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Financial Services and the Future of Advertising

Written by Michelle Toivonen Director of Strategic Marketing

How to Use Multiple Channels in Your Next Member Recruitment Campaign - Without “Breaking the Bank” (or You!)


It’s been a tough year for credit unions! Faced with rapid updates and the need to get traditional banking customers comfortable with online banking, credit unions have had to create and send customer communications and new member drives to capture their audience where they are -- at home and online. While most credit unions are working toward an internal goal to digitize all interactions with clients, the marketing team needs to continue to drive business in multiple channels -- and with generations ranging in preferences from online-only to check writers! Creating and releasing all that content is a BIG challenge. Making sure that content is relevant in all channels and drives business is a BIGGER challenge and getting that all done with a small staff and budget is the BIGGEST challenge of all!

We offer a solution that begins with mailing but adds options like FB, Instagram, online ads, retargeting ads, and call tracking in. Your team doesn’t need to create and manage multiple pieces in multiple places. With our platform, it’s all located in one easy to use dashboard. Just send us your postcard (or ask us to make one for you) and we’ll load everything up. All you need to do is follow up on the leads as they come in. 

Here’s how you can afford and manage multiple touches in multiple channels to appeal to, engage with, and drive new memberships. 


Outbound Marketing Combined with Digital Marketing Is Powerful

How To Get Started Integrating Outbound and Inbound Marketing

There are a few key elements to any marketing effort that will determine the outcome and they are List, Offer, Creative, Distribution, Reports, and Recommendations. Once you’ve mastered each of those, you’ll find your organization’s sweet spot to drive engagement, conversions, and sales. Below, we’ll walk you through all the channels available to you to easily integrate mail, mail tracking and data collection, email marketing, online advertising in Facebook, Instagram, and Google Display Ads, retargeting ads for web visitors, and call tracking. First, let’s start with the basics. You need a good list, a relevant offer, and attention-grabbing creative all released in the right channels. We’ll get you there in 5 simple steps:

  1. List: Get the best possible list you can for your campaign. If you’re using historical data, make sure it’s clean, updated, and if you can, enhanced with emails, IP addresses, and social media accounts. If you don’t know how to access those additional data points, ask a reputable data service provider. Then segment your list for personalization and check your list for accurate mail and email addresses. 
  2. Offer: Make sure you’ve got a good incentive or offer to motivate your audience to act. How do you know for sure what will motivate them? Test your ideas! The offer is the most frequently tested element in marketing. Pull out some records for an A/B split test, and if you need help, ask for it. It’s well worth the effort to test your campaign offers so you can adjust as needed and for future business intelligence.
  3. Creative: The look of the campaign and all the touchpoints should be cohesive, complementary, and consistent with your brand. If you’re starting out, don’t get wild and crazy. Keep it simple and err on the side of caution. If you have the budget to test two or more versions of creative, then you can add in something more adventurous. If you need help, ask us or your favorite graphic designer for feedback. Someone with creative experience and preferably with experience designing in your industry.
  4. Channel Distribution: It’s time to plug all of the elements in this blog into the right channels and start distribution. Map out your campaign touches, channels, and timelines for print/mail, email and/or online ads. Be sure to include ALL the production schedules required to get to distribution. If this is a lot to manage, you can opt for the help of a reputable marketing services provider to integrate your vertical efforts into one campaign timeline with integrated messages and reports. We offer our accounts a dashboard that shows mail tracking, Informed Delivery email tracking and results, Social Media (Facebook and Instagram) publication and results, etc. 
  5. Reports and Recommendations: Once you’ve distributed your messages, you can begin to pull the reports and formulate recommendations to repeat or improve your next campaign. A solid analysis of those results is critical to future success, so make sure you look at all the data and match back your engagement and conversion events to actual reported sales. It can be difficult to get that data to match up for easy analysis. If you need help, ask the Data team at Midwest Direct to help you get to your most important business intelligence. They make it look easy and can offer knowledgeable insight into your results.

Now that you’ve nailed down the basics, it’s time to launch your campaign. 


Your Recruitment Campaign Begins and Ends with Your Data

Credit unions appeal to niche markets that are very receptive to banking with a particular credit union. The catch is to find, then capture the attention of that niche audience. Marketers can buy a list and send out postcards, but there’s a lot more to launching an effective recruitment campaign. You begin with pulling and preparing your mailing list, but your success will depend upon how targeted your list is. We can help with that. You need to accurately track and capture the data for your campaign so you can respond to leads. Our dashboard will do that for you.  And when the campaign is over, you need much deeper analysis than just checking for the last source of attribution to see “what worked.” We can tell you exactly who responded to your mail and if we do a matchback, you will know exactly how successful your campaign is.  

Our team of strategists regularly helps credit unions plan, execute and analyze campaigns using channels such as direct mail, email, online advertising, and social media marketing to better understand what channels are performing best and with which consumers.

Here’s how we do that:

  • Manage data for successful campaigns, including hygiene, appends and list purchases when necessary
  • Analyze historical data for trends and insights you couldn’t reach on your own
  • Append new data where needed
  • Create customer profiles and look-alike prospects
  • Meet with you to advise you on campaign strategy and planning based on our insights
  • Segment your data for best ROI/ROAS
  • Prepare and upload data into your custom dashboard to track all channels in your campaign
  • Produce and release your creative assets; such as catalogs and the mailing, email, online ads, social media ad
  • You watch your campaign dashboard with live results throughout
  • You can export your data anytime you want
  • We export your data across all channels at the end and help you understand
    • Who responded
    • Where they responded
    • When and how often they responded
    • What your data means
    • What our recommendations are for future campaigns

Now that we’ve got the data portion under control, it’s time to focus on outbound marketing. See our Beginner’s Guide on Data for more information.


