Strategy Boosts Auto Refinancings By 45%

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LINTHICUM, Md.-SECU has increased auto loan refinance activity by more than 45%, offering members a 1% rate reduction if they bring their loan in from the bank.

Prints ads ask: "Is your bank auto loan rate jacked up?"

Product Manager Shelley Lombardo said the promotion has been successful because not only does it separate the CU from big banks, it emphasizes to members that the credit union will improve their monthly cash flow.

"We wanted to keep the promotion simple, and we thought a 1% rate reduction was compelling. Members can save real money over the life of their loan," explained Lombardo, who believes the tack is more effective than simply offering a low rate or a cash-back offer.

The deal will reduce a member's rate to as low as 2.99%. Outbound calling, Lombardo said, has reinforced the marketing approach appeals to members. "Members tell us they like a financial institution that is looking for ways to put more money in their pocket every month during the tough economy. One of the primary reasons we focused on this type of promotion was to highlight how different we are from big banks."

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