Monday, April 30, 2012

Why you should NOT fear the transparency of social media

In conversations with several credit union marketing professionals, there seem to be two main reasons why they aren't investing as much time or as many resources in social media as they probably should be.
  1. They don't see how it is relevant to the financial services industry.
  2. They fear the transparency of it, and how it gives customers an open forum to discuss anything - including negative topics.
I will try to tackle the first issue later this month, because it is an industry-wide struggle without an easy answer. But the transparency of social media is still a very hot-topic issue that needs to be addressed.

Facing criticism is difficult for anyone. But especially among banks or credit unions - places people trust with their money - because stability and assurance are non-negotiable must-have qualities. It makes sense that the assumption would be that an angry member could do irreparable damage to the reputation of a financial institution by posting about a customer relations mishap repeatedly on Facebook or Twitter. And if not managed properly, it might well could.

But if managed well, it will do the opposite.

Today's consumers crave transparency from the brands they trust. Why? Because transparency is authenticity. Authenticity is real; it is honest. People trust honest. If you are doing good business, your members are going to be ambassadors of your brand. They will recognize that mistakes happen, no one is perfect. And in many cases, they will defend your brand by expressing their own positive experiences. Beyond that - they will appreciate that you took public criticism, especially if in response to it you apologize sincerely and gracefully take action to correct the problem.

Also, the fact of the matter is, whether you are on social media or not, your members most definitely are. And they are probably still talking about you. By being involved in the conversation, you can help manage it. And by not being involved, it sends the message that perhaps you have something to hide.

And, not fearing transparency has the added bonus of allowing you to use social media as the most inexpensive way to get immediate feedback on products and services you provide. That means you can make adjustments quicker, and keep your members happier.

Have a look at this case study about the Boulevard Brewing Company, and their launch of a chocolate ale.

Boulevard Brewing Company: A Social Media Case Study in Leadership, Transparency and Doing the Right Thing

 How have you interacted with customers/members on your social media channels? Any negative or positive experiences? Let us know in the comments below!
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Friday, April 20, 2012

More on PURLs: Landing Pages that Work

Making good use of PURLs is a twofold process. 1.) Creating compelling direct mail or email marketing that drives your target audience to use their PURL. And 2.) Having a landing page created that upon their arrival engages them and sends a clear message.

Each of these are equally important, but the landing page is where you get the results you are looking for. This post has 10 quick and dirty key points to keep in mind when considering the design of your landing page.

1.) Relevant, attention-grabbing headline

2.) Relevant graphics and design

3.) Use a different design than your homepage - something that stands out and makes it unique.

4.) BUT stay true to your branding.

5.) Clear, simple call to action. Don't ask for more than one thing, instead be direct and lead them directly to that next-step.

6.) Give just enough information to support what it is you want them to do - no more, and no less.

7.) Don't make viewers scroll to view important content.

8.) Don't overwhelm them with links. Provide them with a link to the next page you want them to view, and maybe a link to contact you.

9.) Utilize white space to make it easier for viewers to make a quick scan of your landing page.

and 10.) Pay attention to the results you are getting as the campaign is ongoing-tweak your page and test the change that you make. Within the first two weeks you should have settled on design/copy that optimizes results.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What is a PURL?

Since our newsletter this month focused on Kearley's past successes with PURLs, I thought now might be a good time to revisit what they are. Here is a great article that I found that explains fairly simply what a PURL, why it works, and why they are great tools for marketers.

Why Marketers Should Use PURLs

Monday, April 2, 2012

Why we like pURL

A couple months ago I posted a blog about pURLs (personalized URLs) and how they can be combined with direct mail to reach out to customers. Here at Kearley we recommend utilizing pURLs because we have seen them work, and recently I have been given some numbers that can demonstrate how well they work.

Kearley worked with Andrews Federal Credit Union to promote the opening of a new branch in Waldorf, Maryland. As part of the campaign, we combined direct mail and pURL to reach out to current members and potential new members.

Within 5 weeks of the branch opening, 119 new members signed up at the new location and over 500 current members visited the new location. Traffic remained steady at the branch following the campaign. It was so successful, Andrews repeated using pURL with three other campaigns, and are currently repurposing the pURL database to use it a fourth time.

Pretty great, huh? If you have any questions about pURLs, you can always email us at