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Harland Clarke’s Formula: Effective Strategy, Targeted Communications and Efficient Production equals Compelling Results

“By customizing your communi- cation to your account holders, you can experi- ence up to a 300 percent lift in response.” If your marketing campaigns don’t always pull ideal results or are becoming too costly, consider the large regional bank that was struggling to maintain an acquisition program targeting new movers and, therefore, turned to Harland Clarke’s Acquisition AcceleratorTM solution.

“When you reach out to new neighbors, it’s critical to target the right people and to do so in a timely manner,” says Heather Young-Elder, Harland Clarke’s Marketing Services vice president of marketing and communications. “Our first step was to use business analytics to fine-tune their targeting.” This included, for example, weeding out unnecessary names such as current account holders or non-movers who had added a new phone line. Harland Clarke Marketing Services also knocked off a week of production time by automating the process, which the bank had been doing manually. Reaching new movers as soon as possible after the move is critical to the strategy. And rather than using a generic message for all prospects, the mailings were highly personalized, thanks to digital printing technology.

Nine Best Practice Programs That Get Results

Harland Clarke offers nine turnkey communications programs that are easy to implement and that bring proven marketing results:

Acquisition Accelerator™
Drives acquisition of new deposits, loans, fee income, and account holders.

CheckSmart Messaging™
Drives cross-sell by inserting intelligence-based, targeted marketing messages in the checkbook.

Credit Optimization™
Boosts interest income by promoting activation and utilization of credit accounts, such as home equity lines and credit cards.

Intelligent Onboarding™
Minimizes first-year attrition and builds the foundation for long-term profitable relationships. Merger CommunicationsTM Retains valuable relationships by educating account holders about the impact of mergers and acquisitions.

Momentum Mail™
Promotes product cross-sell and utilization by employing high-end, turnkey direct mail programs at significant cost savings, coinciding with key times of the year (holidays, tax season, summer) or special promotions.

Opportunity Analysis™
Identifies the risks and opportunities associated with the portfolio and uses predictive intelligence to prioritize marketing initiatives based on strategic value and potential return.

TeleSmart Messaging™
Maximizes the value of check order calls by promoting products and services with intelligent messaging capabilities.

Youth Connections™
Grows this important segment by teaching financial responsibility to potential young account holders.

“Our response consistently exceeded the performance of a control group by 250 to 300 percent” says Young-Elder. “Acquisition Accelerator provided the bank with a steady source of new households and reduced their acquisitions costs by more than 40 percent.”

Of course, it is not just a matter of getting new accounts; you have to keep them, too. Consider the $14 billion asset thrift with some 150 branches that had been investing heavily in new acquisitions. “They asked us to help turn their new account holders into loyal, long-term customers,” says Young-Elder. “That’s where our Intelligent Onboarding program kicks in.” As part of the program, Harland Clarke Marketing Services created a welcome package with four different cross-sell messages and a $100 cash incentive to increase walletshare. Nearly a year after the program was implemented, the number of account holders with three or more accounts had jumped from 35 percent to 44 percent, and the cross-sell ratio had increased by 8 percent.

These are but two examples of the results that financial institutions can achieve by carefully communicating the right message to the right audience at the right time. The goal is to tap the full relationship potential of your account holders—retail or small businesses—rather than skimming the surface.

Six Core Ingredients for Sustained Growth

“We are one of the largest and most comprehensive providers of marketing services specifically for the financial industry,” explains Young-Elder. “It’s all here under one roof, start to finish, from strategy and creative through production and results measurement.” That’s because last year’s merger of Harland and Clarke American, including its direct marketing subsidiary, Alcott Routon, combined the best of each of these companies: high-end creative and strategy, state-of-the-art processes, and easy-to-implement turnkey programs.

Marketing-savvy financial institutions know the power of well-crafted communications rooted in solid intelligence. Consider the statistics. Seventy percent of consumers say they are more loyal to companies that make an effort to get to know their sensibilities. Furthermore, when deciding what piece of direct mail to open, nearly the same percentage said it depends heavily on timing and need. “By customizing your communication to your account holders, you can experience up to a 300 percent lift in response,” Young-Elder says.

The biggest mistakes that financial institutions make are using the same message for everyone or, similarly, targeting the wrong demographic. Not measuring results is another oversight that can negatively impact the cost and results of a campaign.

Harland Clarke’s six core capabilities—what Young- Elder refers to as the main “ingredients”—were developed to help financial institutions achieve sustained and measurable growth, whether in assets or acquisitions, retention or cross-selling. They are:

1. Strategy - A road map of multifaceted and multi-channel approaches designed to get results and maximize marketing ROI.

2. Analytics - Business intelligence to help better assess the market, hone your strategy, segment your audience, and accurately target account holders.

3. Creative - Innovative, out-of-the-box and results-driven concepts aligned with your brand strategy, but specifically designed for the direct marketing medium.

4. Production - Highly efficient technology utilizing rigorous security protocol that ensures smooth execution and significant savings, regardless of the size or complexity of a campaign.

5. Client Support - A team led by a primary contact person, delivering ongoing management, counsel and results feedback.

6. Contact Center - More than 1,300 customer care specialists managing more than 19 million interactions annually, supporting your marketing goals.

A Menu of Customizable Programs

Money-centered, national institutions that require highly customized and creative solutions, with an innovative, unique approach, tend to choose what Harland Clarke calls its Agency Services. “This usually appeals to market leaders who have the resources for one-ofa- kind campaigns, who want to be the first ones out with the next big idea,” says Young-Elder. “ We take them to that next level because ad agencies might not have our direct marketing experience, and direct marketing firms might not have our financial services expertise.”

Financial institutions with more limited budgets and resources, but who nevertheless must remain competitive, often turn to Harland Clarke’s Best Practices Programs— nine turnkey programs that are easy to implement and are proven to generate excellent response (See inset box to right). She compared financial organizations that prefer the Best Practices Programs to customers in a restaurant who want something tried and true, right off the menu, while those who gravitate to Agency Services are essentially asking the chef to whip up something completely new. Still others may want something from the menu but with a few substitutions.

Whichever approach an institution takes, Harland Clarke relies on a multi-channel mix of time-tested communications vehicles that include direct mail, checkbox, account statements, and telephone. “Using integrated communications can improve results by 30 percent or more,” explains Young-Elder.

To learn more about Harland Clarke’s Marketing Services, go to:, contact your Harland Clarke account executive, or call 866.609.8609.