(7/11/16 – Siefer Report) With wedding season now in full swing, Visions Federal Credit Union ($3.5 billion, Endicott, New York) is promoting a “Newlywed Package” that comes with loan bonuses to help couples with their financial needs.
For example, the Newlywed Package includes these bonuses:
- A $250 Wedding Loan Bonus on a $5,000 or more personal loan to pay for wedding expenses
- Up to a $100 New Member Bonus (a $50 deposit for each spouse once he or she opens a new membership)
- A $250 Personal Loan Bonus for a new personal loan or credit card ($5,000 or greater balance)
- A $500 Mortgage Loan Bonus for closing on a new mortgage loan or refinancing an existing one
Any couple who has their marriage during 2016 is eligible for the Newlywed Package.
All of the loan bonus coupons can be printed from the credit union’s Website, and must be redeemed before the couple’s one-year anniversary date.
To redeem a coupon, the couple must visit a Visions location after their wedding with these items:
- Original marriage license dated on or after January 1st, 2016
- Current license or photo ID (name change does not yet have to be completed)
- An official document or bill that includes a new address if the one on identification is not current
Mandy DeHate, Assistant Vice President, Marketing, says that the Newlywed Package is designed to resemble a gift. In fact, the “envelope” for the credit union’s latest direct mail piece is a box, complete with a bow printed on the package (view a photo below). “Newlyweds are no doubt familiar with wedding gifts by the time they finally tie the knot, so our messaging presented the coupons as ‘one last gift’ for them to enjoy,” says DeHate.
When putting the package together, she says the credit union chose products that newlyweds would be in need of the most—such as checking and savings accounts, personal loans, and a mortgage.
“And don’t forget about the money that makes it all happen—the Wedding Loan!” says DeHate. “Our tagline is ‘Life Is Unscripted®. Trust Visions at every stage,’ and this was a demographic ripe for proving that to.”
“Who needs loans, credit, and a place to keep all of that money they received more than the young couple just starting out? It’s a time when they’re making a fresh start and just beginning a new life, so they might be willing to try something new if they have never banked with a credit union before.”
She says that in some cases, parents are also able to receive the Wedding Loan coupon if they’re the ones funding a wedding for their son or daughter, for example.
The program began two years ago and was originally only offered to newlyweds who were married during the summer months. “This test was successful, so we pursued the package again last year with the coupons expiring between the end of the year and the marriage date, which could be any time during the calendar year.”
“ We saw increased success with the 2015 program and again re-tooled it for 2016.”
The loan coupon dollar amounts were based on similar coupons and bonuses that Visions has offered to its members over the years, says DeHate.
She says the Wedding Loan coupon was added this year, based on member feedback.
“They were interested in using the original loan coupon to fund wedding expenses, so we incorporated that into the package. This affords them the opportunity to use the Wedding Loan coupon before nuptials and then use the Personal Loan coupon after. We also changed the expiration date to be ‘by your first wedding anniversary,’ which gives the newlyweds plenty of time to redeem the coupons.”
DeHate says that in 2015, there were 57 new member coupons, 33 new loan coupons, and five new mortgage coupons redeemed.
“As of April 30th, 2016, we already had seven new member coupons and three Wedding Loan coupons used,” she says. “We expect similar, if not greater, numbers after we crank up promotion during the wedding-heavy summer and early fall months.”
“The numbers show that membership has been the most popular, which is what we expected, and want. When a couple combines finances, that is often the time they decide to switch financial institutions; that makes Visions very attractive and has been very much a part of the marketing strategy. They may not have a need for a home, as many couples are getting married later in life and tend to be more established in their housing.”
The credit union uses a broad media mix to promote its Newlywed Package, which—aside from its wedding box direct mailer—includes print ads and targeted digital ads. “The mailer was probably the most successful because of the clever way it was presented; that piece received a national Communicator Award presented by the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts!”
Plus, she says staff members are keen on noticing typical “wedding-related” cues, such as name changes and engagement rings. “In addition to our astute frontline staff, our business development officers like to use the Newlywed Package when they attend bridal shows.”
Looking ahead, she says the credit union plans to continue marketing its Newlywed Package. “We’ll ratchet up the digital ads, utilize retargeting to a greater degree, and possibly include some content activation in future efforts.”