“ As we have grown and added branches, Agile data has been key to letting educators in certain areas know who we are and how we can serve them.”
The Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union (GCEFCU) provides financial services specifically to school employees and their families in the greater Houston area. Since it was founded in 1948, the credit union has seen significant growth. Every year brings expanded service areas, new branch openings and more potential educator members.
“We have a large service area, but membership is exclusively for educators,” explained Jamieson Mackay, Senior Vice President. It proved challenging for the GCEFCU team to reach that niche local market — like finding a needle in a haystack. “It was difficult to find contact information for the educators in our target markets.”
In 2015, when Mr. Mackay was researching teacher out-of-pocket spending, he came across an Agile Education Marketing survey that not only answered his questions, but also offered a solution to the credit union’s targeted marketing challenges: Agile Education Marketing’s education database.
Targeted Marketing Drives Membership in New GCEFCU Markets
Due to the hurdles GCEFCU faced finding specific educator contact information, the institution historically relied on traditional advertising channels for member recruitment, particularly radio. However, just as difficult as it was to gather educator contact information, so was it to use broadcast marketing to reach a precise audience and measure its success. “With radio, we were reaching a lot of individuals, but we knew the majority didn’t qualify for membership,” said GCEFCU Marketing Coordinator Caylee Smith.
Once GCEFCU discovered Agile’s comprehensive database of early childhood, K-12 and higher education institutions and personnel, they were finally able to communicate with just the people who qualify for membership in the credit union, and not waste money targeting those that don’t. GCEFCU uses Agile’s data to power email and direct mail campaigns to educators in specific geographic areas. “As we have grown and added branches, Agile’s data has been key to letting educators in certain areas know who we are and how we can serve them,” Ms. Smith said.
“... Agile is always looking out for our best interests and wants us to be successful.”
Agile Expertise Helps GCEFCU Make Marketing Even More Personal
Mr. Mackay also noted that Agile’s data is not only helping GCEFCU reach the right audience, but also refine its messaging to improve engagement, response and conversion within that demographic. “We’ve done a lot of A/B testing with Agile, and through Agile’s e-nalysis reporting platform we are able to view and analyze data, such as open and click-through rates, to determine which messages and offers convert best.”
While GCEFCU spearheads the creative side of its marketing campaigns, it welcomes the consulting that Agile’s Director of Strategic Accounts Toni Elsberry and Senior Account Manager Suzanne Morgan often provide. In Ms. Smith’s words, “Toni and Suzanne are great to work with. Agile is always looking out for our best interests and wants us to be successful. They’ll often provide suggestions to make our communication with educators more effective, such as offering advice for ways we can strengthen our calls-to-action to increase response rates.”
Agile Data Delivers Quality Over Quantity
Compared to previous marketing efforts, the GCEFCU team is “getting more bang for their buck” with campaigns backed by Agile’s high-quality educator data, gaining access to educators in new markets that they previously wouldn’t have had the ability to reach.
Now that GCEFCU is connecting with the right audience, they want to explore even more ways to engage with potential members. Mr. Mackay comments on the future of GCEFCU’s membership marketing: “With Agile, we now have the tools to reach our target audience without relying on luck. If one in 10 people work for a school district, we’re now targeting that one person rather than wasting time and resources connecting with the nine folks who don’t qualify for membership.”
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