What’s Missing From Chase’s Overdraft Mailer?
In my opinion, the marketing folks at Chase Bank missed an excellent opportunity to share some good news with its checking customers.
At the same time, they left themselves open to unnecessary contacts from these same customers.
Although I’m not a customer of Chase Bank, I did manage to obtain a copy of the front side of its recent “Watch Your Mailbox” notice sent to checking customers.
The mailing was simply a “heads up” message that these customers should watch their mailbox for the overdraft opt-in form that will be arriving in the coming weeks.
The message was brief and focused exclusively on the forthcoming opt-in request mailing and why checking customers should say “yes” to retain their overdraft coverage.
Since this was the bank’s first solo direct mail communication to checking customers about their overdraft protection coverage, I was surprised the bank failed to explain the positive changes being made to its overdraft program.
In my opinion, this was an excellent opportunity to do so.
Last September 23rd, both Bank of America and Chase Bank announced, via the media, significant improvements to their overdraft programs.
In particular, Chase announced that sometime during the first quarter of 2010 it would eliminate the practice of batching a day’s worth of debit card and ATM transactions and processing them together with the largest balances being posted first. Such processing results in more frequent and more costly overdraft situations for customers. Moving forward, Chase promises to post these items in the order they are received. This is a major benefit for checking customers.
Second, Chase announced it would cease charging an overdraft fee when a checking account becomes overdrawn for $5 or less. This is another major benefit for its checking customers.
With such good news, you would think it should have been included in this original opt-in notification mailing. After all, such good news should have a positive impact on the number of Chase checking customers who will elect to say “yes” when their form eventually arrives.
In addition to providing the good news, the marketing folks should have thought to include some copy advising customers not to contact the bank about this notice before receiving the next mailing.
After reading the notice, the first thing that came to mind was all the checking customers who’ll scan the notice and immediately go into their local branch, call customer service, or go online and send an e-mail requesting more information.
Even though the notice headline and the second subhead reads “WATCH YOUR MAIL BOX” and the words “…in the coming weeks” and “In the next few weeks…” appear in the body copy, you can be assured that antsy folks will not sit back and wait for the mailing to arrive in a few weeks.
Many of them will wait a day or two and then begin nagging the bank for more details. The end result is a ton of unnecessary inquiries that could have been avoided with the addition of a few additional lines of copy about not contacting the bank before receiving the next notice.
Had I been a member of the bank’s marketing department or the checking product manager I would have done my best to ensure both the good news and the “don’t contact the bank” copy was included in this mailer.
At a minimum, I would have insisted on adding the good news.