LA HABRA, Calif. – The appeal of chocolate is paying off for South Western Federal Credit Union. The $164 million credit union is in the midst of its "Membership is like a box of chocolates" campaign. Members that refer potential new members to the credit union receive a free pound of See's Candies. New members also get a free box of chocolate upon joining with any second service, according to the credit union. "We wanted to reward both the new and referring member," explained Laura Poore, president/CEO. "Rather than entering them in a drawing for a single prize, our thought was that everyone should receive something. And who doesn't love chocolate?" To encourage long-term relationships, new members also had to sign up for at least one additional service or account. Midway through the quarter-long campaign, SWFCU has enrolled 65 new referred members, each with an average of two services, the credit union said. "This promotion had a secondary purpose," Poore said. "We wanted our staff to get in the habit of encouraging members to refer their friends, family and co-workers for membership. We involved our staff even more by assigning some as greeters on Fridays and Saturdays, passing out candy samples and referral forms. They really got into the spirit." The campaign, created by Anaheim, Calif.-based Aubrey & Associates, was promoted through a direct mail piece with a referral form, as well as the newsletter, statement inserts, in-lobby signage and an e-mail blast. In addition, a banner and online referral form were posted on SWFCU's Web site.

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