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The No-Fee-Super-Free Campaign

The idea behind a free chequing account is that it gives people a chance to experience how great it is to do business with you. Why wouldn't we offer the same deal?

In 2016 we offered Canadian credit unions a chance to try us out FOR FREE! This is the story of some great CUs who took us up on our offer.

The No-Fee-Super-Free Campaign

EDITORIAL, CREATIVE, PRINT, WEB

How do you get the attention of a close-knit group of executives in a narrow field of business? Give them an offer they can't refuse.

As long-time credit union members, we’re well-acquainted with the benefits of being an owner-customer—personalized service, a member-centric approach, a strong commitment to the community, and great perks like free chequing accounts. Reflecting on how credit unions offer something free while asking nothing in return except for a chance to ‘wow’ their members, we had the idea to pay it forward by offering credit unions a free marketing campaign. This would give them a chance to try out our services, just like their members, with no fees and no commitment to buy. Thus, the No-Fee-Super-Free Campaign was born.

PROJECT OVERVIEW

The No-Fee-Super-Free Campaign offered any Canadian credit union a full creative marketing package custom designed to their choice of product, service, or event. The creative included all print and digital assets as well as staff product training sheets to ensure ease of sales. In addition to the traditional materials, a digital landing page was built for each campaign to help track results of ads and collect email addresses from visitors - offering each CU a chance to follow up later on and improve sales results. 

FUN DETAILS

The No-Fee-Super-Free campaign hearkens to previous employers of ours and their amazing Simply Free chequing account (high fives if you can tell us which CU it was). We saw first hand the success that came from offering customers a product they would use every day at a price that they couldn't refuse.

The campaign also gave us a chance to check off some tourist locations from our bucket list: The CN Tower in Toronto and the longest curved inland wharf in North America, in Salmon Arm!

THE NITTY-GRITTY'S

  • 2 CUs & 1 CU Foundation: Luminus Financial, Salmon Arm Savings & Credit Union (SASCU), and the Ontario Credit Union Foundation (OCUF)
  • 300+ service hours provided at no cost
  • 96 design files and digital images delivered
  • 6 campaign landing pages using Unbounce
  • 18,956 page views across campaigns
  • 2 trips to visit new clients in Toronto and Salmon Arm!

Giving piggy some wings

The No-Fee-Super-Free campaign had one objective in mind: to let Canadian credit unions know that someone understood them and had their back. Pretty simple, but something that other marketing firms (in our experience) had never really managed to pull off.

To do this, we knew that we had to speak their language and connect via channels that credit union executives knew well (and frequented most often). We started with press releases to several industry publications, as well as ads posted to LinkedIn and various social media channels. Ads highlighted how the No-Fee-Super-Free campaign could help credit union executives get the best ROI ever for their next campaign. Our ads garnered quick responses from across the country, with interested CUs in near disbelief that we would offer such support entirely for free.

Finally, we reached out to a number of key industry contacts to get their feedback and spread the word. Now, we don't want to go too far, but the phrase "industry disruptor" came up on more than one occasion (and not by us either!).

In the end, three groups were chosen for our first round of the No-Fee-Super-Free campaign. If you didn't get selected, don't worry! There is a very good chance we are going to run the campaign again. Keep your eyes on the news for your turn!

Giving piggy some wings

The No-Fee-Super-Free campaign had one objective in mind: to let Canadian credit unions know that someone understood them and had their back. Pretty simple, but something that other marketing firms (in our experience) had never really managed to pull off.

To do this, we knew that we had to speak their language and connect via channels that credit union executives knew well (and frequented most often). We started with press releases to several industry publications, as well as ads posted to LinkedIn and various social media channels. Ads highlighted how the No-Fee-Super-Free campaign could help credit union executives get the best ROI ever for their next campaign. Our ads garnered quick responses from across the country, with interested CUs in near disbelief that we would offer such support entirely for free.

Finally, we reached out to a number of key industry contacts to get their feedback and spread the word. Now, we don't want to go too far, but the phrase "industry disruptor" came up on more than one occasion (and not by us either!).

In the end, three groups were chosen for our first round of the No-Fee-Super-Free campaign. If you didn't get selected, don't worry! There is a very good chance we are going to run the campaign again. Keep your eyes on the news for your turn!

The No-Fee campaign(s)

Launching a campaign and gaining member interest is always a challenge. Launching three simultaneously in markets you're not familiar with - now that's tricky. What will resonate with people? Do you incorporate the current branding of each CU or go edgier? These were the questions we knew we had to get right in order to make each campaign a success. 

So how did we do it? Before launching into creative development, we spent a good deal of time getting to know each market and brand. By conducting thorough interviews with each marketing team, extensive online research of each brand and region, and even visiting a branch or two in person we were able to get a better feel for what made each CU different. More importantly, we were better able to determine how to raise interest in a very similar product with vastly dissimilar audiences. The results? 

  • Luminus Financial: Stylized flat imagery to match the brand's previous campaigns with a focus on preparing for what the distant future may hold. For Torontonians, long-term financial stability through major changes was flagged as important.
  • SASCU: A slightly bolder approach from previous campaigns, using layered characters and bright eye-catching colors. Content emphasized how the brand would support the customers' retirement journey - no matter where it took them. This was important as many SASCU members come and go from Salmon Arm throughout their lives.
  • OCUF: As a credit union foundation, the OCUF had a different goal in mind: grab the attention of bursary applicants and donors for the 2017 education season. The campaign showed students with their future career path highlighted with chalk drawing on the poster and the tagline, I've got big plans. We also customized logos and colours for each participating CU in Ontario. 
no-fee-posters-hang-all
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A core element of each CU campaign was a dedicated landing page where visitors could get more information about the chosen product, and easily book an appointment with a branch representative. On-page and phone number tracking also allowed us to report back on exactly how many referrals came from each advertisement - and which ones performed the best. While we did not manage the complete roll out of each campaign, feedback from each CU was overwhelmingly positive regarding member interest and discussion of the products throughout the RRSP season. 

Key Takeaways (a continuous improvement initiative)

  1. Placement of calls to action (CTAs) had to continuously be adjusted to find the best result. Our findings? No lower than 800 pixels below the top of the browser is perfect. 
  2. Regardless of the hook, product information was the highest viewed content across all landing pages. Shifting it higher on the page results in increased product inquiries. 
  3. While the landing pages performed well, we identified that many members preferred to call or visit a branch than provide personal email information for follow-up. 
  4. Lastly? Don't book the red-eye if your hotel room won't be ready until noon the next day. Seriously.

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