Sometimes I shake my head when I hear comments from people who call themselves marketers.
The statement below was in an email and forwarded to me. An individual at a bank, whose title is VP of Marketing, wrote the original message. It refers to a marketing promotion created for the bank.
“I would say let’s get rid of Free almost everywhere — seems kinda ‘slimy.’”
Some days ago, I gave you examples of a pair of no-premium bank ads from Wells Fargo Bank. I ended by guessing we’d never know if the ads were successful.
But later that day, a blog reader commented on his experience with the offer and the Wells Fargo execution. The comment — a firsthand result — gives us a chance to look at what you should do or avoid when you fulfill offers for your own bank or credit union.
First, a quick recap of my earlier post. I compared two full-page, tabloid-size ads Wells Fargo ran that offered a free credit score and free credit report. The credit report is the important part of this no-premium offer because consumers know they should check, but usually fail to do so. I called the report the “value” to the consumer.
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.
It’s another warning flag for those of you who approve printed materials that the job shouldn’t be turned into a mechanical process done halfheartedly. Another public entity — this time a university — is held up as an example because of its lack of attention to detail.
It’s a lesson that tells marketers there are never too many times you can proof and reproof copy or verify information.
If you hear rumors that your bank or credit union might change its name or logo, as a marketing professional, you should do all you can to stop the idea before it gains momentum.
Okay, so I know that’s nearly impossible. There are times when a change is necessary. A merger, for example. But often, the change doesn’t play out well.
Evidence of this was in the news again when American Airlines revealed its new logo. Read more…
Now that the US Postal Service announced it will end Saturday delivery on August 1, all the predictors of doom (Mayans and non-Mayans) are crawling out of the woodwork.
I see electronic marketers rolling out the “direct mail is dead” bandwagon with shouts of joy as they advise advertisers to funnel all their ad budgets into (their) electronic media.
Let’s examine a few of these bogus arguments and see why you shouldn’t abandon anything.
You won’t be surprised when on the last day of the year I take a look back at the past 12 months of the Financial Marketing Insights blog.
The obvious high point and a great honor was the Bronze Medal our blog was awarded in The Financial Brand poll for financial marketing blogs. We feel privileged to be included with such a select and expert group. Thanks to everyone who voted for us.
We try to post at least four times each week. For 2012, that means 219 individual posts. That’s a lot of reading for you, and much more writing for us. Thankfully, it’s fun. After three-and-a-half years, I still enjoy preparing posts and I think I speak for my blogging colleague Steve Topper when I tell you he enjoys it as well.
There’s a step that may be missing from your marketing campaigns. It’s time to be certain you include it because the step is vital to your success.
Do you keep your marketing promotions secret? Not from your prospects, of course, but from the rest of the staff of your financial institution?
Below is a coupon from an auto dealer’s email promotion. My car was due for an oil change, so I made an appointment and presented the coupon when I arrived at the dealership. The service manager stared at it. He hadn’t seen one before.
“…72 percent of Americans said they would consider switching banks if their financial institution raised its fees on checking accounts….”
That quote comes from an article on the Bankrate website where the author summarizes a Bankrate study that focused on banking fees. The 72 percent figure is up from 64 percent Bankrate recorded in 2011.
That’s not all. An ABC News story covering the same Bankrate consumer study says those households with annual income of $75,000 or more are the most likely to switch (82 percent).
We’re coming to an important time of year for financial services marketers.
I was talking with some friends and one of the guys complained he’d been in a store a few days earlier and saw sales clerks stocking shelves with Halloween merchandise. It was mid-August.
Of course. The stores need to sell out those items to make room for Christmas merchandise that go on sale after Labor Day weekend.
More and more I see financial marketing professionals omit a premium offer from their promotions. I think it happens for a few common reasons.
- They think they’re saving money
- They don’t understand the positive reaction a premium generates
- They don’t know how a premium offer works
While saving money is at the top of the list, by addressing the second point I think I can show the fallacy of the first.
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.
My post earlier this week described some of the marketing techniques I found in a promotional letter from Travelers Insurance. But there were so many aspects to discuss that I divided the post into two parts.
My first post covered the front of the two-sided letter. There’s one more feature that spans the front and the back. (Image of the front of the letter is found in Part 1.)
Do you know how to construct a true and effective direct marketing letter? Maybe you think you do. But do you know there are three parts to a proper direct marketing letter? I’ll be there are many financial services marketers who don’t.
Creating an effective letter for a marketing campaign is different from the way you write a business letter or a personal letter — or other types of marketing materials. Many years ago, this was the formula I was given for these special prospecting letters:
I’m convinced that every so often bank and credit union marketers believe they’ve run out of product offers or other sales messages yet have marketing dollars that must be spent.
The end result is the occasional newspaper ad or billboard that causes me to shake my head and wonder “what were they thinking?”
Here’s a case in point. This newspaper ad appeared in last Sunday’s issue of The Sacramento Bee. Read more…
I expect this post will see more than the usual number of hits. Read the headline again and see if you agree. Of course, many of the visitors won’t be financial services marketers and won’t stay to read the entire post.
Joking aside, let’s look at this important marketing topic. The incentive system your financial institution uses can mean the difference between success and failure for your customer acquisition efforts.
“We deeply care about you, Mr. Resident. That’s why we sent you this important message. About nothing.”
No, that’s not what the postcard says. It’s my interpretation of the “personalized” message one of my colleagues found in his mailbox, sent by a local bank.
Front and back of this 5x7 postcard.
Marketers are sometimes too impatient. I don’t mean they’re impatient to make a sale. That’s the reason for the job — selling. Or in the case of financial services marketers, it’s about opening accounts.
I mean they’re impatient with their advertising. Too quick to toss aside good advertising without a good reason.
What can credit union and bank marketers learn from a toy company? How to turn an unexpected event into a marketing advantage.
A few weeks ago, a Mitt Romney senior campaign aide made a comment that was picked up by the national media. Eric Fehrnstrom said, “Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You kind of shake it up and restart it all over again.”
Opponents and political wits jumped on the statement and it made news across the country.
Recently, I read a blog post written by a social media promoter where he bashed direct mail marketing and the USPS. The backlash to his post was impressive. Many, many comments from marketers and business owners alike criticized the writer. They said they know direct mail marketing works and they gave reasons why.
One business owner raised the 40-40-20 Rule as evidence of the importance of list work to counter the blogger’s contention that mail doesn’t produce results.