What One FinServ Marketer Gets About Print and Direct Mail

I was happy last week to see a brand new print magazine pop up in the mail from American Heritage Federal Credit Union.

Financial services can be complicated to contemplate. Well, for me at least. There are so many options available now – both from traditional institutions and all of the online disruptors — but who has the time to look at them all?

This is why I was happy last week to see a brand new print magazine pop up in the mail from American Heritage Federal Credit Union.

American Heritage is the 121st largest credit union in the country, with 800 sponsor companies and nearly 160,000 members (full disclosure: I’m one).

They call this The Patriot, and reading it has been really interesting. It’s a full 8-1/2”x11” with 24 pages of promotional copy and features, and lots of content.

Now, I don’t have to tell you guys about all of the studies out there talking about how our brains process digital information and print differently. There’s plenty of research to show that paper leads to better recall of messaging by consumers.

Print is tangible. When it’s done well, there’s real value holding a simple saddle stitched, high-quality paper magazine in your hands. It can stick around a while, too.

Inside the front cover, there’s a note from Bruce Foulke, American Heritage’s President & CEO. “We offer you the right financial solutions because you’re family,” he writes.

Because it’s a member-owned nonprofit, it can provide products and services that banks can’t. Smartly, they’re listed up front in the magazine.

The magazine runs through some of American Heritage’s history, as well as how it continues to be an important part of the community today.

I loved the 4 pages on recent fundraising events like the “Gelatin Olympics,” and its “Books for Kids” and Ronald McDonald House programs.

And a lot of the content is very helpful, with articles on raising your credit score, or tips for homebuyers.

But sometimes personal stories do a great job promoting a particular product or service.

This one relates how a family used a home equity line of credit to pay for a swimming pool, thanks to the credit union’s personal assistance.

Throughout the magazine, calls to action give members plenty of ways to engage with the credit union. Whether it’s live community seminars, or the website, the app, its offices … they all help build the brand. And to make sure I didn’t miss it, an email dropped on Wednesday that pointed me to the Issuu version embedded on American Heritage’s website.

It’s great to see such a strong affirmation for print as part of a multichannel mix in the financial services industry!



4 thoughts on “What One FinServ Marketer Gets About Print and Direct Mail”

  1. Our marketing agency specializes in motivating older adults, and credit union demographics have traditionally been that members skew older (avg age 48.5).

    Print is highly effective with mature consumers, including baby boomers! The storytelling technique is also a good one for this demo, as it will create an emotional connection that helps with brand recall. Thanks for spotlighting this new-but-tried-and-true effort.

    1. You’re welcome! I could not agree more. I’ve written about this several times recently.
      As the baby boomer audience supplants the Silent Generation, there’s a lot of potential here for print, especially enhanced by technology.

  2. We’ve gotten a very exciting response to our first issue of The Patriot Magazine. Appreciate your comments Paul.

    1. You’re welcome, Bill! Direct mail and print really give financial institutions a way to provide valuable & engaging content to their audiences … especially when their competitors all look the same.

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