You've Got (Surpringly Little) Mail
It was the early days of e-marketing. It was the turn of the new century-and some credit
Three years later, e-marketing has matured- but not soon enough to save the relationships at least five credit unions
Bellco Credit Union was one of those partners, flashing banner ads on local AOL sites for one year starting in late
"We experienced declining click-throughs over our time advertising on AOL," said Kathleen Demma, director of
In Washington, Watermark Credit Union (formerly Seattle Telco CU) started shooting at the same blurry target in
Results were not impressive, he said. "We had 7,500 click-throughs."
Brent Evans, vice president of IT at Watermark, said that AOL actually sought out Watermark as a sponsor. But the
The first credit union in the country to sign as a Premier Partner, $380-million Watermark couldn't track the number
Bellco's Demma agreed. "It's true that there was no way to measure the effects of the partnership, which is true with
The original idea wasn't a bad one, as far as marketing initiatives go. Credit unions could advertise across AOL
Watermark and Bellco were joined quickly by Selco CU, Eugene, Ore; SAFE CU, North Highlands, Calif; and
Firstmark CU's products and services were advertised to more than 250,000 area subscribers, or one-third of the
But like many early e-marketing strategies, the message "may have been to broad," said Bellco's Demma.
Quite a few of those AOL users may not have even known about credit unions, said Sparrow. "Many people might
Though Demma still can't be sure about what works, she said that Bellco has "learned a lot about e-marketing in the
"We've learned that we can choose our audience a little bit through the media we buy," she explained. "With any
Marketing campaigns aimed at potential members are narrowing in on what makes a credit union, she said. "We're
And Bellco is doing something right. Last year, the credit union saw its membership size grow by 10% at a time
"That's pretty impressive, I dare say."