How to Get Out the Vote in Credit Union Election

Everything has changed in the span of a few short months – credit union operations, member interactions, online meetings, and so much more. But your credit union election is a must, so how can you effectively publicize it and inspire members to cast their ballots, especially with the added barrier of distance?

Promote, promote, promote

Members can’t vote if they don’t know the essential details of your election – when is the election, how can they vote, who is running, etc. It’s up to you to craft a marketing campaign to sell your election and inspire members to participate.

Don’t just send a ballot without giving a heads up, it can be confusing and lead many members to miss or ignore a critical piece of mail. Instead, utilize your credit union newsletter (print and digital) to share candidate photos and bios as well as details about the election.

It’s an important event, so send a “save the date” postcard to help members prepare to vote.

And remember, no matter how much you promote your election, if it is uncontested and there is only one candidate on the ballot, members are unlikely to bother to vote. So, put in the time early and find multiple interested and qualified candidates.

If you’re focusing on a merger or charter vote, be transparent and share plenty of information, in plain, informative language.

Know your audience

When you know your members, their demographics, and how they prefer to communicate and vote, you increase your chances of effectively reaching them and getting them to vote.

Boomer members

Ranging in ages from their late 50s to 70s, the Baby Boomers have largely proven adaptable in their communications preferences. Webinars, videos, online, and phone support are all popular preferred options.

  • More than 70 percent of adults ages 50 to 64 are on Facebook, according to a Nielsen study. And, while many Boomers prefer to scan information, instead of interacting on social networks, they are there and paying attention.
  • No matter how you’re interacting with your Boomer members, be sure you’re doing so with the highest level of service in mind. Go the extra mile to follow up, and it will pay off.
  • Focus on tangible information with this group of members – direct mail campaigns, paper ballots to vote, plenty of background materials, and instructions.
Gen X members

While it’s difficult to find a consensus on what constitutes “Generation X,” your members from their early 30s to early 50s likely fall in this group.

  • Many Gen Xers appreciate you offering them the choice to receive communications in paper form or digitally. But when it comes to interacting with your credit union, most will opt for email, chat functionality, and through your website.
  • Social media, particularly Facebook and Instagram, is widely used by members of Gen X and many are particularly responsive to online contests and promotions. Whether they’re contacting you through your website, email, or social media, quick follow up is vital to keep these members engaged.
  • A focus on new, innovative, and different ways of seeing/doing something helps Gen X members inspire action. Define your credit union’s needs and goals and provide brief action steps on how your members can help you achieve them.
  • Provide quick, convenient ways to vote and focus on online solutions. Emphasize security and reliability and be respectful of their time.
Millennial and Generation Z members

Members born from the early 1980s to the late 1990s are typically considered Millennials. Those born from the late 90s to the mid-2000s are generally considered Generation Z.

  • Both generations tend to have 24/7, always-on digital communications styles, so be sure your credit union’s online and social media presence is strong. Not only do Millennials and Gen Z members expect to see your credit union on social media, they expect your social stance to be strong as well, so be upfront and public about community and charitable support. Build on that as inspiration on the importance of being engaged and casting their ballots.
  • Arm these members with information about your election and enlist them to share it online using their spin and style.
  • Clearly, but briefly, communicate what you need these members to do and provide them an immediate way to take action (such as an embedded auto login link to cast their vote). Explain the importance of voting and give them a convenient way to do so.

From innovative voting technologies to get out the vote strategies for all generations of your credit union members, SBS is here to help. Have questions on how you can best engage your members? Or even just a particular segment of your membership? Ready to increase your election participation, even in a time when in-person options are limited or off limits?

Reach out, we’re ready to help.