My Best Marketing & Design Secrets for CUs

Posted On: October 23, 2015
October 2015
marketing By Alicia Disantis Weston, Marketing Specialist You are in luck because today I share with you my most coveted marketing and design secrets. Over the past decade, I’ve compiled a massive list of resources (most all of them free) that assist me daily with my job. Please share because we all know credit unions do not always have the biggest marketing budget. And add your own personal tips in the comments below!   Images: The world of stock photography has shifted massively in the past year. Gone are the days of photos of beautiful young models standing in front of golden light rays. Customers want the see real people, real places, and real situations, and are deeply in tune with what looks contrived. Credit unions must step up their stock photography game or risk looking out-of-touch, outdated, and fake. I see the same stock photo models everywhere. Do you really want your loan promo banner to include the same woman who is on a waste management ad? I also see extremely outdated stock photos. A man holding a cell phone that is at least a decade old. We can do better. How? Move away from the big box stock photography sites, and browse independent, free-for-commercial-use photography sites. There are dozens of them, showcasing thousands of magnificent, unique and contemporary photos for you to download free of charge (and copyright free – typically called a “creative commonsâ€? license.) My favorites are: View five more sites that offer creative commons stock photos here. is another lovely stock photo site that actually sends you a free photo pack every month! What could be better? You have no excuse to use the old, boring stock photos ever again.   Colors: Ever work on a campaign and have no idea what color palette to use? This helpful site allows you to browse through thousands of color combinations. Great for a specific project, or to simply brainstorm. color combo library Here is a site for translating colors and printing codes. If you are not a pro in the printing industry, printers can confuse you real quick. This handy tool helps figure out colors and how they correlate when you send something to print, like a poster or postcard campaign.   Fonts: Font resources on the web are endless. Beware though, because “freeâ€? does not always mean “free for your CU.â€? I like two sites in specific, because you can sort by restrictions. For example, you can select “completely freeâ€? or “free for commercial useâ€? and filter any fonts that you cannot use freely as a business, which is much more efficient that reading the license agreement for each and every font you like (!). is lovely as well because you can browse a sample word or phrase and see it displayed in endless fonts styles. wordmark   Website: I love browsing well-done websites for inspiration. You can find all sorts of inspiration by looking at other credit union websites– campaign ideas, promos, web banners, layouts, and on and on. One of my all-time favorite articles is this one from the Financial Brand. The author has compiled the very best banking websites from around the world. Wonderful eye-candy if you have a spare 15 minutes here or there.   Visuals/Icons/Misc: The internet has unbelievable amounts of free resources for designing. Icon packs, free vector art, web buttons, etc. If you are not a designer, don’t want to pay an agency to design miscellaneous stuff, or simply do not have the time do do a lot of designing, these sites are a life-saver. Speckyboy offers countless freebies for marketing and design. You can even sign up for their weekly newsletter and get freebies sent direct to your inbox. Creative Market is another site that sends freebies direct to your inbox in a weekly email. You can also purchase amazing fonts, effects, photos and icons for cheap, often under $15 – and you support independent artists! Graphicburger is a great site for freebies too. The list goes on and on!   Social Media: Ever need a quick idea for a social media post? Some days you just have “content marketingâ€? block. This is where comes in handy. You can search for any keyword or phrase and every recent article related to that keyword pops up in a list. Amazing! Search for a product, an event, your credit union’s city, and voila – you have a current, timely, Facebook or Twitter post. That's it, folks! I hope you found this article useful. And again, share your tips with your peers via the link below. share  ]]>
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Accounting Spotlight - Nikki Kuepper

Posted On: October 23, 2015
October 2015
giphy Our Accounting Department here at CU Service Network continues to grow! Today we would like to introduce you to Nikki Kuepper, Accountant II. Nikki does a variety of duties for our Accounting Back Office clients- there is never a dull moment for her. She makes me tired just watching her. Let's learn about Nikki: nikki "I have been with the credit union family for nine years working at Marine Federal Credit Union in Jacksonville, NC. Seven of these years were spent as an Accounting Specialist working on anything and everything from daily balancing processes, monthly reconciliations, maintaining Fed and Corporate balances, sending wires, ordering currency from the Fed for the branches, and of course all different types of research. The other two years in my credit union background were spent in Internal Audit evaluating all other credit union functions and processes as accounting is a significant component in all of these, even when auditing operations. Plus, I further expanded my basic and complex accounting knowledge through the creation of basic statistical reports, GL reviews, and account reviews (Powers of Attorney, dormant, Trust accounts, etc.) including the production of a quarterly counterfeit item report. In addition to the above skill sets, I enjoy training individuals. I have spent hundreds of hours training employees of all calibers, from novice to expert. In Internal Audit alone, I had direct communication from the float teller all the way to executive management and committee members. My philosophy on training is knowledge is crucial as it makes everyone’s job easier, from the front line to back office. While it can be painful in the beginning; in the long run, the benefits are passed to the membership by providing quick, accurate, and professional services…by limiting the…â€?Uhhhh, let me get back to you on that…I am not really sure on how to handle thatâ€? scenarios. The most recent years, I have spent working with credit union clients, once again within the Accounting field, both with employee training as well as practical applications of daily processes. Like most individuals, most credit unions perform their daily processing tasks a little differently. However, I find all credit union employees are truly dedicated to their membership in helping them achieve financial success through quality service and convenience…just like we do at CU Service Network."  ]]>
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You Are Missing Out

