At a time when the marketplace is increasingly competitive, community banks face a unique challenge: how to effectively compete with larger financial institutions while, at the same time, maintaining their local, community-focused approach. One powerful tool that you, as a community banker can leverage to stand out, and stay connected with their customers, is newsletter marketing. In this article, we’ll talk a bit about the importance of sending out newsletters on a regular basis and why doing so is well worth the effort (PS: And, how it can be far less effort than you think!)
Building Stronger Customer Relationships
Community banks pride themselves on their personal touch. As a community banker, your newsletter can be a valuable marketing vehicle for strengthening your relationships with customers. By regularly communicating through a newsletter, you’re not only providing updates on new products and services, sharing financial tips and insights, and showcasing community involvement, among others. You’re building trust and with it, loyalty.
One of the most valuable opportunities open to you as a local bank is your ability to offer one-on-one, personalized financial guidance to customers. A newsletter is an excellent platform for sharing valuable financial information, tips, and guidance. Topics can range from budgeting and saving strategies to explanations of the financial products and services you offer.
Newsletter marketing also creates opportunities to cross-sell your products and services. By strategically featuring different financial offerings, you can remind customers about products they may not be aware of or have not considered. You can also give them a reason to consider such products. If, for example, you mention home equity lines of credit as the holiday season approaches, such a mention might remind customers that a lower-interest HELOC might be preferable to a high-interest credit card when it comes to covering holiday expenses.
Consumers are bombarded with information from various sources, thousands of times each day. It’s critical, of course, that you take advantage of ways to stay top-of-mind with your customers and in so doing, ensuring that you are their first choice when financial decisions need to be made. Newsletter marketing keeps you in regular contact with your customers and helps your bank stand out in all the “noise.”
Need a bit of help with newsletter content?
Sound like a lot of work? Not at all. Now, we’ve talked about ChatGPT before but it’s certainly worth mentioning again, especially in the context of creating long-form marketing materials such as newsletters. The ChatGPT functionality that is now a feature of our portal can be a tremendous help when you’re searching for newsletter ideas. Here’s an example of just how useful it can be. Start by entering a prompt such as, “what financial services products should my bank promote in the month of November?”
When I did this, my AI-assisted writer gave me this advice:
The financial products and services your bank should promote in the month of November can depend on various factors, including your bank's goals, target audience, and current market conditions. However, I can suggest some common financial products and promotions that banks often consider for November:
Holiday Savings Accounts: November is the beginning of the holiday season in many countries, and people often start thinking about holiday expenses. Promote special savings accounts or certificates of deposit (CDs) with competitive interest rates and incentives for those looking to save for holiday shopping.
Personal Loans: Many people may need extra cash for holiday expenses, travel, or home improvements. Promote personal loans with competitive interest rates and flexible repayment terms to attract borrowers.
Credit Cards: Offer special promotions on credit cards, such as cashback rewards, lower interest rates, or no annual fees, to entice holiday shoppers and travelers.
Home Equity Loans or Lines of Credit: Some homeowners use the holiday season to make home improvements or renovations. Promote home equity loans or lines of credit for these purposes, highlighting the potential tax benefits.
Auto Loans: November can be a good time to buy a new car, as dealerships often have end-of-year sales events. Promote auto loans with competitive rates and quick approval processes.
IRA and Retirement Planning Services: As the year comes to a close, individuals may be looking to maximize their contributions to retirement accounts. Promote Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and retirement planning services to help customers plan for their financial future.
Online Banking and Mobile Apps: With the holiday season's busy schedules, promote the convenience of your online banking and mobile app services. Highlight features like mobile check deposit, bill pay, and budgeting tools.
Financial Education Workshops: Offer free or low-cost financial education workshops on topics like budgeting for the holidays, debt management, or retirement planning. These can attract customers and build loyalty.
Charitable Giving: Promote initiatives for charitable giving during the holiday season, such as partnering with local charities and offering to match donations made through your bank's accounts.
Of course, now that you have a few ideas, you can prompt ChatGPT again, this time with a prompt such as, “write a 100-word article on why November is a good time to get a personal loan from Your Bank & Trust.” Here’s what you get:
- November is the perfect time to explore personal loan options at Your Bank & Trust. As the year-end approaches, many people find themselves in need of extra funds for various expenses, such as holiday shopping, home renovations, or unexpected bills. Your Bank & Trust offers flexible and affordable personal loans that can help you meet your financial needs. With competitive interest rates, easy application processes, and quick approvals, getting a loan from Your Bank & Trust can provide the necessary financial aid without added stress. Don't let financial worries overshadow the joyous holiday season; instead, secure a personal loan from Your Bank & Trust this November and enjoy peace of mind as you tackle your expenses.
As a community bank, success depends on your ability to connect with customers, earn their trust, and maintain your unique position as a community-focused financial institution. Newsletter marketing is a powerful tool that can do just that; by building stronger relationships with customers, educating them about financial matters, cross-selling products, and keeping your brand top-of-mind. And, now with ChatGPT, all of the above is easier than ever.
About Bank Marketing Center
Here at bankmarketingcenter.com, our goal is to help you with that topical, compelling communication with customers; the messaging — developed by banking industry marketing professionals — that will help you build trust, relationships, and revenue. Now, through our partnership with ChatGPT, customizing our layouts is even faster and easier. With the addition of AI-assisted content development, our clients can very quickly generate articles they need for newsletters and blogs and any other content they might need in their marketing efforts.
To view our marketing creative, both print and digital – ranging from product and brand ads to social media and in branch signage – visit bankmarketingcenter.com. You can also contact me directly by phone at 678-528-6688 or via email at email@example.com. As always, I welcome your thoughts.