Goldenwest Credit Union’s success story for their new mobile loyalty programInterview with Louise Hilliard, VP Payment Services
Goldenwest Credit Union (GWCU) has 28 locations in Utah, 106,000 members and manages over $1.2 billion in assets. Louise Hilliard, VP of Payment Services at GWCU, provided insights about the process of launching their mobile loyalty program, "Discount Me In" to drive member adoption and increase business with local merchants throughout Utah.
GWCU launched a “Discount Me In” in January 2016. At present, over 120 merchants participate in the program. GWCU members who use the free mobile app receive location-based smartphone alerts when they are near a merchant offering a perk. They pay with their GWCU credit or debit card to redeem the offer.
Do you have any revelations to share?
Several things surprised us about launching the program in partnership with Larky:1. This is way beyond a rewards program.
Larky’s platform is more than a rewards program. It’s a mobile messaging system. Because it allows us to send relevant messages to our members in the context of their lives, we can stay in touch with them no matter where they go. We are learning firsthand about the possibilities to promote our products. For example, we can alert members about our home loans while they are at a real estate open house.2. We can now leverage all channels including mobile.
GWCU has used many channels (email, direct mail, statement inserts, the website, ATM messages, etc.). With Larky’s platform, we can do targeted cross-selling via mobile messaging.3. The platform helps us engage members, drive local business, and meet new business banking prospects.
I’m really happy with it the overall success of the program in these first two months after launch. It’s been great in so many ways - from strengthening our member relationships to working with small business owners in the community. I look forward to seeing how the program evolves, and GWCU is thankful for the continued support and guidance from our friends at Larky
How has the program impacted product sales?
Initially, we’ve focused on promoting auto and home insurance applications using mobile messaging through the app, and the effort is working.
Within the first 30 days of the program launching, GWCU has processed 15 new applications.
The platform sends a message to our members via geolocation when they are near one of our branches, or when they are near one of our competitors. For example, we can send an alert to our members when they are near a competitor who also sells home or auto insurance. The alert may say something like, “Get a better rate with GWCU insurance. Earn $10 just for applying.” Members love it, and what a great way to win new business!
Our next effort will be to promote auto loans and mortgages, and we are optimistic we’ll have similar results."
Why did GWCU decide to implement the program?
The program meets the connected, tech-savvy world we are in today. With it, we knew we could offer benefits to our members that no one else can.
Here are the top three reasons GWCU chose and continues to love Larky’s mobile loyalty platform:1. Market differentiation with local perks.
Other financial institutions in our market do not offer local perks. This means we can help members save money by shopping locally, and we can concurrently drive traffic into local merchants.2. Immediate redemption.
Unlike other rewards programs where people have to earn or accumulate points over time, our perks are instantaneous. Members don’t have to wait weeks or months to cash in on the savings. They receive relevant offers on the spot, when they need it and are most likely to use it.3. Mobile notifications complement our overall digital strategy.
GWCU sought an efficient method for mobile engagement with members. We found that they (especially those under the age of 35) expect that their credit union will reach out to them with perks and additional ways to save and manage their money via our products and services. Discount Me In lets us do just that.
How does GWCU market the program?
GWCU’s promotion has employed marketing efforts on all fronts. Efforts have included the following:
- Emails and newsletters to members.
- Posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and Instagram.
- A video which succinctly explains the program and its benefits.
- Tutorial videos on our website and social media.
- Merchant outreach – to make sure they understand the program and make the most of it.
What has worked best to drive adoption?
1. Employee involvement! Each employee gets $5 each time they refer a business to the program.
2. Social media posts keep the program in front of our members. For instance, each week we highlight one merchants by posting their profile on Facebook and YouTube.
3. Consistently creating impressions by sending regular emails and newsletters to members
How have participating businesses responded?
The program is helping us build relationships with businesses in the communities we serve. Response has been overwhelmingly positive. I know this because I’ve visited the businesses myself. Small business owners tell me that they are looking for unique channels to help promote their business, and this is a great platform to do that.
In the first week, one merchant had 10 redemptions, and another had 15. They happily report ongoing redemptions.
If each of our 120+ merchants redeems just five discounts per week, that’s more than 600 transactions at local businesses each week!
Larky builds compelling member rewards programs that help credit unions boost loyalty, drive non-fee income, and support local businesses. Larky cultivates valuable point-of-sale discounts at beloved local and national merchants that help members save $1,000+ per year simply by using their existing credit/debit cards. The turnkey web and mobile platform sends users location-based alerts at the right time and place to ensure they receive their discounts. Follow them on Twitter (@getlarky) or LinkedIn. Or visit larky.com. To learn more about how Larky can help your credit union, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415.952.7598.