Many of the larger financial services companies are experimenting with a blend of direct mail and email marketing to communicate with their current customer base and merchandise their new products and services. In contrast, many smaller financial services companies have turned to email in order to attract new customers with acquisition offers.
According to Mintel Comperemedia, a competitive intelligence service that analyzes direct mail, email marketing, and print media, several smaller companies are emerging as more frequently tracked entities in the email marketing arena. As this email sector evolves, companies such as Metabank in the banking sector and First Premier Bank in the credit card sector have been identified as key players, flooding consumer mailboxes with acquisition offers and promotions. However, on the direct mail front these companies are distributing a significantly lower share of offers than their larger competitors.
“Email marketing has been able to serve as a more affordable option for smaller, lesser-know companies that need to reach new consumers,” said Carmen Curran, analyst for Mintel Comperemedia. “Major financial services companies continue to take advantage of email as well, but they have stronger resources to market through direct mail and other key channels. They are also concentrating more on marketing to current customers through email, rather than acquiring new ones.”
In the direct mail category, the top 2006 overall mailers for acquisition financial services direct mail pieces were Chase (1.7 billion), Capital One (1.2 billion), American Express (1 billion), Citibank (980 million), and Bank of America (920 million). While many smaller companies turn acquisition efforts to email marketing, larger companies are opting for email marketing in order to cross-sell their products and communicate with their customers about their existing services. For example, Citibank revived efforts to promote its e-Savings account to customers via email. Capital One renewed promotional efforts via email for Blank Check Auto Loans to current customers. These were both offers that were featured in campaigns that initially lived through traditional direct mail outlets, but turned to email marketing to garner additional participation.
“Since several of the larger companies already have a strong customer base, they are using email marketing more at this stage as a way to communicate with current customers and better showcase their new products,” Curran said. “Smaller companies are looking at ways to continue making email work for them in a cost-effective manner, further chipping away at the larger companies and perhaps finding their own niche markets.”
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