Credit Education Month: Marketing to Your Members
March is National Credit Education Month, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only month in which financial responsibility matters. As a financial institution, you know everything about credit, but how educated are your members on their finances? Between the 2017 Equifax data breach and the rise of credit card delinquency rates, it matters now more than ever that your members know what credit is and what it means for their future financial security.
This Credit Education Month, focus on encouraging your members to do some financial spring cleaning by eliminating debt and building credit. Educating your members on types of credit, why credit is important and how they can start building credit matters to your institution because it can better your member relationships and encourage financial freedom. Here are some tips on how to kick off the most finance-friendly month of the year.
Why Member Education Matters
Your institution is built on relationships with members – and what better way to help build new and reinforce old ones than with education? By becoming a resource for information and long-term financial security, you can encourage members to keep coming back when they want to make those big life decisions.
If your members trust the recommendations and knowledge of your institution, they will be more likely to use their newfound credit education by opening lines with the company that empowered them to do so. Educated members are also more likely to responsibly handle their finances by making payments on time and diversifying their credit to qualify for new lines. It’s also imperative to recognize that, if your members don’t know how loans work before they borrow, they may be unable to successfully make payments and become responsible borrowers.
How to Teach Your Members About Credit
Knowledge matters, so let’s take a look at how you can make this Credit Education Month the most informative one yet – and, don’t worry, you can use these tips all year round in your marketing. To become the institution that keeps on giving, you’ll need to have a strong marketing foundation to build awareness, trust and the desire to gain more financial security.
Building credit through content marketing
Content marketing is useful for financial institutions because it can help build relationships with members. There are a lot of ways to engage your members with relevant content that will answer their burning questions and keep them engaged with your institution. By publishing content through mediums such as blogs, podcasts, and videos, you can provide extra value, while helping to inform your ideal members.
For members who are already signed up for a line of credit or other type of account with your institution, use this as an opportunity to encourage them to sharpen their financial skills for Credit Education Month. For the month of March, you can include general credit tips or even consider personalizing tips to match the credit of the members that they’re being sent to. For example, all members that have a line open with your most prestigious credit card could receive a tip at the bottom of their statement email along the lines of, “How to make the jump from having a ‘very good’ to having an ‘excellent’ credit score.”
Credit education events
Community is a large part of running a financial institution, which is why events are a great way to interact with current and potential members. Your institution can host free webinars, seminars or workshops and encourage attendees to reach out with your event staff if they’re interested in learning more or getting started with building their credit.
These can be as specific or as broad as you’d like, as long as they’re bringing value to the community. For example, your institution could host a seminar on home loans or a workshop on monthly budgeting. Some of these skills may seem obvious, but for those who are just getting started in the world of personal finances or those who want a refresher on current trends, they can make the world of a difference. Events are also significant to members because they give members a chance to ask questions and get immediate, face-to-face feedback.
Social media promotions
Building credit takes time, patience and control – all of which are worthy of applause. Pat your members on the back and highlight them on social media when they’ve reached credit milestones or successfully made big life purchases.
Whether you shout out a young professional who has just paid off their student loans or a retiree who just bought just dream vacation home, you can use social media to start conversations with your members and attract new ones. This strategy will encourage members to continue their path to great credit, while furthering the community that your institution has worked so hard to foster.
Mobile banking app and website
Your mobile baking app and website should not only be a useful tool but also a resource for your members. Consider adding features that will allow members to not only view their credit card balance and make payments online, but also view their actual credit score.
If a member doesn’t currently have a line of credit with your institution, make it easy for them to understand their credit situation by providing a credit score calculator. You can use a calculation that combines their income, debt and other expenses in order to provide an estimated score and link to other places on your site to learn more about improving it.
Consider adding a chatbot or online communication feature to your website so members can chat with an institution representative at their convenience. This will help to bridge the gap between remote and in-person conversation, and it can encourage members to reach out when questions arise. Instead of having to be placed on hold for a phone call, some members will be more inclined to talk online and set up appointments to learn more.
Your staff should be well informed on the world of credit, but empowering them with their personal score is a great way to celebrate this month in finance. You can try programs like the Experian Credit Educator Employee Program to provide a valuable resource to your employees. This can educate your staff about their own credit in one-on-one sessions, which will help them to continue the financially secure cycle with your members.
Encourage your members to learn more about credit and how it can impact their future financial security by giving them the resources to make educated decisions all year round.