By Ted Triplett
According to Gallup, a majority of bank sales come from approximately 60 percent of customers who already planned to open an account or buy a new service. Your bank doesn’t have to waste any marketing or sales efforts on these customers—they’re already going to open an account without any prompting.
But what about the balance of customers who are thinking about opening an account, but need prodding from the bank to take action?
The Gallup research also notes that more than 50 percent of the customers considering buying a new product seek out information prior to the time of purchase. That makes sense, since customers can only make decisions with a sufficient amount of information. And, in today’s economy, customers want to make sure they’re making the right buying decision.
That’s why it’s imperative for bankers to inform customers about their bank and its products and services. By providing customers with value-focused information to help them to make better financial decisions, your bank will become a trusted resource for customers. This “educational” approach is instrumental in spurring hesitant customers to take action.
Gallup’s research also showed that 21 percent of customers thinking about opening an account only did so after receiving information from the bank. The key, then, is to identify the best method of providing information to customers considering opening an account.
The value of brochures
Good service and exciting branding messages aren’t enough anymore. They only matter when your customers recognize and acknowledge them. So, you may want to reconsider the value of relying on traditional avenues, such as newspaper ads, conversations with a personal banker or customer referrals.
You might be surprised to find that Gallup found that, behind social media, written materials (including direct mail and email) are one of the most effective ways to convert customers who are contemplating opening an account with their bank.
I’ve personally found written brochures to be an extremely effective way to highlight the value and benefits of your bank and its product offerings. A well-written brochure provides your bank with an opportunity to reinforce its value in the eyes of your customers.
I recommend creating brochures that have a magazine appearance—ones that provide enough space to reinforce your bank’s value proposition. Content of interest to your customers can include:
- An overview of your products and services. Surprisingly, customers aren’t aware of everything your bank has to offer them. And if they don’t what you have, they can’t (and won’t) inquire.
- A section focusing on your bank’s products and services. You can feature “sticky” products (direct deposit, debit card, bill pay, etc.), specific products you want to promote based on your bank’s needs (checking, mobile banking, home equity loans, etc.), or new products and services.
- Information about your bank’s involvement in the community. Customers are pretty savvy—they know you’re making money on their money. They want to do business with a bank that invests in the community.
Many customers look for rational reasons for making a purchase, and they can only do this when they have enough information about the bank and the relationship it offers. A high-quality brochure provides an excellent format to make your customers aware of the many benefits they can receive from your bank’s products and services.