Do you wish your customers a happy birthday? It’s a chance to make a cross-sell offer and to strengthen the banking relationship with your bank customers or credit union members.
Obviously, your message shouldn’t be, “It’s your birthday, so open a new account.” No one appreciates such a blatant tactic.
So what should you do?
I’m still trying to figure out what this email’s marketing message is about. Can you tell what it means?
One day, this message appeared in my email inbox. The subject line read, “Save time by using the PMD.” No idea what PMD meant. I assumed it was another marketing white paper offer. But here’s what I saw…
The body of the email from PMD.
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.’”
It’s been a standard rule of marketing for generations. I’ve made references to The Rule many times in my blog posts and when talking with clients. But is it time to revise The Rule, at least for financial services marketing?
I’m talking about the 40-40-20 Rule. You should know it well. It says every direct mail marketing promotion consists of… Read more…
Be careful what you say. Some people are paying attention.
As you know from reading my blog posts, I encourage financial services marketers to focus on the benefits a customer or prospect gains by doing business with your bank or credit union.
For instance, point out your free services. When you don’t say something is free it gives many prospects the impression it’s not. Besides, “free” is a key word for marketing.
How quickly can your financial institution’s marketing department react to a breaking event? Can you match the speed of JCPenny? I have some ideas to help you.
The JCP story is widely known. Sales were already declining when in November 2011, Ron Johnson was hired as CEO of the department store to turn things around. Johnson’s ideas included eliminating merchandise sales and coupons in favor of the same low prices every day and other sweeping changes.
Shoppers stayed away, more shoppers left, and in the fourth quarter of 2012, sales were 32% lower than the same quarter of the previous year.
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.
Word of mouth advertising, where customers tell others about your bank or credit union, is an important marketing factor.
“Word of mouth” is simply defined as people telling other people about their experiences. An oral testimonial. A recommendation that’s positive or negative.
I came across a couple of statistics released by the White House Office of Consumer Affairs. The study says if a customer has a problem that gets resolved, that person will tell four to six others about the experience. On the flip side, the study says a dissatisfied customer tells between nine and 15 people about the bad experience, and 13% of those dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people.
The fundamental banking account for consumers is the checking account. When you ask an individual where he or she banks, the name of the bank or credit union you hear is the one where the person has a primary checking account.
So it’s logical that you want to gain new checking customers or encourage current non-checking customers to open a checking account.
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.
Choosing to ignore social media will no longer be an option for banks and credit unions thanks to “suggestions” from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC).
Among these new suggestions, banks and credit unions must have a social media plan, and train their staffs to handle the plan, even if their institution doesn’t engage in social media. (Check all the links below.)
It’s best to get tips from an expert, so I’m going to quote, with permission, from a blog post of an ACTON Marketing business partner company, Social Assurance. The company offers social media services to financial institutions.
How much organized business-to-business marketing do you do at your financial institution?
Too often the answer is, “Very little.”
Your business marketing can be successful, just as it is for the community banks in our two latest case studies:
- Business-to-Business Checking Account Promotions
- Business Checking Account Promotion using Retail Marketing
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.
Recently, I wrote about J Mail. It’s a plain white envelope with an apparent newspaper or magazine article badly torn from a periodical, with a handwritten note or a handwritten post-it note attached. You probably saw a sample of J Mail at some time, either at home or at the office.
As I often do in my blog posts, I was defining a well-known marketing technique that readers should know about. I’ve done the same by explaining the Johnson Box, lift letters, sidebars, copywriting techniques, and so on.
A few days ago, I wrote about an envelope package with a dime showing through the window. Today, I have more information about these coin-carrying promotions.
My original post about the March of Dimes solicitation that arrived early this month was titled, “Would a Financial Institution Give Away Real Money?” Before I answer that question, let’s examine the origin of these types of promotions.
The very first “Penny Mailing” came from Reader’s Digest as a way to turn prospects into new subscribers. Walter Weintz was the copywriter (and a recognized marketing master) who invented the brilliant, now often-copied technique. The magazine’s Penny Mailing first appeared in mailboxes in 1955.
What would a consumer think if she reached into her mailbox and found an envelope with a bank or credit union logo in the corner and a real coin or cash peeking through the envelope’s window?
Surprise? Curiosity? Disbelief?
If your bank or credit union isn’t using a Tell-A-Friend (TAF) program, this story could change your mind.
A community bank went through ACTON Marketing’s training program for the financial institutions that use our customer acquisition strategy. As usual for these sessions, the staff learned about the TAF program and heard hints and ideas they could use to promote the customer-as-advocate system.
During the three months that followed, the program was a big success. TAFs accounted for nearly one-fifth of the new checking accounts the bank opened. Easy, easy, easy promotion. The bank didn’t need to hunt for those new customers or reach out to them. The bank’s current customers did the recruiting.
When you open your mailbox and pull out a hand-addressed letter, it might not be what it seems.
Personal mail always grabs our attention. A letter from a long-time friend. A greeting card from a family member. Vacation postcards. That’s why one method some marketers use to get us to discover their marketing offer is “handwritten” mail. Of course, as a marketer, you can do the same.
In November, I wrote about a car dealership that sent me a sales letter that looked very much like a personal letter when I first saw it. The handwriting font used to print my address and a “personal” note inside were a font I hadn’t seen anywhere else.
Who or what is the most important aspect of your advertising? You can tell the correct answer by the headline on this post.
I saw a marketing tip for retailers that said their holiday marketing should focus on the customers.
My advice — customers should be your year-round focus.
Being a long-time marketing person, I’m drawn to billboard messages as I drive around the city. Like most things, billboard improvements have occurred over the years – and not always for the better.
For example, I’m not a fan of the giant electronic billboards with their fancy graphics and rotating messages. Not only are they gaudy, they are a distraction to drivers. And I remain a skeptic when told that these boards can be “effectively” programmed to deliver targeted messages based on the radio stations being listened to by passing drivers. Even if this is possible, who cares? It doesn’t guarantee that the messages, themselves, are relevant.