Turning a Bank from “Stodgy” to “Personal”
Do you always need lots of data to make your mailings seem personal? No. Take the example of MB Financial, a Chicago-based financial institution that used segmentation to achieve great results. It’s a formula that any company can follow to make its mailings feel more personal and increase conversions without personalizing them down to the individual level.
MB Financial wanted to target more than 430,000 small companies in the Chicago area. MBF has 86 branches, but it wasn’t connecting well with its audience. Small businesses saw the bank as an old, stodgy institution like all others. MBF wanted to put a more friendly face on its branches and make banking at each location seem more inviting and accessible.
To do this, MBF developed a four-pronged messaging strategy: “We deliver the personal attention you want, the banking services you need, business advice you can use, and business connections you wouldn’t expect.” The heart of the campaign was direct mail, but it also used radio and digital media ads.
First, MB Financial used customer modeling to identify 30,000 small businesses that were its most likely prospects.
Second, it broke its mailing into highly versioned segments, one for each local branch.
Third, it created targeted postcards that appeared to be coming directly from the bank manager at each SMB’s closest branch.
Each postcard included a photo of the branch manager, a personal message from the manager, and an invitation for the recipient to call their direct line. To sweeten the pot, MB Financial included an offer to receive “bonus cash” for opening an account or line of credit.
The results? High visibility and a 205% increase in sales leads attributed to the direct mail campaign alone. What a great way to make a large business seem small!
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