Campaign Gets Members To Reactivate Accounts

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A simple direct mail campaign that included a cute puppy with sad eyes and the offer of a free Subzero Rolling Cooler Bag were enough to motivate some 583 members of Postal Credit Union here into reactivating their accounts.

"We're always trying to encourage inactive members to use our services," said Cindy Noldy, marketing manager at PCU. "We want to meet their needs, but we aren't able to do that when we haven't seen them in a significant period of time."

Noldy said her two-person, in-house marketing team developed the simple postcard lure from a simple sentiment: "We've missed you."

"We know that children and puppy dogs are always appealing," she said, noting that after thumbing through a series of pictures, the golden lab puppy "with his head on the floor just looking like he lost his best friend" said it all.

She said the CU, which has $366-million in assets, spent $3,335 to write, produce and mail some 3,900 postcards to adult members whose accounts had been inactive for awhile.

"The response was almost immediate," Noldy said. "We were hearing from member service reps that members loved the promotion. A few expressed surprise at the message and a lot were very interested in the incentive-a rolling cooler bag."

The cooler was offered as a free incentive for members who came in to reactivate their accounts by making a deposit or utilizing another CU product or service.

"We knew the rolling can cooler would be a hit," Noldy said. "We used it in another promotion for our Simply Free Checking services in 2003."

She said not only were the members who responded to that two-month promotion happy to receive the freebie, employees were thrilled when staff gave one to each of them during the free checking training.

The direct mail promotion included a standard postcard with a picture of the lab and the words, "We've Missed You" on the front. The backside included details on how members could receive the cooler and learn about the products and services available at their CU.

Noldy said a second dog-a beagle with a similar pitiful adorableness-was slated to make his debut in the mailboxes of inactive members in the weeks following the first notice.

"But, the first one was such a success, we decided to cancel the second one," she said. "We increased our active numbers by 583 and that is a 15 percent response. We felt pretty good about it."

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