Consumers Shop For Checking Accounts With Email Alerts

Demand for email alerts grew 34% in 2013. In the fourth quarter, 44% of all shoppers identified email alerts as a “nice-to-have” or “must have” feature. The pickier the shopper, the more likely they want email alerts.
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When consumers use FindABetterBank.com to shop for new checking accounts, they can select which features are “must haves” when they open their new account (e.g., online bill pay, mobile banking, free checks, etc.). Using proprietary data from this Novarica website, we can segment shoppers by how many “must have” features they identify to evaluate the relative importance of any specific feature. For example, in Q4 2013, 7% of shoppers said they “must have” six or more specific checking account features.

There’s one feature in particular where financial marketers should cast their attention: email alerts.

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Segmenting shoppers based on their interest in email alerts shows differences in banking behavior, as well as the types of checking accounts and institutions selected. Consumers can be separated into three groups based on their level of interest in email alerts:

1. Don’t care. Shoppers that don’t care about email alerts lowest daily balances are significantly less than shoppers indicating email alerts are a must have feature. These shoppers were more likely to select a regional or small institution compared to other shoppers.

2. Nice to have. Shoppers that like email alerts, but don’t consider it a deal-breaker are 15% more likely than other shoppers to select a direct bank. Eight percent of this group wants mobile banking (said it was nice to have or must have).

3. Must have. Email Alert fans are 32% less likely to select a regional bank than other shoppers. Two-thirds of these shoppers also said they must have mobile banking. They’re also the most likely group to go for an account that comes with a monthly service fee of $20 or more.

Should you drop all your marketing plans and launch ads that focus on email alerts? Probably not. But it’s worth reevaluating your email alerts. How easy is it to set up and manage alerts? Are you missing some important alerts like low balance thresholds? You might also want to draw more attention to email alerts on your website, particularly on your checking account product pages. You should consider presenting a list of the types of email alerts available and perhaps a video showing people how to set them up.

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