Skip to content Skip to search

Insight Center Resources

Industry knowledge to help you grow your business

Three Ways to Attract Checking Account Holders

Overall, consumers are satisfied with the checking account offerings on the market. But with higher deposit rates on the horizon, financial institutions need a strategy that identifies the best prospects, successfully targets them, and captures their attention with a strong incentive.

Here are three ways to attract and obtain more checking account holders:

1. Go to Your Community — and Beyond
The best prospects for new account holders are right in your community, but not all households or residents in a particular neighborhood are created equally. Deposit balances and product propensities vary greatly.

Thus, it’s important to dive deeper than the neighborhood level. For instance, adding actual account holder data to geographic data can identify areas of high sales penetration, facilitating more focused targeting and personalized messaging tailored to the recipient.

Consider this case study, where a regional bank with more than $7 billion in assets sought a cost-effective way to achieve its Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) compliance goal of marketing to low- and moderate-income households (LMI). The bank worked with Harland Clarke to target prospects at the postal carrier route-level and deliver low-cost direct mail. Using segmentation analysis, Harland Clarke was able to identify neighborhoods based on median income and percentage of population below the poverty line, on public assistance and unbanked.

The bank effectively marketed a cash management and transactional product to nearly 20,000 LMI households in the neighborhoods surrounding its branches, helping it achieve its CRA-compliance goals and furthering the CRA objectives of meeting the specific needs of the LMI population.
(Read more about reaching CRA goals.)

2. Know Your “Rights”
To attract and obtain more checking account holders, financial institutions need to offer the right product at the right time with the right incentive. Again, a targeted approach with personalized messaging can help capture consumers when they are looking to switch.

Consider another case study, where a large, regional bank with more than $19 billion in assets sought further refinement of its already successful acquisition program, particularly in the Gen Y (Millennials) and Gen X segments. The bank worked with Harland Clarke to identify the right prospects for each personalized mailing, aligning target segments with appropriate product offers. Among those targeted were non-checking Gen Y and Gen X consumers and households with yearly incomes less than $80,000.

In just 54 days, the acquisition campaign generated nearly 1,250 new households and a return on marketing investment (ROMI) of 334 percent. Respondents opened more than 1,000 new checking accounts, delivering more than $5.4 million in checking account balances. Best of all, the Gen X and Gen Y groups stood out with response rates more than double those of older households.

3. P.S. – Personalize and Saturate
One marketing message does not fit all. Saturation marketing can be inefficient and wasteful if you send a blanket message to an audience that’s too broad.

Personalizing direct mail to individuals in specific audiences is vital. Targets can include look-alike consumers (to your existing account holders), small business owners, seniors, and existing account holders for cross-sell opportunities.

Consider this case study, where a $2.2 billion community bank wanted to generate new accounts for its student checking, free checking, premier checking and business checking products. It also wanted to segment its customer base into Millennials, households with children aged 15-and-up, and households with small business owners.

The bank chose Harland Clarke to design and execute a direct mail marketing campaign that targeted checking account holders and prospects. Using a variety of analytic tools, they determined propensities to respond to the checking offer. The bank achieved greatest success with small business and premier checking account offers, generating 4.15 percent and 5.54 percent response rates respectively.

Reach Your Own Success

Harland Clarke’s Acquisition Accelerator layers consumer, demographic, behavioral and purchase potential, along with other data, for a unique view of prospective account holders. We champion multi-channel outreach campaigns, using direct mail, email, outbound phone calls (when feasible) and mobile texting — particularly with checking.

>>Ready to accelerate acquisitions? Click here to grab the free guide: “7 Types of Household Acquisition Campaigns to Consider.”