Big banks continue to use direct mail marketing, which is a positive commentary about the productive viability of mail.
The Financial Marketing Insights blog team recently reviewed an envelope package promotion from American Express Bank. Our critique is filled with interesting ideas and tips that can improve your own marketing promotions.
You’ll find our critique on The Financial Brand website. It’s called, Direct Mail Clinic: Bank Marketing Envelopes That Sell.
Have you ever given serious consideration about the need for cross-selling?
What does it really accomplish…if anything?
I suspect most bank and credit union customer-contact employees engage in cross-selling only after being urged or forced to do so by their managers.
Most people dislike selling or cross-selling. They hate the ongoing rejection that comes with selling. It’s tough to do well.
Thanks Joe for getting me riled up about branding. Your Monday blog did the trick. I’ve read it several times and watched both of Union Bank’s new touchy/feely branding spots more than once.
What a waste of time, effort, and money.
The answer might surprise you.
The other day as I was sitting in the comfortable overstuffed chair waiting to see a new accounts person at my local bank branch the thought crossed my mind that a fresh cup of coffee would be enjoyable about now.
Passing the local Starbucks on my way to the bank is what got me to thinking about the coffee. Personally, I’m not a Starbucks fan as it is always so crowded with people staring at their computer screens or holding noisy meetings at small tables. Starbucks reminds me of some kind of cult.
Nobody sells better than a satisfied customer who isn’t shy and loves to talk.
Marketing folks refer to these people as “brand advocates.”
As a reminder, a brand advocate is a customer who actively promotes your brand or product without being paid to do so. These customers do this because of their ongoing positive experience with your brand.
A few banks leverage this grass-roots effort by providing customers with handy little sales tools.
Here’s an interesting question: In what year or decade did bankers begin thinking about what it cost to get a new customer or a new account?
And what changed that suddenly made the answer to this question important?
Based on my many years of bank marketing experience, seeking an accurate cost per new customer or account is tantamount to seeking the whereabouts of the Holy Grail.
To a large degree, cross-sell marketing efforts and new customer acquisition campaigns are mutually exclusive. They target different audiences.
But, like all things in life, there are always exceptions.
In the case of bank and credit union marketing, one of the exceptions is seminars, webinars, and workshops – particularly in-person seminars and workshops.
Thanks to the research folks working for Consumers Union, we have further proof that one of the primary reasons so many customers are sticking with the four mega-banks is that it is simply too big of a hassle to close a checking account and move it to a community bank or credit union.
Bank marketing folks refer to this as the “stickiness factor.”
As a young bank marketer during the 1970s one of the memorable bits of information I was given concerned the use of teaser copy on the outside of direct mail envelopes.
In a nutshell, this sage advice consisted of the following:
Put teaser copy on the envelopes going to prospects.
In hindsight, it’s probably a good thing that bank marketers weren’t in charge of the military on Tuesday, June 6, 1944.
Instead of concentrating a majority of their resources on the Normandy invasion, small units of troops would have been mounting assaults on a multitude of fronts scattered across Europe.
I’ve come to this conclusion based on the results of a recent study by The Financial Brand, “2012 Bank & Credit Union Marketing Survey.”
I’ve never been much of a fan of general media agencies – big or small.
Most of them stay busy cranking out expensive “branding” ads” that leave the consumer scratching his or her head over the message being delivered.
This was reinforced the other day after encountering the most recent full-page magazine ad from Ally Bank.
Imagine a direct mail program where your ROI is in the 429% to 2,143% range.
Imagine adding a bunch of new, creditworthy customers quickly.
Imagine the thrill of sharing these results with your manager and the CEO.
Imagine getting more marketing dollars to continue mailing.
A general rule of thumb as it relates to bank marketing is that humor seldom works effectively.
Simple – people are serious about their hard-earned money and don’t believe humor is appropriate when dealing with such an important topic. This is especially true today in the midst of the worst financial crisis since The Great Depression.
Of course, like everything else in life…there are exceptions to almost every rule – and the situation described below might be one of them.
Friday, May 15, 2009, may one day be known in bank marketing circles as the day rebranding history was made. This was the day troubled GMAC Bank became officially known as Ally Bank. What wasn’t obvious on this fateful day is the ultimate success of the rebranding effort.
Fortunately for everyone involved, this rebranding effort went way beyond a simple name change. Basically, the senior executives in charge – particularly the bank’s CMO, Sanjay Gupta – decided to start over with Ally Bank.
What are your plans to replace the handful of checking accounts that were closed last week at each of your branches?
If you work at a typical bank or credit union, every year you struggle in your ongoing efforts to replace the approximately 20% of checking customers who close their accounts. If your goal is to grow your checking base, the struggle is even more difficult.
As a blogger on bank marketing topics, I depend on a constant stream of bank and credit union marketing to provide me with fodder for my blogs. Unfortunately, this fodder has gotten very scarce lately.
It wasn’t that long ago that I could depend on a constant diet of billboards, direct mail, radio spots, newspaper ads, TV commercials, and local magazine ads to keep me nourished.
Why is it so difficult to find a good bank or credit union ad in the newspaper these days? Most of these ads are lacking in some way. And some are simply downright terrible.
Case in point is the Union Bank ad I encountered a couple of days ago in the October 8, 2010 edition of the Sacramento Business Journal.
Let’s start at the top.
You’re probably familiar with the old maxim that “a camel is a horse designed by a committee.”
Too often, this camel turns out to be a flawed direct mail package that was tweaked to death by a parade of folks empowered to add their two-cents worth of advice and expertise.
The end result is a direct mail package that usually fails to produce the desired response results. Its muddled offer, disjointed copy, confusing graphics, multiple offers, dreaded disclosure copy, and hideous colors fail to make a quick connection with consumers.
Are you familiar with a checking package? I’m not.
I’m very familiar with a checking account but uncertain as to what a bank means by a checking package.
I bring this up as I came across this strange new term yesterday while walking by a Wells Fargo ATM inside my local grocery store. The marketing message on the screen caught my eye. It reads:
With You When You’re Ready to Make a New Start
Until now, I wasn’t aware that a growing number of credit union websites have become discount shopping destinations.