Last year, idea5 performed several website studies. One study in particular focused on the effectiveness of bank and credit union websites across the country. Our sample included several hundred financial institutions in many different locations and asset ranges. We reported the results in our June 2014 through August 2014 newsletters.
Highly ranked at number 5 in our study was Dupaco Community Credit Union in Dubuque, Iowa. Dupaco has $1.3 billion in assets with over 86,000 members, with locations across Iowa. This was the first credit union I was a member of (at the youthful age of 14), as my grandparents were gracious enough to open an account for me. I was curious why Dupaco was highly ranked, and decided to “explore” the reasons.
One of the main reasons for higher-than-normal website traffic to the credit union – and thus a factor in the high ranking – was a unique loan promotion ran by Dupaco called the GreenBack Impact promotion. From July through October of 2014, Dupaco ran a loan promotion for members and new members. The promotion offered members (or new members) the opportunity to move their loans with another institution to Dupaco. They could either refinance or obtain a new loan at Dupaco. A calculation of how much the member saved over the life of the new loan was made. Simple: (Old Rate – New Rate) x Volume x Term. The amount saved was added to a running total of savings for people who took advantage of the offer. This total was proudly displayed – not only on billboards, but also on Dupaco’s website. For advertising within the community, it was literally – Show Me the Money! !
Dave Klavitter, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations at Dupaco, explained the program this way: “We wanted to save our members money, but also promote our Greenback Loan Program within the community. By showing how much our members were saving in loan interest, it confirmed to both the member and the communities we serve that we were helping their financial situation. It was a win-win-win for the member, the community, and Dupaco.”
The loan promotion was a huge success by many measures. Dupaco’s loan-to-share ratio went from 60.2% in December 2013 to 68.0% in December 2014. The goal of savings to the members was originally targeted at $1 million, but the success of the promotion boosted the actual savings to members to be $3.6 million dollars. In addition, various giveaways to members’ charities of choice were also made during the promotion. Finally, website traffic was higher than other credit unions (and banks) their size. I give my hats off to Dupaco for such a clever campaign.