The hidden revenue source you might be overlooking
Wouldn’t it be great if your community bank had a way to reach all its customers with marketing messages that didn’t increase distribution costs? And what if over 90% of your customers opened the messages? Even better, what if they actually read them? Think these are fantasies of frustrated marketers? Think again.
Your community bank is already sending monthly statements – a highly successful communication channel for regularly reaching customers. On average, customers open their account statements 95% of the time, and they usually spend from one to three minutes reading, a rate no other channel can match.
Because delivering statements to customers is a regulatory requirement, you’re already paying to connect with them every month or quarter. If your community bank views statements only as a compliance box to be checked off, you’re missing an excellent opportunity to strengthen customer ties and deliver targeted marketing messages via a communication channel you know customers use.
Redesign your statements and grow your bottom line
Did you know account statements can be a revenue center instead of a cost center? By carefully designing statements and using an effective analytics program, they can become an essential part of a customer engagement strategy, boosting cross-selling success as well as increasing customer loyalty and giving that personal “community bank touch.”. Whether digital or paper, well-designed statements can help reach customers more effectively by delivering useful offers pinpointed to their needs and interests. In turn, you’ll remind customers that their bank pays attention and knows who they are. At Doxim, we have identified several key recommendations for designing compelling statements that will actually gain a return on providing statements.
- Analyze your current statement. Who is the audience and how will they use the information contained? Are there helpful facts, tips or recommendations you’d like to include? How could your messages be tailored to reach key demographics? What might grab one customer’s attention?
- Focus on a clean, professional design that’s easy to understand. Discussions with our clients have shown that 15-20% of the questions bank call centers receive are for statement-related issues A well-designed statement, like the example above, clearly and succinctly presents the relevant information and can reduce those calls. To increase reader comprehension, make sure your layout has lots of white space, displaying only what’s necessary and useful to the customer. Include an account summary on the first page. Customers expect companies they do business with to provide clear, simple statements with useful information that goes beyond a logo and a list of transactions.
- Include contact information. Prominently display the location, hours and contact information of the customer’s local branch. Feature the name, photo and contact information of a local service representative to increase the customer’s sense of personal connection.
- Reinforce brand identity. Use strong branding features, with consistent corporate colors, so customers can easily identify that the statement came from your bank. Use the same fonts, lines and styles throughout the statement to reinforce consistency.
- Incorporate an area for marketing messages. For years, community banks and other businesses have included advertising inserts in their statements or invoices. Studies have shown that many of these are discarded immediately, making no impact on the consumer except possibly irritating them with the amount of wasted paper. Instead, include informational and marketing communications right on the statement so the customer will definitely see them. You can reduce expenses by eliminating pre-printed inserts, while also decreasing your carbon footprint.
By using analytics software to personalize offers based on demographics or other segmentation data, your community bank can increase marketing effectiveness, as customers respond to offers tailored to their needs. Also, placing a specific, descriptive call to action will produce better results for marketing campaigns. In other words, “Activate your Eligibility for this Lower Rate Now” is much more effective than simply saying “Find Out More.” Of course, with a digital statement, there’s the bonus of having a hyperlink to more information that the customer can click. For printed statements, keep the URL short to make it easy for customers to enter or write down.
Boost cross-selling revenues
Today’s consumer is hit with thousands of advertising offers every day, via their smartphone, television, radio, billboards newspapers or other media. No one can pay attention to all of them, so people learn to tune out.
Statements are expensive to produce and distribute. But most people open – and read – their account statement, recognizing it’s an important money-management tool. You have customers’ attention, so why not capitalize on that focus? Ask, if our statements aren’t strengthening relationships through targeted messages, lowering costs by eliminating paper inserts and encouraging e-statement adoption, and increasing revenues through cross-selling, what are they doing for our bank? They meet regulations, but do they bring a return or just cost your community bank money? If it’s the latter, then it’s past time to get your statements working for you.