Desert Financial CU Wins Best in Digital Marketing Category, CU Digital Experience Report

Alex Jimenez

January 3, 2022


The 2021 Credit Union Digital Experience Report provides a snapshot of key industry trends and a heuristic review and ranking of the user experience at the largest 50 credit unions by asset size in the United States. The report is the result of comprehensive review of each organization’s digital presence. We rated each credit union’s public marketing site according to six key dimensions of the experience:

  • User Experience (UX)
  • Analytics and SEO
  • Key Features and Functionality
  • Visual Design and Branding
  • Content
  • Digital Marketing


Digital Marketing

For the Digital Marketing category, we evaluated each site on the following criteria:

  • Effective cross-sell/up-sell of products and services
  • Key customer segments are addressed
  • Evidence of personalization
  • Social media used to drive campaigns
  • Special offers


Our review of the 50 largest credit unions along the criteria defined resulted in a largely disappointing result for this category. We found most credit unions focused on products rather than member needs. Many organizations are seeking personalization, but we only found seven CUs that seem to exhibit limited levels of personalization. In addition, while majority of CUs (47) identify some level of segmentation, we only found nineteen that represented well their defined segments within their website.


The report identified six credit unions that stood apart from the rest. The Digital Marketing winners are:


Desert Financial covered the basics of what we were looking for in this category. Their key segments are easily discerned and covered by their site. There was evidence of basic personalization. Special offers were presented clearly and up-front.



We had a tie for second place with Alliant and Patelco having the same score.

Alliant’s site clearly defines their key segments, which are well addressed. Special offers are well highlighted “above the fold.” Patelco’s website exhibited personalization that we found rarely in our review. Cross-sell and special offers were also evident.


Fourth Place:

We had a three-way tie for fourth place between Wings Financial, America First, and PenFed.

Wings Financial’s presentation of special offers was significantly strong. We also saw evidence of cross-sell and segmentation. America First also had great presentation of their special offers. PenFed led all reviewed credit unions in cross-sell and up-sell.


Congratulations to all the winners!


To learn more about the findings in the report, download the 2021 CU Digital Experience report.


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