Remember the days when getting noticed might have meant placing a big, prominent ad in the Yellow Pages? An ad that didn’t give you much real estate to promote all of the specialized services that make your credit union unique? That didn’t give you a chance to be YOU and to really sell yourself. All it did was plop you right into a gaggle of other credit unions… and maybe give you a paper cut.
The good news, of course, is that the days of telephone book madness are long gone.
We now have AdWords, digital display advertising, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and a partridge in a pear tree to reach millions of people at a very highly customized and personal level. And at the epicenter of each of those methods is this wonderful, brilliant tool – your credit union’s website.
Why is your website so central? Because all marketing leads directly to it, including social, digital, radio, television, and even good old word-of-mouth. That makes it your #1 sales tool. These days, credit unions like yours are probably simplifying their websites. There are some great benefits to doing so, such as making the user experience mobile responsive and easy with lots of white space and clear messages. This is definitely a style you should consider embracing. But you’ll also want to make sure you’re using the right combination of smart design, strong copy, seamless interactivity and innovative content. Here are a few examples that do all of this very well.
Northeast Credit Union has done a fabulous job of saying it all while keeping it simple at the front. This is a site that’s 100% designed with mobile responsiveness in mind. They’ve used calming, neutral colors, large text, uncomplicated images that will load quickly, and most importantly, simple messages that tell people why they should become members and offer expertise on how to help members achieve their financial goals. They’re using white space to draw your eyes to the most important messages, and they’ve kept things simple by highlighting key services front and center, such as auto loans, HELOC loans, and new accounts. No wonder they’ve earned some Diamond Award recognition along the way.
Their website is really the full package. It’s friendly. Warm. Interesting. America First Credit Union’s site kicks awesomeness with some sharp design and inviting direct messages. They do a great job of speaking to all the ways the credit union can be there for its members through simple copy and relatable images. They’ve embraced a great responsive design with all the right copy. Something they’ve done well that differs from Northeast Credit Union’s approach is the inclusion of photos to go along with each of their highlighted services. This makes America First Credit Union’s site feel extra warm and inviting. Did we mention they also won 2016 Best Credit Union Site from the Web Awards?
OK, so we realize this one’s not a credit union, but Evernote is a noteworthy (see what we did there?) example of how to simplify something that could easily be complicated. This site does a great job of highlighting numerous messages in an easy-to-understand, visually interesting, responsive format, complete with motion video of real people doing “real people things.” Even the hamburger menu on this website is simple (the hamburger is the three lines on the top right of the screen). Your credit union can take this idea to heart by utilizing that uncluttered environment to call attention to the things on your homepage that members want to see most, like an “easy button” to find out more about HELOC loans. Or a family on a road trip, with unique copy about auto loans.
We couldn’t write an article about great credit union website design without including Solarity Credit Union. Their site was recently awarded a CUNA Diamond Award, and it deserves every bit of that diamond brilliance. Solarity Credit Union’s website greets visitors by instantly asking what they’re interested in and helping them “Experience Extraordinary” by making it easy to stay engaged. It presents key messages in order of importance, and it’s a great example of how advantageous white space and bold fonts can be. Even though this website is already Diamond Award worthy, we give it the Hope Diamond!
Remember, all marketing roads lead to your credit union’s website, so make it count. This is your chance to be a diamond of knowledge, expertise, and more, but don’t forget to design your website from the perspective of your existing and potential members. Sound messaging and clean, responsive design can go a long way towards providing all the right information for users with short attention spans. Because let’s face it. With all the marketing out there, getting people to land on your site is only half the battle. The other half is keeping them engaged.