The case study below shows how we put our award-winning blueprint of success into action to drive growth for one of our financial clients.
In less than 90 days our strategy helped them double their deposits and gain 2,000 new customers.



In 2018, a regional credit union experienced tremendous growth in the take-up of its mortgage offering.  Effective management of its mortgage broker and branch channels, as well as aggressive rate promotions had driven mortgage lending at an unprecedented pace.


The organization had soon found itself with a critical business challenge – to grow deposits quickly to support the growth in lending.

Their answer to this challenge was to look to the Internet to dramatically expand its deposit-gathering footprint beyond their existing 15 branches.


Double deposit revenue in 60 to 90 days at a cost that would be substantially lower than either traditional marketing efforts or deposit broker premiums and fees.


Audience Insights

The existing customer base skewed heavily 65+ however the goal was to expand that to attract new, younger members with a higher potential lifetime value and then cross and upsell them accordingly.

Using a mix of first and second party data we were able to extract valuable audience insights including (but not limited to):

  • A natural 55+ primary demo skew, predominantly male.
  • An over-index for Males 25-34 looking for short term investment opportunities.
  • Geo concentration to urban areas.
  • 61% married, 22% single.
  • Detailed food, shopping, event and travel interests useful for behavioral and interest-based targeting.
  • Distinct affinities with various other membership and loyalty programs.


Channel mix recommendations, budget allocation and flighting recommendations were based on a combination of:

  • 2017 campaign performance insights (i.e. what worked well in the past)
  • Seasonality and the competitive landscape
  • Specific campaign objectives and targets
  • Audience insights

We determined the best path forward for the savings account promotion was to maximize their investment in performance-based digital channels.

A detailed testing matrix was developed to evaluate the effectiveness of individual channel tactics, targeting layers, and creative performance.

Additionally, given the savings account offer effectively gets less attractive over time, we deliberately front-loaded campaign spend to increase reach at the start of the promo, to benefit from the drag effect as we moved through it.


The promotion was supported by a full suite of text and display creative executions, which were optimized for a mobile first audience.

In addition, a dedicated landing page was developed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of lead generation.  A clear call to action encouraging an online lead form submission and online account opening was designed to structure and simplify prospect interactions and drive volume.

The online application process was linked directly to the inhouse eCRM system whereby any partially finished applications could be acted upon by inside sales representatives through either e-mail or by phone.

A comprehensive and integrated digital advertising buy was executed leveraging previously tested digital media:

  • Google & Bing Paid Search
  • Display (including contextual, site specific, remarketing, custom and affinity audience targeting and geotargeting)
  • Email (GMAIL, contextual, similar audience and custom audience targeting)
  • Facebook & Instagram Social Display
  • Newsfeed, Right Column and Carousel ads leveraging demographic & interest-based targeting, geotargeting, lookalike targeting, life event targeting, custom audience targeting, and remarketing.
  • Other targeted CPC Display networks and properties
  • In House Email Nurturing


Reporting on the ongoing status of the promotion was developed through our NLD DataCloud.  Results, by branch and channel were made available to leaders through custom hosted dashboards on a daily basis.  In addition, media effectiveness reporting and analysis was conducted on a weekly basis to make adjustments with a view to optimize spend and capitalize on identified opportunities.  For example, while the initial media buy was concentrated to specific DMA’s, a quick test revealed strong demand for the offer outside of areas traditionally served by physical branches.  Expansion of geographic parameters of the advertising buy, resulted in additional volume driven at an acquisition cost lower than in the core markets.

In the 90 days of the promotion, this client more than doubled their deposit revenue (over $400 Million) and attracted over 2,000 new customers for less than 6 bps (basis points) of creative assets and media costs.


Leveraging the learnings from this campaign, we worked with the client to develop a strategic marketing roadmap for 2018 including key product promotions to accelerate market share growth while simultaneously balancing lending and deposit requirements.

In 2018 the Campaign Blueprint of Success was expanded to include a portfolio of 16 retail and commercial banking deposit and lending products all with unique growth objectives.  Additionally, this campaign was the proud recipient of the AIM Digital Marketing Award at the 2018 National Conference for Credit Unions.

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Over the last 30 years, Northern Lights Direct has evolved from a Direct Response Agency to a Direct Results Agency – built on the precision analytics provided through our NLD DataCloud. We are scientific, creative, predictive marketers – passionate for your success. We don’t talk about awards or accolades, we guarantee results that will grow your business. Simply put, we eat, live and breathe driving bottom-line measurable results that accelerate our clients’ businesses. Our proven track record across multiple verticals led us to develop the Campaign Blueprint – a unique methodology that monetizes your media investment and is powered by our NLD DataCloud.

With offices in Chicago and Toronto, we provide direct to consumer marketing services for the North American market including strategy, creative, digital, media and analytics.