Posted On: October 23, 2015
October 2015
Charlie Brown - CU Collaborative Community Did you know there are some amazingly thought-provoking questions on the CU Collaborative Community forum, posted by your peers? The authors are just waiting for you to help them out, maybe post a comment or two and share your ideas with them. Like this one, titled "Indirect Bonuses." I am looking for help in creating a bonus pay program for our Indirect Lending program.  We started indirect lending in April and have a been doing a booming business, doubling the proforma projections.  Every other employee in the CU has a way of earning a bonus based on performance objectives aligned with our Strategic Plan.  I am trying to figure out how to bonus the Indirect Underwriter and Processor that won't affect their lending decisions.   Or this one, titled "Operational Performance Metrics" Can other CU's who have developed performance metrics for their operations share their knowledge with other CU's who are in the process of developing metrics for their organization.   ...Wait, you don't know what CU Collaborative Community is? Well, it is the only closed-group, credit union-inclusive forum designed specifically for CU professionals. CU Collaborative Community Curious? Register in a few easy steps  by clicking below. register  ]]>
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New Monthly Format

Posted On: October 23, 2015
October 2015
calendar We are excited to announce that our newsletter will be published on a monthly update instead of a quarterly update. Look for our newsletter in your inbox on the last Tuesday of every month! Along with a monthly format, we will be posting more articles about credit unions and the industry. Send an email if you would like to submit an article. We are always looking for member stories, credit unions helping credit unions, and opinion pieces.   Not subscribed to The CUSN Connection? Click below to be added to our subscriber list! SUBSCRIBE]]>
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Mystery Shop Results Sept & Oct

Posted On: October 23, 2015
October 2015
mystery shop By Trisha Wiggin-Fausnaugh, Project Manager Since our last report, DSG Mystery Shoppers have visited 39 of our branches in 10 states and 31 of those branches earned 100%. Many of the shoppers commented on how much they appreciated the friendly, professional service they received. One of the shoppers from Iowa had this to say about the visit: “I was greeted immediately. The teller had a pleasant tone the entire time and smiled a lot. He commented on the shared credit union ability, how it can come in handy when not at your home credit union. I was treated as if I were a member of this credit union.â€? A shopper in Idaho said, “The employee with whom I interacted made me feel valued as a customer because she did not delay in greeting me and stopping her other work to open up a teller window in order to handle my transaction. She was appropriately friendly and businesslike. This branch was in excellent condition, and based on that as well as the service I received, I would feel comfortable doing business here. I would also recommend the branch to others.â€? Congratulations and thanks to the following credit unions and their employees for providing excellent service to guest members.  
American Airlines FCU 10701 Lambert Intl Blvd St Louis MO
Bellco CU 1075 S Havana St Aurora CO
Cedar Falls Community CU 420 Viking Rd Cedar Falls IA
Cedar Falls Community CU 123 W 4th St Cedar Falls IA
Clarity CU 805 E Cleveland Blvd Caldwell ID
Clarity CU 1115 Albany Rm 132 Caldwell ID
Connections CU 343 Caldwell Blvd Nampa ID
Cornerstone CU 416 S Kimball Caldwell ID
Dupaco Community CU 1334 Flammang Dr Waterloo IA
Fitzsimons CU 2201 N Fitzsimons Pkwy Aurora CO
Lewis Clark CU 1626 17th St Lewiston ID
Lewis Clark CU 1451 15th St Clarkston ID
Malheur FCU 250 10th St N Vale OR
North Iowa Community CU 640 S Federal Ave Mason City IA
North Iowa Community CU 4063 4th St SW Mason City IA
Northwest Christian 716 E Colorado Ave Nampa ID
Partner Colorado CU 4000 Quebec St Denver CO
Partner Colorado CU 998 S Chambers Rd Aurora CO
Pioneer FCU 850 E Fairview Ave Meridian ID
Public Service CU 7502 W 80th Ave Arvada CO
Public Service CU 7055 E Evans Ave Denver CO
Public Service CU 815 Colorado Blvd Denver CO
Public Service CU 1113 S Abilene Ct, Unit 102 Aurora CO
Public Service CU 12501 E 17th Ave Unit A Aurora CO
Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement 992 Potomac Cir Aurora CO
Security Service FCU 10490 S 1300 East Sandy UT
Security Service FCU 2072 South 2200 East Salt Lake City UT
Security Service FCU 124 N West State Rd American Fork UT
Security Service FCU 4910 Windsor Hill San Antonio TX
Security Service FCU 5750 W Loop 1604 N San Antonio TX
UP Connection FCU 204 S 35th St Council Bluffs IA
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