Over the years, I’ve written for just about every major type of advertising format. Can’t think of any I’ve missed. That includes electronic media promotions like email blasts, promotional landing pages, and Web ads. Once, I wrote a series of scripts for animated ads that ran on arena scoreboards.
So, I have nothing against the new media, but if you read this blog you know direct mail marketing is my favorite advertising medium.
The secret to beating your competitor that offers free checking is to offer three different free checking accounts.
Yes – three different free checking accounts.
And two of them pay interest.
There’s a tactic some mega-banks use to prevent consumers from moving accounts to community banks and credit unions. There is a way your financial institution can counter this tactic.
Many accountholders dread going back to their old financial institution to close an account. It’s a personal confrontation. The teller or account manager asks embarrassing questions like, “Why are you closing this account?”
Remember the early video game, Pac Man? The round yellow video creature traveled through the mazes and chomped up everything in its path.
Disclaimer copy is like that, except not as cute and it certainly eats more of your precious ad space. Here’s a prime example in a recent newspaper ad. (Click on the image for a larger view.)
Perhaps the most vexing question direct mail marketers face continuously concerns the decision to remove a prospect from the mail file.
I’ve been intentionally not posting on my blog for a good reason – O.K., that’s not entirely true but I’ll talk more about that at the end of this post – but the intersection of four interesting items all surrounding social media have caused me to violate my posting moratorium.
Here is a list of the four items in the order I encountered them: Read more…
If you regularly read this blog, you might have seen references to an idea file in some of my posts. I usually include a link to the original idea file post I wrote in July 2009. The post is old enough that if it were a cell phone it would qualify as an antique.
My original post was short and the idea of an idea file is important, so I decided to write a new, more practical post on this topic.
We’ve all heard the expression “It’s like throwing a deck chair off the Titanic.” Well, that’s how I felt earlier today upon reaching the teller window at my local credit union.
Glancing around while waiting for the teller to triple-check my ID, my eyes were drawn to a nearby brochure rack. The bold words “Zero,” “Zip,” and “Zilch” quickly caught my attention. They seemed very unusual words to use for promoting a banking product.
A closer look provided the reason why – FREE CHECKING.
You open the bright yellow stamped envelope and inside there’s a greeting card. Are you surprised when you look inside the card and find a $500 check?
Certainly, the check would make you stop and examine it more closely. Then you’re likely to read the card’s message to see why you’re holding the check.
I did, and that’s why I put this Geico Insurance envelope package in my idea file. It arrived in the fall, 2007.
If you aren’t already giving this question some major thought time, perhaps you should reconsider.
Does the future of consumer banking depend on maintaining expensive brick and mortar branches?
It’s my opinion that ultimately banks and credit unions are going to have to rethink their dependence on brick and mortar branches to serve customers.
Interest has perked up again, and I don’t mean the rate paid on deposits.
The general press has picked up on the story that Wells Fargo Bank intends to eliminate its free checking accounts in six more states. Add word that Bank of America is once again planning to charge customers additional fees and you see a frenzy of topical news reports.
Next to my computer at the moment, I have a story from the L.A. Times that was reprinted in the local paper. It’s typical of many follow-up reports and sidebar articles on the subject. It includes an old standby, the “man on the street” quote.
Sometimes a banker does or says something that makes you shake your head in amazement. This occurred last Thursday when the folks at Wells Fargo made the announcement that it was dropping free checking in six more states – replacing it with its “Essentials” Checking account that has a $7 monthly fee.
While I encountered numerous online articles about this move, it was one sentence in the article by JD Malone of Allentown, Pennsylvania’s newspaper The Morning Call that got my attention.
Ten years ago, ACTON Marketing “discovered” a new idea that was being promoted by some marketing researchers called Marketing to Women. After a year of study, consultation, and our own research and testing, we introduced the pioneering concept to our financial services clients.
There was some resistance. More than once, a banking executive told us, “All our customers are men.” Other clients who disbelieved would take informal polls in their branches and find the statistic that says 89% of all banking choices are made or influenced by women to be a reasonable profile of their customers.
I’ve yet to find an answer for a marketing question that’s been nagging me for the past couple of years.
Why would any business, banks and credit unions included, cease using the traditional mail channel that delivers proven results in order to climb aboard the yet-to-be-proven social media bandwagon?
At a minimum, you’d think these marketers would stick with what works as an insurance policy while reallocating fewer dollars to testing social media. Totally abandoning one channel in order to fund a relatively new channel just seems like a bad marketing decision.
Does an Allstate agent read this blog? I wonder because in February I wrote about the incorrect personalization on a prospecting letter package that came to me with a local Allstate agency return address.
Now, I found a second, similar envelope package in my home mailbox, but this one shows improvements.
How much monetary pain must a checking customer endure before making the effort to switch to another bank or credit union?
At issue here is the price elasticity of a checking account.
I was reminded of this over the weekend when a close friend of mine told me she continues banking with Chase even though she no longer has free checking. She’s a victim of a number of bank acquisitions over the years with the latest being Chase’s acquisition of Washington Mutual.
Our staff members at ACTON Marketing are excited and enthused over the changes taking place in our office. We’ve had a reorganization of our executive management and the company is now led by five Managing Partners.
Some of our clients may already have heard this news, but for most of you this is the first announcement. I haven’t finished writing the press release yet, and this blog seemed like the quickest way to get the news out.
If you could eliminate one barrier that prevents two-thirds of interested prospects from moving to your financial institution, would you do it?
One financial institution, Texas Trust Credit Union, decided to make it much easier for consumers to move accounts to its credit union. The initiative is something you should consider at your bank or credit union. I’m sure others already are using it.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about what the ACTON Marketing trainers tell me is a problem they discovered during on-site training sessions at our clients’ offices. Most of the trainees know their institutions have switch kits, but they don’t distribute them.