I’ve been slightly obsessed with holiday-themed marketing, actually the lack of it, over the years. It’s not that I think putting a bow on your website will magically improve your return on equity (ROE). It’s that by not doing anything, it seems like you are just not trying. You put holiday decorations up in branches, why wouldn’t you extend that same thinking to your digital look and feel?
And it doesn’t have to be an extra cost (like those in-branch decorations). You can push holiday-themed promotions to cover the costs of the website changes and then some. One example, primarily offered by U.S. credit unions, is the so-called Holiday Loan (see other examples in our past coverage). These are small (usually under $5,000, sometimes just $1,000) unsecured installment loans to help families with surging holiday expenses. These loans typically must be repaid within 12 months so they are not outstanding next Christmas.
In poking around the web this afternoon, we saw a number of examples at credit unions (and the lone bank). My favorite was this promotion from MembersPlus Credit Union, a 10,000-member CU in the Boston area. Its Holiday Loan is currently featured on the homepage with a good supporting holiday graphic. The 7.99% APR is fair and undercuts most bank revolving credit and the 1-year payback schedule is good for helping members repay the debt before it becomes a burden a year from now. The maximum loan amount is $5,000.
Have a great weekend and don’t forget the hot chocolate!