Use Print and Mail with All Audiences for Overall Lift

Print/mail is the outbound channel currently with the highest response rates. When you start with a solid list, send highly targeted print through the mail and integrate Informed Delivery email, social media and/or online advertising, you’re likely to experience campaign lift in all channels.Here are some new outbound tools we can help you add to your toolbox.


  1. Be sure what you plan to mail is qualified to mail at the rate you expect. Whether you plan to send it as Marketing Mail or First Class Mail, you’ll need to know the right size, weight, and timelines.  Call a mailing professional for help or check out our blog First Class vs. Standard Mail (Marketing Mail).
  2. Determine your quantity. This will be the amount of records on your list, plus however many “extras” you need for handing out, keeping on file, showing off to friends and family, etc…
  3. Figure out the dimensions of your piece. Again, work closely with your mailing professional as sizes will affect your print and mail price. Common print sizes include 8.5" x 11"(considered “standard” sized paper), 8.5" x 5.5"(a traditional postcard size), a “self-mailer” (piece that can be mailed without an envelope), #10 envelopes (4 1/8" by 9 1/2", holds a standard-sized sheet folded into thirds) and #9 reply envelopes (8 7/8"x 3 7/8", often found enclosed with statements). Need help? Read our blog to learn how to Prep For Your First Print Project Like a Pro. 
  4. Determine the type of print you want. Four-color or Litho print is high-quality, the gold standard for color control and paper selections, but will cost significantly more than digital print. If your designer has specced a “spot color” you’ll have no choice but to buy litho print. So, ask lots of questions in advance and for a quote of your job built both ways. Your designer can then help you weigh the pros and cons. While you’re at it, ask the designer to show you a piece with bleeds and without bleeds. This refers to how closely the artwork goes to the edge of the paper and will change the look and price of your piece.
  5. Select your paper stock. Here are some of your options: Paper can either be coated or uncoated. Coated: Includes gloss, matte, and semi-gloss. Uncoated: Looks like what normal copy paper would look like, without any type of shine or matte finish. When it comes to paper weight, there are two main categories: text weight and cover weight. Comparing the two categories is easier if you have an example of a book in mind, with the inside pages being text weight, and the thick outside being the cover weight. Text weight can be broken down into two additional categories: copy paper (which is exactly what it sounds like: the typical paper you used to print something at work) and offset (similar to copy paper, but with a slightly thicker and higher quality). Most projects will end up being a combination of both text and cover weight, with different coating options as well. The size of the sheet, as well as budget, will affect what combinations you choose.


Most people don’t know that we can help you save money and efficiency by processing the mail for you.

Let’s break it down:

  1. You need the name and address of every piece of mail, which means you need a list of those with all the information corrected, no duplicates, and the right business rules in place. See our data section above.
  2. You need postage. Depending upon what class your piece will mail and your piece itself (dimensions, weight, etc.) your postage price will vary. Work with your Marketing Service Provider (MSP) to ensure you’re getting the best price.
  3. Choose the right MSP for your business. Here’s a little help with that. We’re mailing professionals and are willing to help you get started with this great direct marketing channel

Informed Delivery® Email

Informed Delivery® is a new email channel offered by the USPS®. Over 31 million people have already opted-in to receive this daily email that enjoys a 77% open rate! The email contains grey-scale scans of the mail to be delivered to the home on that day. Here’s what’s in it for you -- the USPS® allows marketers to upload a full-color image of the mail to replace the grey-scale scan -- and you can add a link with an offer to your landing page. This has a big impact on engagement with your mail piece and adds an additional channel and touchpoint to your campaign. Learn more about Informed Delivery.

Online Advertising

You can now send online display ads to the same homes you want to mail and they are guaranteed to be available to only those you target. No ad fraud! You can use your list to place ads on the Facebook and Instagram feeds of your audience. You can identify leads that enter your site and target them with online ads and on social media. That’s a lot of advertising power that is relatively new in direct marketing.

Retargeting with Display Ads

This is one of the easiest and most effective marketing tools available today. Retargeting closes approximately 30% of ads served. It’s easy to add this into your next campaign, just ask us to enable retargeting. That’s all!

Call Tracking

Want to ensure you never miss an inbound call? Want access to all calls to see how your team is handling leads? We can set you up with secure call tracking and recording. Use your number or ask us to generate one for you. We’ll do the rest. During the campaign, you can log in to your secure dashboard and download all the inbound calls or listen to the call recordings. Many of our clients find this data extremely useful as inbound calls are undeniably strong leads and credit unions often have audiences that prefer to reach out via the phone.


Learn More from Midwest

Wondering whether this program is a good fit for you? Download our Credit Unions Case Studies, then contact us to discuss your goals. We’ll help you decide if your audiences would benefit from this approach. 

Want to know more about using digital+post for your next member recruitment campaign? Listen to our Credit Unions Podcast, contact us at 1.800.686.6666 or email

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