How Top Financial Institutions Use Direct Mail

Pushing the Boundaries of Direct Mail to Build a Great Customer Experience

preferred mailing methods
In the past direct mail lived in a vacuum. It couldn't provide feedback very well at all, certainly not as quickly as digital channels. It couldn't be easily personalized and building a bridge to the digital world was difficult. Yet, it remains a strategic channel for leading financial institutions. Why? Thanks in part to its innate ability to boost brand recall and deliver a 3.7% 1 average response rate as a standalone channel (doubling when combined with digital marketing efforts). In fact, direct mail remains the preferred channel for receiving brand promotions and updates by Baby Boomers and Millennials alike. 2
Understanding that direct mail is a powerful way to connect with its audiences, top financial institutions are now leveraging advances in technology to overcome workflow inefficiencies inherent to "old school" operations and deliver a more consistent and meaningful customer experience on and offline.
...being able to synchronize your direct mail program with email, social and web.
...keeping your message on brand on and offline.
...your advisors being able to get instant access to customizable, brand-compliant collateral.
...the time they'd save in the field.
...if the story customers hold in their hands was only limited by your imagination.
1 Direct Marketing Association, April 2015
2 MarketingSherpa Consumer Purchase Preference Survey
direct mail empowered by digital opening direct mail package
The Definition of What You Can Send in the Mail is Only Limited by your Imagination
Companies like Liberty Mutual, ING Direct, and American Express are pushing the boundaries of direct mail to stand out and get noticed with innovative campaigns.
Let's dig deeper into some of the best direct mail campaigns from leading financial institutions and see how offline and online marketing is merging into a meaningful customer experience.
Liberty Mutual
Liberty Mutual Ads
Liberty Mutual needed an affordable way to let customers know their auto insurance offered quick body-work, repair services, personalized customer care and exclusive solutions. And they needed to say it all at once.
What Works
Liberty Mutual kept their outreach affordable by adding the unique scratch-off feature to a standard postcard. With this interactive self-mailer, they were able to put the problem, as well as solution, in their prospect's hands.
Pro Tip
We'd suggest filling in the area under the scratch-off with a response option. Give customers a PURL, or, if the audience is particularly tech-savvy, a QR code to scan with their mobile. Have it take them to a landing page where they can request a quote or talk to a representative.
Product: Liberty Auto Xpress Insurance
Credit: Rai Sao Paulo
Ing Direct
Ing Ads
Product: Direct Savings Account
Credit: Rapp Collins DDB France
This campaign targeted one of ING's toughest markets—spend-happy males in their late twenties/ early thirties who view savings as a change of lifestyle. ING sent a doll with personality descriptions that the audience would relate to, only with one addition: an ING Direct account.
What Works
This is a great use of data when it comes to targeting. Using physical pieces like this doll adds a touch of humor that makes the brand relatable, while the content drives the message home to deliver results.
Pro Tip
We'd suggest pairing it with a digital campaign that kicks off with an email inquiring if they received the perfect son-in-law. Now that's a subject line that would gain some attention.
American Express
AmEx Ad
American Express wanted to drive card members to a price-drop travel site where destinations were being auctioned each day.
What Works
The fun piece creates a sense of urgency with the "Get the best of Hong Kong before someone else does," message and the already "eaten" fortune cookie.
Pro Tip
Create a multi-channel campaign by encouraging them to tweet an image of their Fortune Cookie for a chance to win free airfare.
Product: Rewards Credit Card
Credit: Ogilvy and Mather London
PMC Screens
Making it Work in the Field
These examples are inspiring, but they're the product of large corporate marketing teams with centralized talent and coordinated effort. What about localized marketing efforts? How can corporate marketing teams reach financial advisors in the field?
Imagine Your Advisors Getting Instant Access to Brand-Compliant Marketing Collateral
Imagine that collateral automatically personalized with prospect data from Salesforce. Imagine the time you'd save in the field. Imagine keeping your message on brand.
You can leverage Salesforce and marketing automation platforms to create personalized direct mail, emails, social posts and more. PFL's Personal Marketing Center combines sales and marketing platforms to empower advisors in the field to create, manage and execute their own marketing campaigns. The assets they use are locked by marketing, so the message never goes off brand.
empowering your field reps