5 ways the financial sector can use personalization to boost customer engagement

By Marc Hummel

September 10, 2015

From in-branch and direct mail—to web, email, and search—the modern financial services marketer has more communication channels to utilize than ever before. But what good is a marketing message in one channel, if it isn’t connected to the messages in your other channels?

The only way to deliver consistent messages to your most high-value segments is to make your marketing efforts talk to each other.

This is particularly important when you’re marketing to existing customers—the good people whose trust you’ve already earned. Respect their attention by offering them consistent messages and offers that are relevant to their interests. The big tech brands (Amazon, Uber, Apple) get this—and it’s time retail banks step up and meet and exceed this new expectation, too.

But it doesn’t take a whole new dedicated team or a massive re-allocation of resources to start connecting your online and offline campaigns. It just takes a little bit of extra planning. Here are a few ways you can improve your cross-channel marketing efforts.

1. Local intelligence.

Map

With a personalization platform like Monetate, you can change the content of your website based on the current location of your visitor.

This enables a wide variety of new marketing scenarios.

Perhaps a certain region will be best served by promotions for a new small business loan, while another is more likely to benefit from a promotion for a low-interest car loan. With a robust personalization platform, you can deliver tailored messages based on location.

2. Connect your direct mail to your website.

Connect

You can send super-targeted messages via direct mail, but can’t get that kind of sophisticated marketing capabilities out of your website. Seems backwards, right?

Website personalization technologies can help bridge the gap, so the promotions you send via direct mail are mirrored across your online channels on a per-segment basis. Keep the experience (and the momentum) going by connecting your offline direct-mail campaigns to the online website experience.

Best of all: You can use the customer database you already have.

3. Message consistency.

mailbox

Message consistency is key to retaining customers and increasing conversions. That may mean building dedicated landing pages to focus a customer’s attention. Or it might simply mean maintaining the “scent trail” from your direct mail message to your website by using a banner image to greet your visitor. To fully carry through the message, don’t just reuse content.

Focus on these three additional factors, as well:

  • Colors. Use the same color/style in your direct mail communications across channels.
  • Typography. Like colors, a familiar font will remind your customer of why they’ve clicked through. If your direct mail piece featured a sans serif font, stay with sans serif on the website. The consistency will help reduce possible any confusion.
  • Themes. From direct mail to the landing page, your message shouldn’t change much. Keep the call to action clear and similar to push your customer further down their intended path.

By taking these steps, you’ll avoid giving your customers the feeling they’ve been tricked by a “bait and switch” tactic. That’s good for immediate conversions and long-term loyalty.

4. Be careful when marketing to existing customers.

Existing

Don’t hound your customers with the same one-size-fits all offers. The more personal your marketing becomes, the more sensitive you need to be to their attention.

Instead:

  • Segment your audience similarly to the ways you segment your mailing list
  • Think about ways to complete the bigger picture (i.e. maintain the customer relationship for life).
  • Provide a range of offers—and test your approach—so your customers don’t get burnt out.

5. Marketing agility that drives results.

Rockret

Whether your goals or driving more foot traffic into the branches, increasing net loan applications, or selling more consumer accounts, a personalization platform can give you the marketing agility your team needs to test and iterate promotions on-the-fly.

If your branches drive more business than your website, find creative ways of luring them into a retail location. You can even segment your promotions by location or customer status (i.e. current products they have purchased from you) to make the most of your marketing efforts.

Want to learn more?

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Marc Hummel is a former Content Marketing Associate for Monetate. He's also a part-time grad student at the University of Pennsylvania. He enjoys biking to work, reading, listening to podcasts/music, and eating ice cream. Usually not all at once. For more about Marc, go here.

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