Like many industries, financial service businesses have made a digital transformation to attract and keep their customers. Retail banks are now spending over $20 billion per year on digital marketing. But there’s no denying the proven results from including a direct mail component in your marketing strategy. Direct mail produces impressive response rates that only get better when strategically combined with digital marketing channels. It’s called multichannel marketing. As you look to improve upon your bank marketing strategies, one of the best direct mail methods to incorporate is the use of variable data printing. Let’s see how VDP can work for your bank’s direct mail marketing plan.


Variable Data Printing: The Secret to a Better Direct Mail Marketing Plan


variable data printingWhat is variable data printing? VDP is a method of digital printing that allows bank marketers to personalize their marketing campaigns. This creates bulk customizations and deeply targeted mailings without slowing down production to account for it. For instance, based on customer data, you could create a direct mail campaign for your bank that speaks to each recipient individually.


VDP Advantages


  • Use Data to Win Customers. As we mentioned, you’ve got information about your customers. Why not use it to your advantage? You can create targeted campaigns around your brand’s marketing verticals and personas.
  • Customize How You See Fit. There’s almost no end to the variety of ways you can customize your campaigns. In fact, you can create hundreds or thousands of variations of a single mailpiece. But remember, there’s a lot more to personalization than using a customer’s name. It’s about relevant personal information.
  • Integrate with Automation. You can use VDP along with marketing automation to speak to the right customers about the right products at the right time.
  • Achieve Higher Open Rates. Personalization sparks interest. When you use VDP, you create the kind of customizations that lead to higher open rates.
  • Enjoy Increased Response Rates and ROI. You’ll enjoy better direct mail marketing metrics (like higher open rates) when you personalize with VDP. You’ll also experience the increased response rates and higher ROI that typically follow.
  • Experience Fast Turnaround. One of the main selling points of VDP is manageability. You can customize and personalize a campaign without sacrificing time. Just because you’re personalizing messages for each recipient, it doesn’t mean it will cause a production delay. Quite the contrary.


Does this sound like a good plan for your bank? Let’s see how VDP can help you improve your bank marketing strategies and connect with your customers.


Why Does VDP Make Your Customers Feel Special?


direct mail marketing planResearch shows that marketing personalization gets results. In fact, personalization has become so effective, it was marketing’s 2019 Word-of-the-Year according to the Association of National Advertisers. Personalization is the “holy grail” of brand marketing ideas. So it’s no wonder it gives your customers the warm fuzzies, so to speak. Here are a few examples of how you can use VDP to deliver an effective, personalized direct mail marketing plan.


Your Bank Can Target its Marketing Campaigns


One of the reasons VDP makes your customers feel special is that you’re targeting mail directly to them. When a customer requests information from your bank via your website or from one of your branch locations, they’re setting themselves up for the personalized experience they desire. Additionally, a customer’s habits can lead to a personalized marketing experience. For example, their activity (or lack thereof) could trigger a direct mail piece that speaks to their potential needs. Consider this. If a customer’s increasing their deposits, it could trigger a direct mail piece about investing or financial planning. Using VDP, the direct mail piece could address the recipient by name. Then, based on factors like the frequency and amounts of recent deposits, it could offer some direction for their financial future.


Use Saturation Mailings to Blanket a Target Market


“Welcome to the neighborhood. We’re here to serve your banking needs.”


target marketingHave you ever received a piece of mail like this—financial services or otherwise—upon moving into a new neighborhood? It’s an appealing message and likely one that made you feel, at the very least, welcomed. Plus, if the brand did its job correctly, the mailpiece proved to be useful. A “saturation mailing” such as this may seem like an old school approach to direct mail marketing. But with modern-day technology, it serves as an inexpensive way to improve your bank marketing strategies and reach a large audience.


Banks can use VDP in a saturation mailing to reach a targeted list of prospective customers. These customers could be from a specific zip code or income level. The goal is to promote anything from basic checking or savings accounts to other financial products or services you offer.


A word of advice: always give your potential customers an incentive to do business with you. The more enticing the offer, the more likely they are to give your bank a chance. Many banks offer cold hard cash as a way to help people get started with a checking account.


Apply Nurture Campaigns with Email and Direct Mail


multichannel marketingStatistics show that when you combine email with direct mail, you get the best results. Integrated marketing campaigns that utilize digital and direct mail channels keep customers engaged almost 40% longer than single channels. A nurture campaign is a perfect example. When a prospective customer requests more information from your bank, you can guide them into customer status via a combination of email and VDP direct mail messages. So rather than pitting one channel against the other (direct mail vs. digital marketing), the best strategy is to combine digital and personalized direct mail. This makes for an effective multichannel marketing delivery.


Now let’s take a look at how one bank used variable data printing as one of its successful bank marketing strategies.


Bank Marketing Strategies: Zions Bancorporation Uses VDP


Zions Bancorporation is a bank holding company with 122 full-service financial centers throughout Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming. It’s one of the oldest financial institutions in this region. Zions built their bank marketing strategies around a direct mail piece that featured a personalized landing page (PURL) for every new customer. Their goal was to nurture these new, individual account holders into multiple product customers.


Zions offered almost 10 products in its cross-selling campaign. This included everything from mortgages and home equity loans to credit card rewards, auto loans, and more. They placed each new customer into a targeted category to receive more information about an additional product. The “new customer” campaign was randomly divided into both email and direct mail recipients. The direct mail piece that included a PURL also featured customized images using VDP to match the offer to the recipient. To create a cohesive campaign, the email and direct mail piece both resembled one another. In other words, they looked like they belonged together as part of the same campaign. So when someone received the direct mail piece, they immediately recognized it as a similar offering to the email they also received.


VDP Produces Results


The result? Zions’ PURL strategy was successful. The personalized landing pages produced a 5% response rate, but they also served as a “bookmark” for customers to do business with the bank in the future. Zions continues to run the campaign quarterly and they’re planning to approach their business customers with a similar campaign.


Consider using PURLs and VDP as part of your bank marketing strategies. Your customers will get the personalized experience they desire. And furthermore, you’ll receive more information from them to use in future marketing campaigns.


Bank Marketing Strategies That Work: Just Add Variable Data Printing


Variable data printing is a key technique in a successful direct mail marketing plan. By using VDP to highlight your bank marketing strategies, you can personalize your campaigns to speak to each individual customer—or business. MSP can help you develop a plan to customize direct mail letters and envelopes that will serve as your next success story. Contact an MSP representative today to talk about your bank’s marketing goals.

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