GREENFIELD, Mass. — A wildly successful certificate of deposit campaign recently proved that Franklin First Federal Credit Union can play with the big boys.

A CD campaign netted $4.2 million in six weeks for the $35 million credit union, which brought in 139 CDs between Aug. 27 and Nov. 17, with nearly $450,000 in the first week alone, according to Valerie Hetzel, marketing manager. Eighty-two percent, or $3.5 million, of the deposits were “new money.” The CD’s rate was 5.25%, the opening minimum was $500 and the accounts were available in 6-month to 48-month terms.

“All the elements fell into place: competitive rate, creative terms, and a wildly successful marketing campaign that the community found to be funny and compelling,” Hetzel said.

The credit union used a mystery theme for the campaign titled “Case of the Missing Term.” Member services staffers Sarah Hunkler and Emily Forgey were called in to act as detectives for radio ads. Print ads, buttons, posters and the credit union’s home page were also used to woo the curious to the CD promotion. Forgey was featured in a detective disguise for the print ads.

“Most of the new members did not even recognize me, even when I was wearing a button of myself, promoting the special,” laughed Forgey. “But I was able to up sell to current CD holders as well as new members, because the campaign was so well received. Being involved in the advertisement campaign helped me sell and stay excited about the product.”

Hunkler said ” I have been in a few of Valerie’s print ads, but doing this one with Emily was not only fun because we work so close together, but we are friends, and it was easy and comfortable to play off of each other.”

Overall, the $4.2 million equated to 8.5% of the credit union’s total deposits, Hetzel said, adding it cost $2,734 to run the CD campaign.

“We are extremely proud of this accomplishment [especially on] what can be done at a small institution,” Hetzel said.

Franklin First FCU has a staff of 17 and serves nearly 7,800 members. –