A new twist on a scavenger hunt has helped Atlantic Financial Federal Credit Union increase loan dollars and attract new members.Teaming up with marketing technology firm Code Green, the Hunt Valley, Md.-based credit union launched a two-month “Web Hunt” campaign that resulted in a 68% increase in new members and a 66% increase in new loan dollars-representing over $2.7 million more in loans for the campaign months in 2009 over same months in 2008.“We track our Web site and realized that most of our members were just going straight into e-branch, doing their transactions and leaving,” said Christine Musson, marketing manager for the $71 million credit union. “There is so much useful information on the site that we didn’t feel members were getting all they could out of it, and that is why a treasure hunt appealed to us as a way to get members to click around our Web site.”According to Code Green CEO Jason Green, who developed the Web Hunt, the interactive scavenger hunt system essentially gives members a push to explore the credit union’s Web site while building a sense of community and fun.The credit union’s site basically became a game board for a sitewide treasure hunt. As players found each icon, the game console displayed their progress and encouraged them to continue hunting around the Web site. Each player’s progress was tracked and remembered by the system for the duration of the campaign, and once players found enough icons, they were entered into a sweepstakes for a prize giveaway.Customizing the program for Atlantic Financial, the campaign revolved around the theme “building financial strength” with the credit union. Tying the game to its brand, the credit union played up the arch in its logo as the main symbol.“The arch represents strength and stability, and as members searched our Web site, they were finding out how the credit union can help them build their financial strength,” said Musson.Recognizing the members were most likely missing information that was relevant and helpful in managing their money, Musson said the Web Hunt helped increase awareness of all the services Atlantic Financial offers by placing icons on pages ranging from who can join to Gen Y and youth offerings.“Clicking through the Web site helped the members discover all the services we have and allowed them to see how we can help them,” Musson explained. “The hope for this campaign was that it would help members realize that, especially in a tough economy, Atlantic Financial is here and can help them more than some other financial institutions.”She said the results speak for themselves, with a big increase on the hits to Atlantic Financial’s Youth and Gen Y pages, 921% and 899%, respectively, compared to last year during the same two months. In addition, its BranchMap page, which promotes its nationwide access through CO-OP, saw a jump in views from 1,303 hits in 2008 to 3,499 hits in 2009.“We are stunned at the high number of page views,” said Green. “We couldn’t be more pleased for them as the ultimate success was the increase in loan applications and new members while providing their members with a fun way to see what else the credit union had to offer.”With a core member group of Verizon of Maryland employees, the credit union announced the campaign during the company’s pay week via e-mail newsletters, on the home page of the Atlantic Financial site and branch flyers that encouraged members to go online to win prizes by registering for the Web Hunt. Musson said staff incentives (including wear jeans to work and a catered breakfast) for meeting goals helped keep the excitement going throughout the campaign.“Our goal was to have 5% of our members registered over two months. And with our motivated employees talking to members, reminding them to go play and register, we went just over our goal to 5.4%,” said Musson. “In addition to building awareness, as an added bonus, we have registered members’ full names telephone numbers and e-mail addresses for future communications. This completely surpassed our expectations, and our members loved it. We’ve received very positive calls saying how much fun it was and how it made for a great break in their day.”Plans are underway to run another Web Hunt campaign in 2010.–[email protected]

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