Last week, we hosted an excellent panel-based webinar on “Navigating the 3 Cs of Financial Services Communication with Intelligent Direct Mail,” with two speakers from Lob, Eamon Barisone, Solutions Engineer, and Carol Roden, Product Marketing Lead. We hosted two panelists from the financial services industry, David Chmielewski, COO and Co-Founder of Quavo Fraud & Dispute Solutions, and Evan Maxon, Director of Operations and Technology at DreamSpring.
The webinar was focused on the 3 Cs of communication in financial services, specifically around campaigns, compliance, and customer experience. Our panelists spoke on how those in operations and marketing can leverage direct mail to more effectively communicate with prospects and customers in a complex and highly regulated industry.
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3 key takeaways from the direct mail in financial services webinar
Chmielewski and Maxon weighed in on how they utilize direct mail in their operations, from sending monthly statements or notices to using address verification to validate customer data and keep it clean. They also touched on how direct mail streamlines customer communication and pulling data for compliance audits. Our own solutions engineer provided a different perspective by talking about direct mail marketing use cases and best practices. Let’s see what else the financial services pros had to say about using direct mail in their industry.
Key takeaway #1: Automation is a game-changer
Being able to automate direct mail communication has been a lifesaver for Maxon and Chmielewski.
Maxon said, “Every January, it was an all-hands-on-deck situation to print and mail tax statements. Automating those mailings has given us huge time savings. We can also deploy that labor to other areas of the organization. With some of our mail, we wouldn’t be able to do it manually.”
Chmielewski echoed Maxon’s statements and added, “We have a lot of different content to automate as we have about 25 different letters. We have several different banks with their own logos, custom copy and greetings, and even different languages we have to support. We really needed a solution that could take a blank piece of paper and print out exactly what we need on it as every letter we send out is different.”
Chmielewski went on to say that automation isn’t just important in getting the right letter in the mail but it also has positive impacts on compliance. He said, “Compliance is at the forefront of what we’re doing. We have two days to get a letter out the door. We can send a letter out and get an event back from Lob, which helps us with audits. It’s important to our clients that we have that data granularity. Data is a two-way process: Send the letter and then prove that it was sent. It’s very beneficial for us to prove that we’re compliant with regulations."
Maxon agreed that Lob has helped his business with audits. “We go through an audit every year. Having the data from Lob allows us to prove that we adhered to our own processes and regulations that we need to comply with,” he said.
Plus, with automated direct mail, the maintenance of it is little to none! When Roden asked about getting up and running with direct mail via Lob both mentioned that they haven’t had to do anything in terms of maintenance and that their mail programs are simply in place and running like they should.
Key takeaway #2: Personalization is key
Chmielewski at one point commented about using direct mail for important communications, “It’s a moment that matters.” He stressed that personalization is important for building that trust and relationships with his customers.
Maxon added that automated direct mail enables them to “send accurate, consistent, and on-time statements to maintain trust with our customers. The absence of communication from customers [such as calling customer support] is a good experience.”
Lob’s solution engineer, Barisone, spoke on personalization for marketing use cases. “You can tailor your message to the individual or audience segment. One creative way to personalize marketing mail is through custom images, such as an image of the local branch or a map with directions from the recipient’s home address.”
Key takeaway #3: Making the case for marketing mail in financial services
Barisone gave a great example of how combining Lob products can help with marketing mail. With address verification and real-time NCOA changes, you can ensure your intended recipient gets an offer they’re eligible for. Say your prospect lived in Texas and moved to Hawaii and might not eligible for a certain product based on state regulations. You can ensure they do not get a mailer promoting a product they could have had in Texas but are no longer eligible for. This saves your company money on the mailer and maintains a good customer experience by only getting marketing offers that are relevant and timely.
But, Barisone was also quick to point out that direct mail shouldn’t be in its own silo. He said, “Direct mail is not in competition with your email or SMS. It all works best with an integrated approach to marketing.”
He discussed how savvy marketers in the financial services industry are adding direct mail to their workflows and triggering mail in conjunction with digital marketing tactics. He discussed how marketers could send a mailer and then trigger an SMS message telling those customers to check their mailbox for a great offer.
Direct mail form factors for financial services
At the end of the webinar Roden opened it up to Q&A and one question really stood out for its use in both operational mail and marketing mail. Roden posed the question, “If you were to test a new form factor, which would it be and why that one?”
Chmielewski responded, “We would probably think about postcards. Our letters can be a bit wordy and by sending a postcard with a status update could prevent a call to customer support.”
Maxon circled back to the conversation on buckslips and said, “Buckslips are the most natural next step for us. Postcards with a QR code could be something we experiment with as well. Due to the nature of the content we’re sending to our contacts, we probably wouldn’t stray too far from letters and envelopes.” Which is a great fit for a buckslip!
When the conversation had been on buckslips, they both had insightful ideas on how to incorporate the form factor into their mailings.
Maxon told us he could see a use case for buckslips in re-engaging clients who recently paid off a loan or were getting close to it and have a promotion on the buckslip that’s inserted into their statement. Or he could see using a buckslip in a regularly scheduled statement mailing to announce a new product or complementary product line to what the customer already has.
Chmielewski took a different approach and talked about how he could see his company using the extra real estate as an opportunity to educate customers on how to protect themselves against fraud.
Explore the topic of direct mail in financial services more thoroughly by downloading your copy of the complementary eBook: The Modern Marketer’s Guide to Intelligent Direct Mail: Financial Services and Banking Edition.