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Helping a Credit Union Thrive with Marketing Automation

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By Prisma Campaigns
June 14, 2024

Implementing marketing automation for your financial institution can feel intimidating. After all, you’re entrusting your account holders’ data to a complicated piece of software. But with a trustworthy partner, automation can be a powerful tool for connecting your institution to the right member at exactly the right time. What follows is the story of how one credit union worked with Prisma to deliver targeted marketing, helping them deepen member relationships and earn more business.

Meet Embold

Embold Credit Union (formerly known as Clackamas) has been an essential resource to its community in the greater Portland, Oregon area since 1957. With 35,000 members and $650 million in assets, they’ve established a strong base of support.

Embold felt its marketing could do more. It especially wanted to deliver information about new products like loans and deposit services to its existing members. Previous marketing campaigns demanded enormous investments of time and effort, and even then were limited by insufficient data and tools. Too often, Embold found itself sending out email blasts to an undifferentiated list of members, hoping that the right people would open the campaign and take advantage of the product. Instead, members were seeing products that didn’t fit them personally, and they started to tune out Embold’s marketing or unsubscribe from its lists.

The Automation Solution

Embold was used to taking shots in the dark using months-old data, but the results were predictably lackluster. They chose to make two major changes to reverse those results: first, they implemented next-day data gathering and analysis, so that the institution could see members’ actions and trends in real time. Next, they engaged with Prisma to automate marketing decisions based on that real-time data.

Instead of launching traditional campaigns (wherein the FI markets a single product to a segment of its audience for a selected period of time) Prisma allowed Embold to personalize and automate the communications. The system now sends a customized email every 90 days to an Embold member when (and only when) they meet specific criteria. Only non-homeowners receive mortgage offers, for example, and only current homeowners receive HELOC offers. Campaigns don’t just have to focus on one product anymore – now the members hear about one of ten different products based on what’s most appropriate for them at that moment. Emails are also addressed to them personally, and signed by their branch manager. No more generic one-size-fits-all marketing.

Just as importantly, these target audiences are constantly updated as new data comes in. If a member’s credit score goes up one day, they might qualify for a credit offer they weren’t previously eligible to receive. And if the system qualifies them for multiple offers, it sends emails in a predetermined priority order chosen by Embold. No one receives too many communications or ones that aren’t a good fit.

Prisma’s automation also learns and adjusts as it goes. The system can make decisions on when to send a new message based on a member’s past behavior, or when other members made purchasing decisions. Embold has used marketing automation for two years now, and it takes advantage of both a system that’s calibrated to its local audience and the ability to adjust criteria manually.

Before and After

Marketing automation is more than just a cool toy – Embold is seeing real benefits to its member relationships and bottom line. Thanks to better targeting data, Embold’s email open rate now tops 50%, more than twice the financial industry average of 23%. Their conversion rate hovered around 0.15% before implementing Prisma; now it’s five times that number. And taking just one product as an example: they’ve generated seven times the number of HELOCs they had before, with the product having a balance of more than $3.5 million. Automated cross-selling has changed the way Embold reaches its members, freeing up staff to invest more time helping people one-on-one.

Connect with Prisma Campaigns to learn more.


About Prisma Campaigns

Prisma Campaigns is a marketing automation platform specifically designed to help credit unions develop deep and empathic relationships with their members through personalized marketing campaigns.