Tips for Making Onboarding Successful

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One of the most important factors credit unions are facing today is attracting and retaining new members. Arguably, it costs more to acquire a new member than to keep an existing one. So, when you have won a new member’s business or have obtained an indirect member, how can your credit union make the most of its onboarding process?


Start with thank you.

A simple thank you communication can go miles in establishing brand loyalty and trust after your new member has opened an account.  You can send this thank you via an email or with a phone call. This will help start the conversation and introduce your brand to your member.


Follow up with personalization.

Send a personalized email with a simple call-to-action. You want to inform your member about what you can do for them through your products and services. Don’t wait until month 3 of their first interaction to begin onboarding them to your brand and your products and services. Tailor your messaging for them so it is relevant to their life stage, demographic, and lifestyle.


Timing is everything.

Research shows the most important time for new member communications is in the 30-120-day period. If they set up a checking account, have you followed up with an email about online bill pay? By day 60 have you emailed about moving to mobile banking or direct deposits? The opportunity then presents itself: the ability to cross-sell without going for the hard sell. You are constantly in communication with your credit union members and making multiple touch points to guide their experience of your financial institution.


Great onboarding should yield higher sales.

Look at this as an educational opportunity for your members. The members who are least likely to respond to your marketing messaging are those most likely to leave and close their accounts in the first year. Products and services don’t make members engaged and loyal: it is your brand, your response, and ultimately what you do for your member. Onboarding starts the conversation and allows for further opportunity for cross-sell.


Re-introduction to current members.

Onboarding isn’t just for new members. You can use onboarding to re-introduce yourself to those members who may have fallen off your radar.

Try a “win-back” campaign at day 7, 21, or 90 of member unresponsiveness. This could be a simple email campaign with FAQs, the latest offer, or a money-saving promotion. Even if you gain back a few members, this is a huge win in the long run.


You should create an onboarding system that works best for your credit union, one that will position you for the best results. An effective onboarding process establishes your credit union as an expert and allows you effectively cross-sell while retaining new members’ business.

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