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How to attract new households to your bank for less

Discover how you can make the most of your loan acquisition marketing budget

4 min read




Rachel Stephens

By Rachel Stephens, Product Manager – Marketing Solutions at Harland Clarke

It’s no longer enough to simply send generic account offers to all households in your footprint in order to attract new customers. In fact, 46% of millennials said their financial institutions didn’t send relevant marketing materials, with an additional 40% complaining the offers weren’t personalized.

That means that the majority of customers are likely ignoring what you have to say, stunting your deposit and household acquisition and lowering your return on marketing investment. But there are ways to better target the customers you want to bring into your institution, deepening your share of wallet with profitable clients.


Things to access before beginning your next campaign

First, your organization will need to clearly define your goals and strategy, pushing your marketing efforts beyond a simple program to an active, thoughtful campaign. That means looking competitively at your footprint, what offers are currently in the market and making product changes that allow you to compete more effectively.

Next, tailor the campaign to the needs in your market depending on your acquisition strategy. That means harnessing the data you already have concerning which types of accounts your best customers hold, how they use your products and services, and what offers they find compelling.

Many banks and credit unions simply aren’t able to crunch these numbers and will need to engage a partner to help analyze their footprints as well as the number of new accounts they need to acquire to show an appropriate return on their marketing campaigns.


Getting the most from your budget

Here are a few best practices for making the most of your household acquisition budget:

  • Manage your timing. One mailing isn’t enough to truly penetrate your market. Having a strong cadence for your outreach across channels – email, direct mail, social media and television – helps cut through all the other offers and gain attention. That usually means putting an offer into customers’ hands every six to eight weeks to capture unhappy customers looking to make a change.
  • Personalization is critical. Send emails, texts and mailings with customer names instead of generic greetings such as “valued neighbor” or “current resident.” People are more likely to open something addressed to them, helping get your message across.
  • Take a targeted approach. Not all customers are created equal so blanketing a market with pieces can result in higher acquisition costs. Taking the time to examine demographics, which households are likely to be profitable and other data, then targeting your marketing efforts creates a more refined approach, greater conversions and lower cost per piece.
  • Keep your goals in mind. Start with your desired result and work backward. This will help you evaluate other offers in the market and determine what you need to do to attract new clients. But you’ll also need a good understanding of whom you’re trying to bring into the firm and what types of campaigns those customers respond to (again, something a good partner can help you determine).
  • Look at alternative platforms. Experiment with platforms and formats that are popular with different demographics, such as local podcasts or videos that are gaining popularity with millennials.

Having the right products, offers, timing and cadence are all critical to attracting new customers, but you’ll also need to make sure the onboarding process is smooth. By easing the transition and offering exceptional customer service, you’ll be more likely to retain the new clients you’ve attracted based on your well-researched offer.

Focus on the ideal customers and what it takes to bring them onboard and use the data you have to back up your plans, making it easier to quantify your ROMI. The right partner will help you harness the power of data and use the information you have to tailor your acquisition campaigns to your preferred audience and strategy. This way, you’ll spend your budget in a targeted, highly cost-effective manner.

Rachel Stephens joined the Harland Clarke team in August 2016 and brought with her 10 years of experience marketing products and services for financial institutions. She has worked on various lines of business within the financial services industry including consumer, small business, commercial, private wealth, investment and institutional banking. She has extensive knowledge in campaign development, marketing strategy, event management, public relations, customer service and sales. Rachel is a graduate of the University of Kansas majoring in journalism and Spanish. She enjoys watching sports, traveling, spending time with family and friends, and volunteering her time to help others.