How Liberty Bank Used Direct Mail to Attract New Residents
Kevin Tynan, Liberty Bank’s senior vice president of marketing, had a dilemma: How to reach the large number of new residents moving into and around the Chicago area’s Liberty Bank locations? He knew that because these residents were new to the community, they would likely need to establish fresh financial relationships. However, he needed the right platform to communicate to these targets.
Many of the new residents were Millennials, and this group tends to be much more digitally inclined. But Tynan wanted the opportunity to tell a story, and no digital channels—not even billboards or email campaigns—offered the flexibility to effectively tell a story.
So, Liberty Bank chose to run a monthly direct mail campaign. It targeted the newcomers to the area and focused on the competitive advantage Liberty Bank had over its competitors. It understood Millennials’ preference for technology and a more personalized banking experience, and used those facts in its copy and imagery.
The copy made mention of the fact that Liberty Bank had double the number of ATMs than Chase and Bank of America combined. It reiterated the point that it is a neighborhood bank, but stressed that it still has “big bank” technology which it knew would appeal to Millennials.
Liberty took the mailing a step further. Inside, it drew a map of the target’s homes and highlighted where they could find ATMs nearby. The copy even included the name of the manager of the closest Liberty branch.
High Return on Investment
The final numbers show an impressive return on investment (ROI) for Tynan and Liberty Bank. The direct mail campaign has now gone on for four months, during which thousands of mailers have been sent out. The bank has secured dozens of new clients who opened new accounts approximately 68 days after receiving the mailer.
The average cost of acquisition for the campaign was $383 per account. Tynan estimated the lifespan of a new account to be five years, which he stated to be “conservative.” Given that figure, he estimates the revenue from all accounts opened since the start of the campaign to be $90,000. According to Tynan, that is nine times what it cost to run the direct mail campaign.
Breaking Down What Worked
When a direct mail marketing campaign is this successful, it’s always important to go back and see what they did right. The first point would be recognizing the opportunity. Knowing that people are migrating to the area and realizing they would likely need a new financial institution was really the start of the campaign.
But, it wasn’t enough to just know that people were moving, but recognizing that it was Millennials who made up the majority of new residents. This helped to assess their thought processes and the preferences of the targets so that the mailer could be designed accordingly. This is actually the crucial step. Consumers today want to be communicated with in a way that speaks directly to their needs. Liberty Bank knew precisely who it was dealing with—it understood that technology and convenience were important, and it drafted mailers that spoke the same language.
It then focused its mailings to only a two-mile radius of the branches to which it wanted to drive traffic. This coincided with the message of being a neighborhood bank along with the message of convenience. In addition to that, it went directly at its competition and let the targets know exactly why Liberty Bank was better.
Finally, it went over and above. Featuring the branch closest to the home of the targets, complete with the name of the branch manager, was really adding value and making an impression. Liberty has basically made it as simple as possible for people to sign up with its bank, and given them all the reasons why they should.
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Tynan, K., “Personalized Direct Mail Turns Newcomers Into Account Holders,” The Financial Brand, January 28, 2016; http://thefinancialbrand.com/56883/personalized-direct-mail-checking-accounts/.
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