E-Statements: Encouraging Conversions: Electronic Statements Are More Convenient for Customers and Less Costly for the Bank to Produce but Some Customers Are Hesitant to Switch, Mostly Because of the Inertia of Ingrained Habit. Here's a Look at Successful Conversion Promotions Conducted at Four Banks

By Marlin, Brenda | ABA Bank Marketing, June 2011 | Go to article overview

E-Statements: Encouraging Conversions: Electronic Statements Are More Convenient for Customers and Less Costly for the Bank to Produce but Some Customers Are Hesitant to Switch, Mostly Because of the Inertia of Ingrained Habit. Here's a Look at Successful Conversion Promotions Conducted at Four Banks


Marlin, Brenda, ABA Bank Marketing


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NOT LONG AGO, most community banks would have a worker spend the majority of a workday every month preparing to mail account statements to customers. Today, financial institutions are trying to reduce the number of statements sent out by regular mail. Instead, they are encouraging customers to sign up for the receipt of electronic statements, which are more secure and efficient for customers and also less costly for the bank to process.

Not all customers, however, are ready to abandon the mailed statement. Some of these holdouts prefer the feel of the printed paper in their hands. Others are simply fixed in their habits and don't like the idea of altering their routine.

So banks are faced with the challenge of figuring out how to prod holdouts into converting to e-statements. To explore this issue, ABA Bank Marketing interviewed four bank marketers who recently implemented campaigns to encourage conversion. Some of their successes, which are described below, might help to stimulate ideas among other marketers.

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Going Green

Laura H Pomerene, CFMP Vice President and Marketing Director

First National Bank and Trust Co.

Beloit, Wisc.

Asset Size: $861 Million

When First National Bank realized that it had less than 5 percent penetration for e-statements, it decided to launch a campaign to build awareness and increase customer usage of its product. The campaign was entitled: "Money Isn't the Only Thing That's Green."

Pomerene believes in the value of e-statements for customers. "Not only do electronic statements save banks money, it's a safer alternative for our customers. A statement delivered through online banking is far more secure than one sitting in an unlocked mailbox. Today, customers need to be aware of where their personal information may be at risk of exposure to identity thieves."

The bank offered an eco-friendly grocery bag for each account that a customer agreed to receive an e-statement for. The bank's core system created a coupon that "automatically popped up" on the computer screen, indicating how many bags each customer earned. Employees were also excited about promoting e-statements, as they were incented $2 per new customer. The success of the campaign can be gauged by the fact that the fact that following the beginning of the campaign in June, 2,500 eco bags were purchased by the end of the summer. "We feel this was the turning point for our initiative. Today we have more than a 40 percent penetration, says Pomerene.

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Her advice to other marketers wanting to initiate such a campaign: "Incenting employees is definitely key. Make it easier for your customers. Look for ways that your core provider can help you streamline the registration process. When we started this, we had to create a custom form on our website and it was a manual process. Today our core has implemented a registration process within online banking ... it sounds like this would be obvious, but we didn't even have this capability [until] a year ago."

Sometimes a spoonful of sugar helps the "medicine" go down. It is a known fact not all customers feel comfortable receiving their statements electronically, but Corapi knew that their bank's product was one that could help their customers gain faster access to their accounts.

Corapi thought through the development of the e-statement campaign by focusing on the end-user. "I went through the usual process of trying to think of what would entice people to do this and started thinking of technology-related kinds of giveaways, trying to keep under the $10 price point. The flash drive was OK, but I would have to mail it out and then it could break. I didn't want the customer to come to our offices to get whatever this [incentive] was. The whole idea is that you don't need to come to our offices to bank with Marquette, you could do it from home, so what could I give the customers at their home that they would really like? …

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E-Statements: Encouraging Conversions: Electronic Statements Are More Convenient for Customers and Less Costly for the Bank to Produce but Some Customers Are Hesitant to Switch, Mostly Because of the Inertia of Ingrained Habit. Here's a Look at Successful Conversion Promotions Conducted at Four Banks
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