The Missing Pieces of the FREE Checking Puzzle
You can have the most sought-after product in the market but unless you aggressively promote it on an ongoing basis, it’s just another product.
As an avid follower of bank and credit union marketing, I’ve come to the conclusion that most marketers believe the mere presence of the Free Checking account is sufficient to grow checking account market share.
As a result, these banks and credit unions fail to put adequate – if any – marketing effort behind their FREE Checking accounts.
Here’s a marketing tip: Free checking is not a marketing offer – it’s a product.
Having a FREE Checking account as part of your checking product menu is simply the first step in launching a successful marketing program to grow checking account market share. It’s the first piece of the puzzle.
By the way, the FREE Checking account has been around for many years – long before its breakout in 1982 with the introduction of the High Performance Checking Account Marketing Program anchored by the Totally Free Checking account.
What changed the face of Free Checking wasn’t the account itself – it was the turnkey marketing program banks used to aggressively promote it.
This turnkey marketing program consisted of several very important components:
- An appealing offer of Free Checking and a free gift
- A checking product menu consisting of seven unique accounts
- An ongoing direct mail campaign using a proprietary prospect list development tool
- Frequent, detailed response reports for management
- Exterior Free Checking banners
- In-branch promotional materials including free gift display
- A tell-a-friend program
- Check buyback of checks from previous bank
- Mystery shops
- Sales training
What made this program so successful is that most of the work was performed by experienced marketers working for the direct response marketing vendor that created the program.
Since its introduction in 1982, a number of changes have been made to this turnkey program to ensure its continued success.
Fast forward to today, many of the banks and credit unions offering Free Checking have either stopped using the turnkey program or have never used it. Others continue using a modified version. While offering Free Checking still gives them a leg-up over the competition, it does not deliver the volume of new customers available from using an aggressive marketing program of some sort.
Today, we find many bank marketing people pulled away from the traditional direct mail channel and into the arms of the social media octopus. While social media can play a role in a comprehensive marketing program, it should not be the sole channel for marketing Free Checking – or any product for that matter.
Taking your Free Checking account to the next level requires marketing money and a robust marketing campaign that includes the traditional direct mail channel.
What’s so important about the direct mail channel?
As Joe Swatek covered in yesterday’s blog, it’s the LIST. And not just any list.
Today, when it comes to aggressively marketing your Free Checking account, the absolute best list is the TASC-generated list available from ACTON Marketing. It’s a list approach that is the result of over 29 years of marketing free checking across the country.
You can learn more about the TASC predictive statistical list model here.
Click here for an overview of ACTON Marketing’s turnkey checking account marketing program.
Differentiating your bank or credit union from your competitors requires not only an account like Free Checking – it also requires a unique marketing approach like that available from ACTON Marketing.
ACTON Marketing holds the missing pieces to the Free Checking puzzle.