You know how great it smells when you walk into a home where there’s a meal in the oven or the smell of freshly baked cookies. Then there are the pleasant aromas of newly cut lawns, the freshness after a spring rain, a rose.
Have you ever thought you could use scents to market your products and services?
Let’s face it, some marketing messages are best sent to customers and prospects using the traditional mail channel.
I was reminded of this the other day upon receipt of a four-panel self-mailer from my local credit union.
In this case, it was the product being promoted that demanded the offer be sent using the U.S. Postal Service and not the more ephemeral, cluttered email channel.
If your bank or credit union has a few million dollars of extra funds in your marketing budget (don’t you wish) or if your board of directors wants to make a monetary commitment of considerable size, you can follow the trend that many banks seem to be taking — buy the rights to have your company’s name on a sports arena or similar venue.
No, I’m not really serious about the investment, but I saw the makings of a trend when I read a news report in the local paper about the bank that won the naming rights to our new hometown arena in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Who would have thought that the key to attracting Gen X and Gen Y consumers to your bank or credit union depends on saving for the future and avoiding credit card debt?
And, who would have thought that at this point in time in their lives, Gen X and Gen Y consumers are actually saving more than the Baby Boomers who should be saving every spare dollar they get?
Some proof as to their savings ethic comes from a recent survey conducted by TD Ameritrade between July 20 and August 17 of this year. According to the data released last week, 23% of Gen X respondents and 25% of Gen Y respondents say they funded both a 401(k) and an IRA in 2010. Compare this to only 16% of boomer respondents making such contributions last year.
Still feeling the Christmas spirit today? Let’s look at some old holiday advertising.
Santa is a prominent figure in December promotions (and lately, as early as October). It’s not unusual to see Santa hawking merchandise, as in this traditional Coca-Cola ad.
The story of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is the story of a marketing success. Today, we have Rudolph inhabiting our holiday decor, TV screens, music, and greeting cards because of the brilliant idea of a copywriter who worked for Montgomery Ward.
In 1939, when hard economic times were still called depressions, the Montgomery Ward executives wanted to save a few marketing dollars. Every department store featured a Santa’s Toyland where kids could sit on Santa’s lap, tell him what they wanted for Christmas, and parents could find those toys on the shelves nearby.
The secret to cutting through the clutter with direct mail is always in plain sight when you sort through the mail you receive at home every day.
Unfortunately, many of the marketing folks creating direct mail pieces and approving them appear blind to this secret clearly visible to them.
Over the years, I’ve become convinced that the creative types working for general media agencies either are unaware of this secret or choose to ignore it for aesthetics reasons. It’s simply impossible to ignore if you spend any time studying an assortment of direct mail samples which is mandatory to be successful in this channel.
The question is in the headline above. The image is below. What’s your guess?
So if I take this self-mailer out of the mailbox, the first thing I see is a dark, blank panel with my address and a financial institution’s logo. Maybe, instead of immediately disregarding the mailer (as many people would), I wonder why someone sent a sales piece to me without attempting to tease me with a product or offer, so I flip over the mailer and scan the headline on the back panel.
Our friends at The Financial Brand invite you to participate in this important survey about the state of marketing in the retail banking sector.
One of the things I enjoy about receiving mail at home is the occasional surprise waiting in the mailbox. No, it’s not the Priority Mail boxes containing my latest eBay purchase that surprise me. After all, I’ve been excitedly expecting them.
No, it’s the unexpected piece of mail that I find intriguing.
Seems like the local newspaper that delivers my daily subscription (often late) doesn’t like how the online bill payment system works.
Each time a billing statement arrives, I make the payment using online bill pay connected to my checking account. I use the payment date that’s shown as the deadline — the date the newspaper chooses.
The last few billing periods, I’ve found a “payment late” notice in the mailbox, telling me my subscription payment hasn’t arrived, even though my bill pay history shows the payment was made on-time and days before the “late” notification was mailed.
When you market to your own customers, you should personalize the correspondence to show you recognize these people as your customers. It’s also common to see personalized prospect mail, depending on factors like the list you use.
Personalization can go beyond using the recipient’s name in a salutation. You can include account information for your bank customers or credit union members. Show addresses of your nearest branches on prospect mail, and so on.
Anyone remember the button that does nothing? Back in the early days of the Internet someone created a website that had a big button that took you nowhere. Waisting time has gotten much more sophisticated today. While not intentionally, this QR code promotion turned out to be just as worthless.
When a mega-bank is found guilty of misdeeds and is fined in the millions of dollars, who actually pays the fine?
“Wells Fargo donates for winter shelters” reads the big bold headline in the Tuesday edition of The Sacramento Bee. Reading the article I learn that the wonderful, giving folks at Wells Fargo recently donated $75,000 to cover a shortfall in one of Sacramento’s homeless shelter programs.
On the surface, this is good news for the growing population of homeless folks living in the Sacramento area.
Let’s be honest here – thanks to technology going back to the advent of the ATM in the early 1970s, consumer banking has become more impersonal.
Today it is not uncommon to hear people brag that they no longer go to into their local branch except on a rare occasion.
Generally, more impersonal means less brand loyalty. Less brand loyalty means less share of wallet.
How powerful and effective is direct mail marketing? Consider that the leading name in social media uses direct mail to promote itself.
This miniature postcard, 4.25 x 6 inches, arrived in the ACTON Marketing office on November 30.
A few days ago, I explained why you need a logical approach to how you present your office locations on your bank or credit union website. One idea I omitted from the post I’ll expand on today.
While I was writing the post about locations, I ran across this actual information a big bank has on its branch locations page:
Contrary to popular belief, the direct mail marketing channel remains one of the most cost-effective, best responding marketing channels available today.
One proof-point of this statement is that Monday an envelope package from the marketing folks at Chase arrived in my mail box. I was being offered a $150 bonus for opening a new Chase savings account. And included in the package was an insert offering a second $125 bonus for opening a Chase checking account with direct deposit.
This is not a holiday reminder. It has nothing to do with you getting your greeting cards and packages in the mail on time. It’s a warning to marketers.
The U.S. Postal Service announced another cutback it plans to use to save money.
With no financial help from a stagnated Congress and the onerous payments the Postal Service must make to the postal employees’ retirement health fund (which Congress could also ease), the USPS continues to look for ways to climb out of its huge deficit.
Most likely, you thoroughly enjoy your marketing job at the bank or credit union. After all, you get to constantly exercise the creative half of your brain and are generally envied by most of your co-workers.
Who wouldn’t like sitting in meetings discussing a new account name, reviewing fresh creative, or planning the next big marketing campaign to bring in new customers.