Some marketers and executives get excited about using themes for promotional campaigns. Here’s some advice if you find yourself with that type of project.
There are a few important ideas to keep in mind if you’re planning to use a theme.
- Make it appropriate for your product
- A theme shouldn’t negatively affect your financial institution
- Don’t overdo the theme
- If you choose to use one, stick with only one
During a creative call with a young credit union marketer, she forcefully said, “We want to sign up young members. We don’t want any old people to join.”
She didn’t realize the entire project team on our end was years older than her. Might have been awkward if we’d mentioned it.
I read a new report that studied the consumer age group most likely to buy a new car today. That young credit union marketer would be disappointed if she read it. Once again, Generation Y loses out to the Boomer Generation.
When the financial crisis hit the country a few years ago, marketing budgets at banks and credit unions were slashed. Basically, financial institutions curled up in a ball and hid. Advertising was minimal.
Nothing like their more adaptable, it seems, marketing predecessors.
I’ll show you a print ad that ran recently in the newspaper because it gives me a chance to point out one of the most important aspects of marketing.
This ad appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star in July 2013.
Often you hear and read that “free” is the most important word to use with your campaign. That’s true. But there’s another word that, if not equally important, certainly comes in a close second.
If you can arrange it, your financial institution can benefit from a complete marketing campaign and pay only part of the cost. It works when you co-brand a promotion with another business or entity.
Not to be confused with branding ads, co-branding is defined by Investopedia as…
You want every promotion you put in front of the public to attract more customers and open more accounts at your financial institution. But some promotions, by their general makeup, are more likely to be successful than others.
Here’s my rundown of the likelihood these five types of promotions will succeed.
Since the first step of any marketing campaign is to grab the attention of the prospect, the image of a check peeking through the window of the envelope freshly pulled from the mailbox almost guarantees the envelope gets opened.
In our minds we know there’s the slimmest of chances a business will send us a surprise check in the mail, but the same mental process that makes us buy lottery tickets with the expectation of winning makes us believe that’s a real check in the envelope.
Offering your prospects multiple ways to respond to your promotions increases the success of your marketing campaigns. Today, let’s consider one response channel, your website.
There are two possible ways to use your bank or credit union website with a marketing campaign.
- Offer more information about the promotion. This is especially useful for complex products and offers like an equity loan product or a promotion that has multiple steps toward the “prize.”
- Allow the prospect to open the account online.
Lately, I’ve noticed two points about bank and credit union marketing.
I watch for financial institution print ads, direct mail, billboards, even outdoor banners and lesser media. That statement is no surprise if you’re a regular reader of this blog.
Here’s my first point. Banks and credit unions are advertising again. Remember what it was like just a few years ago? Advertising budgets were slashed. No institution wanted to advertise because of the financial crisis. News stories about the crisis hit the papers and broadcasts daily.
Paging through the Sunday newspaper, I was surprised to see the incentive being offered by the bank.
One of the most perplexing issues facing bank marketers is whether or not to offer an incentive for opening a new checking account. After all, switching banks is very difficult for most consumers. With rare exception, opening a new checking account signals the customer is switching banks.
First, do incentives work?
What’s the most important part of a billboard, newspaper ad, direct mail piece, or email marketing message?
It’s definitely the most important part of a blog, newspaper article or online article.
It’s the Headline!
A couple of months ago, I wrote about a series of newspaper ads a credit union used that featured stories of members and offered fundraising opportunities for special projects.
I predicted the series of similar-looking ads would continue to appear the first week of the following months. That prediction came true, but I was surprised by another ad that popped (or hopped) into the picture. I’ll show you the ads and you judge which type you think will attract more business.
On October 7 and November 11, the fourth and fifth of the series of ads appeared in the newspaper. Like their predecessors, they featured a Member of the Month and a fundraising appeal. (Click on the images for a larger view.)
At the end of his post yesterday, Steve Topper asked, “Do you agree?” He was talking about the much stronger headline on a credit union newspaper ad compared to the same FI’s ad that ran earlier.
Yes, I agreed. Then a thought flashed through my mind.
Recently, I described the three parts of a solid direct marketing promotion letter. But there’s another key area of the letter that typically gets overlooked.
The paragraph before the signature, the last paragraph of the letter’s body, usually is filled with phone numbers, website URLs, and other contact information.
You probably try to cross-sell your financial products and services to your customers or members. (If not, why not?) Simply making them aware of what you offer can significantly boost your business.
Typically, a cross-sell message arrives in a #10 envelope. Not unusual. I’ve written plenty myself for ACTON Marketing clients. But after you’ve used the same format for a while, you might want to introduce something new to generate more attention. Today, I’ll give you some ideas and show you an example.
A teaser or teaser copy is typically the headline you see on direct mail envelopes, postcard fronts, or self-mailer outer panels. The teaser has a vitally important role. It convinces the prospect to read the information in the mail package.
A few of my colleagues had a conversation with some marketers who wanted to eliminate the teaser on an envelope package project. So today, I’ll give you the rationale those people believe and then tell you why you should run in the opposite direction.
It’s been about two decades since I was involved in the American ritual — a vacation trip to Disney World. Now I see, Disney wants me back.
If you’ve ever visited Las Vegas or other resorts, you’ll open your mailbox to find similar mail promotions that offer you special room rates and other discounts as encouragements to return.
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.
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’ll begin with this statement: This is not another analysis of the Super Bowl ads.
Now you can safely read this post. I thought you’d probably ignore it because, if you’re like me, you’re tired of reading another summary, critique, recap, analysis, or whatever of the ads that aired February 5. I’m attaching this preamble because this is how I first began my post…
Community banks and credit unions don’t have the advertising budget to buy a $3.5 million ad spot for the Super Bowl — and that’s good. If the ad followed the trend in Super Bowl commercials, it would be a waste of your money.