Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, the $1.5 billion University of Iowa Community Credit Union in Iowa City is enjoying a rush in online referral accounts.
UICCU said it has opened 175 new accounts in 90 days with its new online refer-a-friend program. UICCU said the program complements an already strong 14% annual growth rate in checking accounts.
“Response was so strong when we did a soft launch that we needed to take it off our homepage in order to catch up to the requests,” said Jim Kelly, senior vice president of marketing. “We draw more attention to it periodically when we are ready for more accounts.”
“If they open an active checking account with the UICCU, both the referring and referred member gets $50,” Kelly said. He said the credit union worked with Villing and Co. of South Bend, Ind. to host the site.
Villing is making it available to other credit unions, he added.
“When it comes to marketing, there is no catchy print ad or targeted direct mail that can beat a recommendation from a close friend.” said Kelly.
“If the vast majority of members in a co-op love your services, why not give them the tools and incentive to promote you?” Kelly asked. “We have done referral programs in the past, but nothing comes close to the results we have seen since automating it.”