Direct mail can be used across various aspects of the banking and credit card industry. Incorporating direct mail into your marketing campaign can establish your company as an institutional authority with future customers and target current clients with new offers. But how do you ensure your campaign is effective and will achieve desired ROI and response rates?
Here are several best practices every credit card company and bank should follow when sending direct mail:
Target Newer Markets
Although it may seem millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) and Generation Z (1997 and onward) have their eyes overly glued to screens, research shows that’s simply not the case. Sixty-two percent of millennials said they visited a store based on information they received in the mail, which is more frequent than Gen Xers or Baby Boomers. In addition, 75 percent of survey respondents said getting mail made them feel special. Studies have similarly shown Gen Z “values print channel experiences,” according to Target Marketing magazine. On top of the generation intentionally putting their phones away and unplugging, 83 percent look to newspapers and 34 percent turn to magazines for trusted information, showing they find print to be a credible source.
If you haven’t started yet, now is as good a time as any to tap into these newer, younger markets. Gen Z is currently estimated to account for 40 percent of consumers, and have reached an age where they can apply for a credit card or take out a loan for college. Millennials spend approximately $600 billion in the United States each year, and will be searching to get loans for homes and cars, as well as preparing for retirement.
Engage the Customer at Their Life Stage
You want your institution to seem like more than simply a transactional environment. As clients walk through the doors or receive promotional materials, you want them to feel as though they’re a part of something special. The messages on your direct mail pieces should convey this. To cultivate this feeling, mail pieces should hit on different emotions, experiences, and life stages. Focus the letter packages, self-mailers, and postcards on various life moments that hold special meaning for patrons.
Here are a few examples:
Spotlight the importance of graduating high school and moving onto higher education. Then list the interest rates and loan options for new college students.
When marketing home loans, you can take several approaches. If customers have recently gotten married, you can tailor your self-mailer to be congratulatory. A letter can be sent to long-time homeowners, showcasing a remodel.
The mail piece should focus on the benefits of building credit: Make it easier to receive a loan or attain a higher credit limit. Both of these are advantages toward the American dream of owning a home and starting a family.
Utilize All Types of Direct Mail
Each type of mail piece can add value to a campaign. It all depends on your campaign budget, the size and scope of your offer, and privacy:
Size & Scope
The amount of information that you need to provide to customers in order to take a desired action is also a factor that determines which direct mail format you choose. A letter has more copy space and security than a self-mailer, which has more than a postcard.
You can’t put a debit card pin number on a postcard for the whole world to see. And you’d be surprised how many customers we’ve had try to put such confidential information on a postcard. If you’re mailing private information, you’ll need to secure it inside an envelope.
Send a Reply Envelope
If you have a credit card you want your customer to sign up for or another document they must sign, include a reply envelope. This enables the client to fill out an application or sign a contract and mail it back to you with ease. Because you can’t put a return envelope in a postcard, your best bet is to use a letter package when sending a document requiring private information, such as a signature.
Add Trackable URLs & Phone Numbers
Your mail piece should always include your company’s contact information, plus trackable URLs and phone numbers. This way, clients can inquire further about the latest interest rates or services you offer in person, on the phone, and online.
The trackable URLs and phone numbers enable you to measure the success of your direct mail campaign through response rates, cost per analyses, and ROI. The results can influence future plans, helping you shape the perfect message and visuals to target the audience.
Incorporate Direct Mail Into a Multichannel Approach
A multichannel approach is one that uses all methods of marketing: print, digital, and broadcast. By employing this practice, you’re able to capitalize on all the channels a customer interfaces with on a daily basis.
For instance, while they’re viewing television, they may watch a commercial outlining the benefits of joining your bank. As customers scroll through social media, they may see an advertisement focusing on the low interest rates offered. In the mail, they receive a personalized, targeted mail piece about signing up for a new credit card. Then, the client spies a follow-up email in their inbox.
A multichannel approach is just as integral when attempting to acquire a new customer as it is to retain a client. Direct mail offers better penetration for acquisition compared to email. For instance, if someone is a current customer of Bank A, they’re more likely to open an email from Bank A, to check for a bill or a notification of new interest rates. They're less likely to open an offer email from Bank B, because they’re unfamiliar with the brand, or treat it as spam.
All these touchpoints, eight of which are necessary, work together to enable your customer to make a decision.