Certainly it was unintentional, but when you make a statement like this be sure what you say is possible.
The newspaper ad was approximately 5 x 10.25-inches and the headline proclaimed, “Free Checking So Free It’s Worth Reading The Fine Print Below.”
Good idea to make light of the ever-present disclaimer copy. It makes the reader feel like the advertiser is on the consumer’s side. Only one problem.
Suppose you have a regular promotion and you send out invitation announcements by mail. It’s pricey to print a fresh batch of invitations each time, especially small quantities. Here’s an idea that will save you time and money.
A couple of weeks ago, I found an attractive greeting card-size envelope in my mailbox. Though the address appeared handwritten (it was actually laser imaged), I knew it wasn’t from a friend. (Suite number return address. “The Swatek Family” address.)
Oh, the hypocrisy over the much-loved and much-desired free checking account!
Not wanting to lose thousands of their formerly free checking customers, the mega-banks are performing a genetic alteration on the free checking account.
While they can’t name this new mutant account free checking, they can market it as being free checking as long as the customer meets some performance criteria. Generally, the choice of criteria includes: Read more…
Earlier this month, I wrote a post where I said social media is expanding women’s consumer influence. A colleague said when he read my post he thought of the political situation worldwide where social media has an even greater and growing influence.
It’s true. Press reports from Egypt credited users of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter for spreading news about the people’s political revolt and for helping protestors coordinate their rallies.
Two recent surveys highlight the chasm between what banks feel they must implement to remain profitable and what customers will tolerate in the way of new fees, restrictions, and requirements on their currently free checking accounts.
Independent Community Bankers of America asked their members how they would react if proposed Federal Reserve regulations go into effect, namely the Durbin amendment of the Dodd/Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Bankers indicated a likelihood to implement a number of new restrictions and fees.
It wasn’t that long ago that Washington Mutual (WaMu) owned the free checking market in Sacramento. For several years its entire marketing campaign centered on its ubiquitous free checking account.
You couldn’t escape it.
It’s a big mistake many advertisers make. Their ad doesn’t sell anything.
When you go to the expense of placing a print ad, be sure you give readers reasons to do business with you. Below is an example of a financial institution ad from the local paper that has nothing to offer potential loan customers. They may not even understand what it means.
You’ve heard of targeted advertising. Here’s a different way to do it.
When you talk about targeting your message, it usually means refining a marketing list to reach only your best prospects. The targeting I’ll describe today may be an approach you haven’t thought about lately.
Young Singles. Family Groups. Empty Nesters.
It’s the same free checking message from my local credit union but with a slightly different look.
Sometimes, it’s possible to make minor changes to a bank’s or credit union’s newspaper ad and improve the chances that it gets noticed more frequently and generates more response.
Unfortunately, unless you test both versions on the same day in the same newspaper (called a split-run test), it’s almost impossible to determine if one version works better than the other. While split-run tests are fairly easy in direct mail and emails, they are a bit more complicated in your local newspaper.
It’s the hot topic in the banking industry today.
Many marketing and financial executives told us they’re disappointed they couldn’t attend the free ACTON Marketing webinars about the Free Checking consumer report. So, we’ve scheduled two more.
Free Checking & The Banking Customer is the report compiled and released by ACTON Market Intelligence, the research division of ACTON Marketing. The report is available — free — to banks and credit unions.
According to a recent survey, approximately 93% of American adults have one or more checking accounts with 94% of the accounts held being free checking.
Of course, this number may be dropping as a result of the knee-jerk reaction of the mega-banks to drop free checking.
When someone brought a marketing project into the communications department at the insurance company where I once worked, my boss often asked, “Do you want it good, fast, or cheap?”
He told people, you can have two of those elements, but never all three.
The quick advances of social media have made women a more powerful marketing force and Marketing to Women strategies more important than ever.
One aspect of Marketing to Women is the word-of-mouth referrals — good and bad — that women generate for a business. Consider how much more influential these testimonials are now after the explosion of social media like Facebook, Twitter, product review sites, and so on. Not only do women tell their friends and co-workers about your business, they spread the news to others whom they’ve never met.
For your financial institution, this new factor is both an advantage and a dilemma. When women are impressed with your operations, they can reach and influence even more interested people. Conversely, negative comments can have a more widespread effect.
With all the chatter in the media about the four big mega-banks dropping free checking, it got me to wondering about the life line checking account laws passed in seven states in the early-to-mid-1980s.
Undoubtedly, the life line checking account requirement is still in force in these seven states as such laws seldom go away. The states are:
A colleague sent me links to some news stories about checking accounts. These stories seem to be clones and continue to repeat misinformation.
So let’s set the record straight.
These typical “death of free checking” stories that pop up everywhere the mega-banks have locations say free checking began in 1994 at Washington Mutual.
Are the mega-banks hiding the truth about free checking?
If free checking isn’t profitable, then how do you explain the free checking accounts being offered by Ally Bank and ING Direct?
Of course, neither online bank calls its free checking account free checking.
I’ve been defining a few marketing terms in some of my recent blog posts. A news story about BMW made me think of another term you seldom hear, but one that was once controversial among the public and advertisers.
The article described a new method BMW tested for its video commercials. While viewers watch, the BMW logo is imperceptibly flashed using a new projection technology. Then, viewers are told to close their eyes and the logo appears to float in front of them while their eyes are shut. (I wonder if it works for a name like International Harvester?)
A mail-marketing newsletter article, “Banks Woo Customers the Old-Fashioned Way,” examined some big-bank mail packages that had feel-good messages on the outer envelopes. One annoys me more than the others and I’ll use it as an example of what you should avoid for your own mail promotions.
The example, which was shown in the newsletter, is a US Bank envelope with a teaser above the window that says, “Our people make the difference.” As the newsletter points out, that initially “seems pretty self-serving.” Under the window, the teaser continues, “Of course, by ‘people’ we mean customers like you.”
(Editor’s note: This is another in a series of blog posts related to the training of financial institution employees. If appropriate, please pass this information to your training staff.)
As trainers, one of the things that all of us struggle with from time to time is how to make our training stick. We’ve worked hard on the content of the training session, our presentation, how the training is going to flow, etc. We’ve gone through our checklist, both mentally and physically, in terms of room setup, scheduled breaks and so forth and we think everything is ready. Right? However, when the training is over, you get the distinct feeling that the training didn’t resonate with the class and consequently isn’t going to stick.
What was the marketing team for the credit union thinking last week?
Apparently, they weren’t thinking.
They approved a newspaper ad offering not only a free checking account but cash back as well. Unfortunately for consumers reading the ad, there was absolutely no mention of how you could receive cash back.
I immediately went to the credit union’s website to see if the cash back information was readily available there. It wasn’t.