After I opened the envelope package, it was like the way you feel when you get underwear as a Christmas gift.
That blah feeling. You should feel happy, but you’re simply let down.
Out of my mailbox came a bulky envelope package. Certainly, I was excited to see what was inside.
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…
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.
Comparison charts, once a fixture in direct marketing checking acquisition campaigns, could be ready for a comeback.
Checking account acquisition promotions in the 1980s and ’90s used comparison charts that named names and showed real features of the competing banks’ checking programs. Here’s a typical example of those historic charts.
Typical Free Checking comparison chart from the '80s and early '90s.
Occasionally the creative team gets it wrong or misses a golden opportunity. This is one of those instances.
Last Sunday I came across a familiar credit union ad in the local newspaper. I immediately recognized it as being part of an overall marketing campaign carrying the three-word message “compare, choose, save.”
The campaign message has appeared in numerous newspaper ads and on area billboards over the past several months. Read more…
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.
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.
It’s that time of year again. Many marketers throw out the old advertising to make way for something fresh and new. Great idea. Right?
I don’t mean to throw a wet blanket on your exciting new marketing campaign designs, but I’m sure you’ve heard an old adage that goes something like this: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
If I was there when a marketer said, “We’ve used the same design for months. We need something new,” I’d reply, “Have your results gone down lately?”
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.
Here’s something you rarely find in the mail — or anywhere else, it seems.
Calendar cover photo
It’s a complimentary wall calendar from the Easter Seals charitable organization, delivered to my mailbox in November.
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.
Here’s a marketing letter that includes some techniques you should be aware of for a day you need a “difference maker” marketing idea.
I often find mail from auto dealers in my mailbox, and this latest envelope arrived in mid-November. The envelope is intriguing and begs to be opened because it looks like personal correspondence. See how the address appears to be handwritten.
Envelope above. Letter Below. Real post-it note.
Here are some tips to help you use QR Codes more effectively for your financial institution’s marketing campaigns. Or, if you’re not using QR Codes, here are ideas that can help you begin.
First, look for something related to your campaign that further promotes action and participation by the prospect. Here’s an example that’s really simple. Let’s say your bank or credit union has 15 locations and you’re placing a small print ad in the local newspaper. Space is limited, so you omit the long list of branch addresses. You place a QR Code on the ad that takes the reader to a landing page showing your locations, addresses, nearby landmarks (to help them visualize the location), phone numbers and hours, as well as a brief reiteration of the promotion.
As a professional copywriter, I try to be clear and succinct when I write copy. But sometimes when I write a rationale, I get a little wordy. That’s why I was impressed when I read the rationale one of my colleagues wrote for a promotional piece we prepared for a client.
With three numbers positioned on the small thumbnail of the design, he summarized most of the reasoning behind the design.
Do you plan to use a holiday shopping theme for your year-end promotions?
You see the same holiday themes all around you, even from unexpected businesses. The spa wants you to buy certificates as gifts. The pet store tells you to think of your “other” family members and put chew toys under the tree. The supermarket reminds you it has everything for your holiday celebrations.
But when people think of a bank or credit union, do they think of holiday shopping?
Whatever media you use to promote your marketing campaigns, use as many response options as possible.
Consumers have preferences, or biases, for how they want to respond to your promotional offers. If your campaign includes one of their preferences as a choice, a convenience, you improve your chances of generating response.
Here’s one example of how the elimination of a response channel severely depressed consumer action for a historically successful program.
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.
Typically, when you talk about versions for a marketing campaign, you’re referring to a direct mail campaign. However, the practice can also apply to print ads and even broadcast spots.
For simplicity, let’s assume you have a targeted direct mail marketing campaign and you wonder if or why you should have versions of the mail piece. I’ll give you some examples of when different versions can be used.