Using Reciprocity to Expand Your Indirect Auto Member Relationship

Author Nickels
Read time 3 minutes read time

Have you ever received a survey in the mail with a dollar bill included?  Or have you ever opened an envelope from a non-profit to find a calendar, return address labels, or a bookmark? These kind gestures are tapping into a long-proven, behavioral science-backed marketing strategy. Reciprocity is the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit. Marketers know that a little goodwill can dramatically increase the likelihood that the recipient will reciprocate the gesture by taking the requested action. In short, a little goodwill can go a long way!

Indirect Auto Loans

For credit unions, this simple premise can prove highly effective for building relationships with a notoriously difficult group to engage. Credit union’s play a large role in the auto loan industry, with indirect auto loans accounting for 84.4% of auto loans. Yet, building and expanding a relationship with indirect auto members is historically difficult. These single-service relationships generally end when the loan is paid. This is why credit unions should leverage an act of reciprocity to create longer lasting goodwill.

Recipe for a Win-Win

Put yourself in your members’ shoes. You may not know much about the credit union that provided you with your auto loan, and aren’t receptive to immediate cross-sell tactics. This is where the act of reciprocity comes in- open the door with a value-add service.

Credit Card Coach can be that act of reciprocity that gets the attention of members and sets you on a path for a long-term relationship. Credit Card Coach is a value-add service that helps the new indirect auto loan member manage their third-party credit cards and credit card debt. This becomes your act of reciprocity.

Sample Introductory Email

Credit Card Coach has many benefits including:

  • Managing subscription fees
  • Monitoring credit card usage
  • Controlling monthly spend
  • Simplifying card payments
  • Supporting a good credit score
  • Improving overall credit card health

Offering Credit Card Coach as a new member benefit will not only generate goodwill, but the credit union benefits through new ongoing data feeds of their members’ third party credit cards.  This unlocks new loan opportunities and, by helping them manage their credit card debt, de-risks the auto loan they just received. 

Credit unions now have an easy way to expand their relationship with indirect auto members. Here is a sample outreach email. It really is that simple!

To learn more about Credit Card Coach and opportunities for indirect auto members contact us at