The headline over the article says, “Free Checking Thrives at Smaller Banks, Durbin Notwithstanding.”
The article is from the American Banker, so it doesn’t mention credit unions, but “Smaller Banks and Credit Unions” would be equally true.
Free checking has been bashed in the general media to the point where many consumers think free checking has disappeared. So my first thought when I read this American Banker headline was, “Too bad the public doesn’t see this.”
It’s bad enough that most area banks and credit unions have stopped advertising in the local newspapers as a result of steep cuts in the marketing budget.
It’s worse when a local bank or credit union actually runs an ad and immediately ruins it with a horrible headline.
Such is the case with this ad from a local Sacramento-area credit union.
What was the Return On Investment for your last marketing campaign? Was it over 400 percent?
Some community financial institutions recently experienced that impressive plateau with their pre-approved auto loan marketing campaigns. It’s evidence that car buying is still a hot consumer category and that even after the new vehicle is purchased a consumer is still interested in a better loan offer.
Because these refi loan prospects are pre-approved according to the bank’s or credit union’s own loan standards, these are safer than the usual loans. It’s a good way to put deposit funds to better use and increase your customer base at the same time.
The September issue of Money magazine includes the article “Get a Fair Shake, Not a Shake-Down,” where it analyzed “options at the 20 largest banks, as well as at major regional and online banks, and the least restrictive national credit unions.”
The only nod to community banks and credit unions is a subhead on one of the sidebars that recommends some big bank accounts and adds…”Ready to Switch? Start Here. Check Out Smaller Banks and Credit Unions As Well.”
As a saver, are you satisfied with the rate of interest you’re being paid on your savings by your local bank or credit union?
I didn’t think so!
Given today’s embarrassingly low interest rates being paid on regular savings and certificates of deposit, it boggles the mind that any bank or credit union would run rate ads in the local newspaper – even if it was paying a slightly higher rate than the competition.
Take a look at this ad which appeared in yesterday’s issue of The Sacramento Bee.
If you’re a sports fan (and if you’re not, keep reading anyway), have you ever counted the number of times you see the same commercial during a televised sports event?
That may be true for all types of programming, but let’s focus on pro sports because that’s where you see Budweiser commercials. Bud makes a good example because it’s been advertising during televised sports events almost since there were televised sports events.
I’m going in this direction to make a point about repetition and consistency. Now and then, a financial services marketer decides the company’s promotional projects need to change dramatically every time. Hit people with something new, he or she says, so it’ll get noticed.
Hardly a day goes by that I’m not reminded as to why a growing number of disgruntled consumers distrust and hate big banks – even the ones where they bank.
I was greeted by this headline in last Thursday’s newspaper.
Financial institutions put a lot of emphasis on cross-selling financial products to their bank customers and credit union members. Don’t you (and especially your branch account managers) wish there was an easy way to open cross-sell accounts?
There is a way. And it’s as easy as shooting fish in a barrel. (Which is an inaccurate cliche according to Discovery Channel’s “Mythbusters.”) Cliche aside, this example is significant.
“In 10 years, I believe the financial institution with a teller line is going to be the anomaly. The branches without tellers will be the norm.”
That quote comes from Michael Colvin, a banking consultant from a firm that helps banks and credit unions reconfigure branch layouts.
Now admittedly, he has a stake in the issue since his company earns money by redesigning branches, but is there truth in what he says and what might be coming?
A general rule of thumb as it relates to bank marketing is that humor seldom works effectively.
Simple – people are serious about their hard-earned money and don’t believe humor is appropriate when dealing with such an important topic. This is especially true today in the midst of the worst financial crisis since The Great Depression.
Of course, like everything else in life…there are exceptions to almost every rule – and the situation described below might be one of them.
I read a quote today, attributed to an Advertising Hall of Fame member. He said, “Never hesitate to steal a good idea.”
At the same time, I had a self-mailer on my desk that uses an idea you might want to steal for a future promotion. It would work especially well for event marketing, like a grand opening.
A regional furniture seller that regularly runs sales and special offers sent this large self-mailer (6 x 11-inches, folded).
Looking for an excuse for a special promotion, my local credit union decided it would use its anniversary as the reason for offering auto loan rates as low as 2.99%.
I was impressed by the unusually low rate as the credit union has been promoting its 3.99% low rate auto loans for several months. A 100-basis-points drop in loan rate is a significant benefit to customers and prospects.
“Intelligent Mail® is the technology platform of the next generation of mailing services.” So says the first sentence from a postal bulletin, Your Intelligent Mail® Survival Guide.
If you’re a marketer and have no idea what Intelligent Mail is, then it’s time to get up to speed and do your homework.
When more than one group of marketers or departments are involved in a promotion, there can be a joust over how the promotional space of a mail piece or print ad is used.
One ACTON Marketing client is running a promotion to get more Facebook followers. A contingent in the company wanted to replace the corporate halo story in the mail promotion with an ad for the institution’s Facebook page.
I thought the answer I wrote as an email response might help you if you have a similar situation with two sides tugging on you for limited ad space. It can apply to all sorts of product promotions, not just the Facebook issue mentioned here.
I begin this blog with an old Arabian proverb: “If the camel once gets his nose in the tent, his body will soon follow.”
Well, thanks to a recent decision by Bank of New York Mellon, the camel’s nose is now inside the tent.
Can his body be far behind?
How often do you read something and find it has a more universal application?
A colleague gave me a link to an article on the topic of email marketing subject lines. I think one comment in the article applies to all forms of marketing and should either make you pay attention or leave you shaking your head in knowing agreement.
Here’s the key section from the response one person wrote following the article:
One, never ruin your newspaper ad with a play-on-words for the big, bold headline. Sacrificing a benefit-oriented headline for a play-on-words is advertising malpractice.
Two, never run your newspaper ad without a subhead or sales copy. After all, the goal of your ad is to sell.
Three, never ruin your newspaper ad trying to demonstrate to readers that your bank or credit union is up on the latest technology. You make yourself look foolish.
Does the way you promote your checking accounts encourage prospects to come to your financial institution, discourage them, or simply make them think, “So what?”
Sometimes a new banking client that comes to us for our checking account marketing strategy asks during the creative meeting: “Why do you put more than one checking account in a mail piece?”
I like questions like this because they show the people are thinking and looking for the best way to promote their checking products.
Do you use QR Codes on your mail promotions? If so, you have until the end of the month to get a 3% rate discount from the U.S. Postal Service.
(Don’t know what a QR Code is? Read this.)
The Postal Service wants marketers to see the value of using QR Codes for their campaigns, which is the reason for the discount. The discount began in July and runs through August 31, 2011.
Want to know the fastest way to ruin your great offer?
Add an asterisk to it!
There’s nothing more disappointing to a consumer looking for a great buy than encountering the dreaded asterisk in the headline, subhead, or body copy.
As singer, songwriter Tom Wait penned in his song “Step Right Up,” appearing on his “Small Change” album, “the large print giveth and the small print taketh away.”