Now that competition for funding is back on, bank and credit union marketers are relearning how to seriously promote deposits. But some of the lessons call for new solutions.
Direct mail marketing is proving a method of choice because it stands out in today’s email-heavy market. But many financial institutions hesitate to include their current rates on printed marketing materials because, under current conditions, it may change by the time a direct marketing piece lands in consumers’ hands.
Yet what are savers chiefly looking for today? The highest rates.
A potential solution to marketers’ quandary lies in “internet protocol targeting,” or IP targeting for short. It offers a digital alternative to direct mail — or even an effective dual approach —that can be updated for rate changes quickly and easily.
What IP Targeting Is and Why It’s Effective
An IP address is a string of numbers that identifies your internet-connected devices when you’re online. An IP address is linked, in a way, to a physical address, making it possible for marketers to aim digital promotion efforts at people in specific households, within a chosen range of your location.
The era of cookie-based advertising is coming to a close due to concerns about user privacy. Google plans to phase out third-party cookies in 2024. Apple Intelligent Tracking Prevention already keeps cookies from attaching to browsers. (iPhone users frequently see messages indicating how many trackers their phones’ Safari browser has rebuffed.)
How Internet Protocol Targeting Works:
The strategy starts with targeted marketing list data. An algorithm matches the list to IP addresses. Then digital ads are displayed on the devices connected to the Wi-Fi at those addresses.
This approach allows for digital canvassing, meaning you can target neighborhoods where a new car was purchased and send ads to the neighbors, for example. Another use of the technology is targeting people who have just moved into a neighborhood. Marketers can send ads to a home within a day or two of a newcomer’s arrival. That’s an ideal time to advertise deposit accounts because they may be looking for a new financial institution as part of the move.
If rates change, it’s easy to swap out IP targeting ads as needed. That’s much easier than sending out new postcards.
There’s another perk: GeoFraming. This feature, available from some technology providers that partner with marketing agencies, allows marketers to target a certain business or location, such as a sports stadium, and ensure that consumers who visit that place see your advertisement online. In brief, the technology captures a percentage of the devices in the venue and later matches them to home addresses. Unlike geofencing, which can only be used while the consumer is at the venue, GeoFraming information can be stored for later use.
How to Gauge the Impact of IP Targeting
Some marketing agencies that offer IP targeting can show its effectiveness through a matchback analysis — a technique for tracking the source of sales and leads.
Rather than determining a click-through rate, the analysis allows marketers to see which targeted consumers responded to their digital advertising. This helps establish return on investment of ad spend.
Hanscom Federal Credit Union, a $1.9 billion institution based in Massachusetts, wanted to highlight its share certificate special. So it worked with its marketing agency on an IP targeting campaign.
The goal was to increase engagement by identifying the target demographics that would yield the best results and directing digital ads to those specific household devices based on IP address. After the campaign was complete, the matchback analysis showed that 22 share certificates were opened as a direct result of the ads, generating a total of $1,420,930 in deposits. The campaign also attracted new members.
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Pairing IP Targeting with Direct Mail Pays Off
More touchpoints can mean more engagement. Pairing digital ads with a direct mail piece can increase the effectiveness of a marketing campaign.
How IP Targeting Gets It Done:
It's a matter of impactful repetition. When an institution only sends a postcard, recipients may only see the marketing message once. With IP targeting, banks and credit unions can ensure the same consumers who receive a postcard also see the digital ads.
Coming across a promotion repeatedly increases the likelihood that a consumer will take action. Pairing a mailer with digital IP targeting ads — especially animated ones — makes for a strong multichannel combo.
Picture this: A bank or credit union sends a postcard promoting its competitive rates on CDs to account holders and residents within a certain radius of its headquarters. Recipients see it in the mailbox after work and think how attractive the rates are. Maybe some of their funds could be earning a higher rate. They’re not planning to use the money to buy a new vehicle until rates come down anyway.
But the postcard, mixed with other mail, gets left on the kitchen counter and forgotten.
Later, these postcard recipients are online to purchase birthday gifts or research weekend events, and they see your digital ad (which matches the look and language of the postcard) promoting the same enticing CD rates. Now these consumers are motivated to make a move. They click on the ad, which takes them directly to your website, and that’s where the sale can be clinched.
Tips for Creating Effective Digital Ads
The key to effective digital ads is finding the balance between too little and too much information. From the words to the images, here are some tips for crafting compelling ad content for the digital landscape.
1. Swap out your creative every two to three months. Otherwise, you risk ad fatigue.
2. Do something to draw attention. Consider using humor (politely), strangeness, odd colors or images that are askew.
3. Animate your message. Animations are more likely to stick in viewers’ long-term memory.
4. Keep it concise. Keep your copy short and sweet. Not much fits on a digital ad.
5. Be big on benefits. Instead of focusing on features, like the CD term, say what problem is solved or what is provided for people.
6. Use action words. The phrases “act now” and “take advantage” mean more than “we offer.” Create a sense of urgency or sense of something special. Use phrases and words like “for a limited time” and “exclusive.”
7. Show how you’re different. Stand out by showcasing your unique brand, culture, message and voice. (Animations can help achieve this goal.)
8. Get personal. Speak to your target market and address their pain points or interests. Tailor the imagery to the intended audience.
Digital marketing has proven to be a powerful tool for reaching and engaging consumers, increasing brand awareness and driving account opening. When your bank or credit union uses IP targeting, your digital ads go directly to the viewers who are likely to be the most interested in what you offer. Don’t leave all the work to direct mail.
About the author:
Charity Wanta is the copy manager and senior editor at image.works, a full-service marketing firm in Madison, Wis., specializing in banks and credit unions.