ROCK HILLS, S.C.-The Bank Transfer Day boon and the power of social media combined to help ArrowPointe FCU pull in $826,400 during its One Day Loan Sale, more than tripling results from the same promo a year ago.

Felicia Pope, director of marketing and business development, gives most of the credit to adding Facebook to the media mix, hitting the social media outlet hard, and promoting the CU difference at a time when many consumers want to leave their banks.

"I think the results speak for themselves," said Pope. "Last time we ran this sale, and it was the first time we ever held it, we brought in $235,000. Our goal this year was $500,000."

The credit union kept the campaign simple, letting the community know that on one Friday it would slash rates across the board by one percentage point-except for real estate, credit cards, and share secured loans. Members could even apply their Loyalty Points, additional loan discounts that the CU hands out based on relationships. If members had sufficient relationships, it was possible that with the loan sale that members could cut more than 1.5 percentage points off a new loan rate.

Approximately 70% of the loans made were to finance vehicles, said Pope. At the time of the campaign ArrowPointe was charging 2.75% APR for new and used autos up to 60 months for the best credit.

What led to some of the success, assessed Pope, is that ArrowPointe, and many credit unions across the state, are emphasizing to consumers that "Every day is Bank Transfer Day." That phrase was trademarked initially by South Carolina FCU before it turned it over to CUNA.

"We are working hard to keep the momentum going. In the spirit of that we decided to show members a little extra appreciation with the one-day sale and to let consumers know that credit unions are a better deal."

Bonus: 30 New Members

Pope said ArrowPointe landed 30 new members during the loan sale.

Like last year, the $115-million CU relied on print, billboard, and flyers, which was employed again this time. "We advertised heavily a week before the sale," said Pope. "Our advertising on Facebook noted that people could e-mail us if they had any questions and a loan officer would get back to them. We got a lot of interest that way."

But on the day of the sale, when the credit union opened its doors early in the morning, there wasn't a long line like there was 12 months ago. "I was nervous," admitted Pope. "But by 8:45 we were very busy. I was relieved."

Loan officers spent the day closely looking over applicants' credit reports to find more loans, which led to a healthy amount of new credit card business. "Loan growth has been up this year, but this promotion really gave us the push we needed," said Pope, noting loan volume during the first five months is $9,258,000. "We'll do it again next year, maybe even again later this year."

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