From April 2-4, I had the opportunity to attend the Financial Brand Forum, and there was so much information, I couldn’t fit it in one article. You can read the first part on mobile and social media here, and I’m back to tackle onboarding, cross-sell and email marketing:


So you’ve come up with an acquisition marketing plan, now for the hard part – onboarding. A major focus at the forum was onboarding strategies, and themes that rang true throughout were:

Connect with the customer early and often
The magic number of touches is 7 (from Wells Fargo and Chase examples)
Not all touches are the same
Some banks set up programs based on profitability and # of touches; however, still need to be communicating to ALL customers
Direct Mail is most effective with the younger demographic
Customers don’t onboard themselves
Make sure the onboarding program enhances the overall customer experience
Integrate multiple online and offline channels for success
Primary account decision maker are females - by 70%
Consider using debit card carrier to communicate marketing messages

The real goal for Onboarding and Cross Sell programs is to surprise and delight your customers! Survey your customer and ask them “in the future if we were to provide gifts to you for taking surveys—would you like “x or y”. Then when they answer with “x” or “y” send them the “x” or “y” gift immediately. The average customer goes to a branch 3X a year, so how are you going to get their attention? Using “SOLOMO” technologies helps reach the customer where they are, and make banking a relevant lifestyle choice.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is good for your banks AND good for your customers. Modern email technology allows marketers to pair outbound efforts with inbound web traffic, by name, further refining customer behaviors and giving insight to the most utilized services and offers. Pairing emails with PR (community events) and with affinity marketing and social aspects makes for a stickier mix for marketing to current customers, but experts at the forum warned against using it for prospecting efforts. Although these aren’t impact stats, here are some email figures from the forum: 

67% of emails are bounce outs (2.8% annually)
32.4% of emails are opt outs (1.7% annually)
0.6% change email addresses
Must be fully onboarded to collect emails addresses
A good tool for email is to welcome new customers

Here were my top takeaways from the conference

Go Digital but keep the personal touch
Lead the pack with new retail solutions & product features for customers
Be committed to Employees, Consumers, Community and Causes
Test, Try, and Be Different- need to take a chance on new ways
Make sure you are communicating with customers throughout their lifecycle
Surprise and delight your customers when you can
Use all channels to drive business
Act like a retailer, as it will bring success

Hope this information is helpful, and I hope to see you at next year’s Financial Brand Forum!