Hanscom Federal Credit Union is the sixth largest credit union in Massachusetts with $949 million in total assets. The credit union serves 45,000 members in the Greater Boston Metropolitan area and along the Route 3 corridor, as well as Northern Virginia, through its 14 branches in two states and a 24-hour call center.
As a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative, Hanscom FCU is focused on actively serving their members and the communities it serves. The overall business plan for Hanscom FCU is structured to enable members to become financially self-sufficient and successful by placing a high degree of importance on consumer education and the teaching of financial thrift. This focus on financial education has been a great differentiator for the credit union and allowed them to build a strong brand built on providing quality educational resources.
In 2011, Hanscom FCU turned to the team at BlueSpire Strategic Marketing to assist them in revamping their existing educational content marketing program. At that time, Hanscom FCU’s MoneyWisdom was a 4-page statement insert. Hanscom FCU and BlueSpire sought to achieve the following objectives:
Increase engagement with members and provide valuable education
Create more demographically relevant communications
In order to increase engagement with members and provide valuable education, the BlueSpire team suggested upgrading the MoneyWisdom publication to an oversized 8-page publication that could be mailed directly to members. This not only allowed them to increase the amount of financial education provided, but it also meant that they would have an opportunity to include more information about products and services – further increasing engagement.
Another strategy identified to increase engagement was to communicate with members in their preferred form of communication. With the Spring 2011 issue, Hanscom FCU began including a QR code that allowed members to receive their newsletter electronically. This not only helped engagement, but it also helped decrease print and mail costs without the risk of alienating members who still preferred the print newsletter.
Every quarter, the BlueSpire team works with Hanscom FCU to identify content for the publication and e-newsletter that is relevant and will appeal to members. The content is a blend of customizable content from BlueSpire’s library and content submitted by Hanscom FCU’s marketing team.
To create more demographically relevant communications, BlueSpire also assisted Hanscom FCU with segmenting their e-newsletter. Beginning with the Spring 2011 issue, the following segments were used to target specific audiences of Hanscom FCU’s membership:
18-30 years of age
31-55 years of age
55+ years of age
The e-newsletter brings readers to a custom content center, a financial education microsite where members can further engage with resources found in the print publication and e-newsletter. The site is a subdomain of the credit union’s main site, news.hfcu.org.
Hanscom FCU continues to be the financial education market leader with many members commenting that no other financial institution offers a print publication of the same caliber. And, with many financial institutions converting to electronic marketing from print without testing consumer preference, Hanscom FCU stands out as attentive to its members’ preferences.
As for the success of the segmented emails, the marketing team at Hanscom FCU has seen average unique open rates of 26.2% and average unique click through rates of 4.4%. Those high averages along with a low unsubscribe rate and high deliverability demonstrate that Hanscom FCU members are certainly engaging with the MoneyWisdom e-newsletter.
Between April and December 2011, the custom content center delivered 4,064 visits and 6,435 unique page views. While visits seemed to spike around the send dates for the MoneyWisdom e-newsletter, the microsite produced visits from members nearly every day throughout the year.
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