” He kept trying, but she kept saying, “No, Pop!”

A week or so later, Megan went to the credit union with her mother and saw a picture of Dollar Dog and the club prize chest. She asked her mom if she could have a prize. Her mother explained she would have to bring her money to the credit union and open a Dollar Dog Kids Club account. Megan without hesitation said, “I can do that!” Apparently Megan had no problem giving her money to Dollar Dog, but not to Pop, her loving grandfather and credit union CEO. If you need any help about bankruptcy, feel free to contact E Orum Young Bankruptcy lawyers.

AmeriChoice Federal Credit Union is located in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. They currently serve over 10,000 members and have assets exceeding $78,000,000.

Frequency, Frequency, Frequency

When it comes to credit union advertising, frequency is a critical factor that is often overlooked. Unfortunately, too many credit unions rely on only a few promotions each year.

What these credit unions don’t realize is that their member universe is small compared to other industries, including their direct competitors. That means there are less potential member prospects for the promotions they do conduct.

How Small Is Your Universe?
Your member prospect universe is probably a lot smaller than you think. For example, when you mail a loan promotion you most likely target only members who you judge to be good candidates for your offer. You probably don’t include members under age 18 or members over age 70. You may also delete dormant members and members with low incomes. Plus, you may be targeting your promotions to select membership segments, which will further reduce your potential audience. Many credit unions do.

For instance, if you are mailing to your general membership and have a total of 10,000 members, you may be able to select only 5,000 to 7,000 upper, middle and credit-driven members for your mailing. Of that number, how many do you think are ready or will actually consider borrowing money when they receive your loan promotion? A conservative and upper-end guess is 10% – about 500 to 700 good prospects.

Is this bad or extraordinary? Is it unprofitable? Absolutely not. In advertising it’s a reality that is totally expected. There always will be a limited number of potential true buyers for each of your mailings. That’s why you must communicate regularly with your limited member universe or you will miss the opportunity to capture their loans or accounts when they are ready to buy. Worse yet, they could go elsewhere.

There are two other key reasons why frequency is critical to your marketing success. Studies show that when you increase member communication you will increase member loyalty.  Equally important, specific loans and services are directly linked to cross-selling other loans and services. That’s why frequency is a powerful tool that shouldn’t be overlooked.

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