How To Encourage New Member Referrals

This week, features examples from across the industry of successful credit union new member referral programs.

Total credit union membership has never been higher. But as the industry looks to remain relevant for the next generation of members, credit unions will count heavily on current members to spread the credit union difference and refer new members.

This week, features examples from across the industry of successful credit union new member referral programs.

First Financial Federal Credit Union has put a cash bounty on rounding up new business.

It launched its Tell a Friend program in 2012, and existing members helped bring in 77 new accounts in 11 months last year.

Each year, First Financial refines the program to ensure the credit union stands out in its hyper-competitive metro market on the Jersey Shore just south of New York City.

Tell a Friend has helped the credit union improve its year-over-year quarterly membership growth metrics from minus 7% in December 2011 to minus 0.68% in December 2015. In Referred With A K.I.S.S. Jessica Revoir, the credit union’s assistant vice president of marketing, shares what the credit union has learned along the way.

Harvest Federal Credit Union is an occupational-based credit union that serves its approximately 2,500 members through its sole branch located on Licking View Drive in Heath, OH. The Buckeye credit union has seven employees, among them a CEO and operations manager. What it doesn’t have is a dedicated marketing person.

In December 2014, Harvest brought in a local third-party firm, Two Score, to jumpstart its marketing efforts. Specifically, Harvest wanted to launch a referral program to attract new members.

To see how the credit union was able to add members through a family-focused referral program, read Keep New Member Referrals All In The Family by Callahan associate editor Erik Payne.

Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union has more branches than RiverTrace Federal Credit Union has employees 14 versus seven but the two institutions have more in common than a federal charter.

Each has been posting member growth numbers that exceed industry averages, driven in large part by indirect auto lending. But not exclusively. Good deals in checking accounts and good ol’ community outreach also play a part.

According to third quarter performance data from Callahan & Associates, RiverTrace added 1,250 members from 2014 to 2015. Its 90.51% year-over-year jump in membership places the Virginia credit union at the top of the list for credit unions with the highest 12-month member growth and no significant mergers. Learn more in How 2 Credit Unions Became Leaders In Member Growth, by Callahan senior writer Marc Rapport.

Adding 3.1 million members over 12 months, credit unions report the highest ever membership. In this week’s Graphic Of The Week, Leaders In Credit Union Membership, industry analyst Stephanie Clark identifies the credit union leaders in overall membership.

February 8, 2016

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