Strategic Utilization of Direct Mail by 7 Local Banks for Bank Marketing Purposes

Direct mail is a type of advertising that utilizes tangible, printed materials and the postal service to distribute advertisements to consumers directly. Direct mail marketers use bulk mailing rates to reduce the costs of providing unsolicited advertising materials directly to potential customers by relying on various forms of demographic data such as geography, income, age, and political affiliation.

Recently, the utilization of direct mail by financial institutions in the form of bank direct mail marketing, financial advisor postcard marketing, insurance direct mail marketing, etc. has managed to gain an upper hand when it comes to building trust and earning lifelong customers.

Financial services firms utilize direct mail as a marketing strategy because of its higher conversion rate. And that is exactly what we are here for, let us take a close look at how strategic utilization of Direct mail by local banks aided in their marketing purposes.


Strategic Utilization of Bank Direct Mail Marketing by Local Banks

According to the DMA Response Rate Report 2023, almost 70% of all banks and credit unions employ direct mail. The popularity of bank direct mail marketing is evident when you consider the below-mentioned banks.

These local banks successfully boosted their business with the help of direct mail marketing techniques for financial institutions.

Zions Bancorporation

Zions Bancorporation is a regional bank based in Salt Lake City, Utah, with full-service branches in 11 western states. They marketed their services with an onboarding direct mail piece that included a personalized landing page (PURL) for each newly opened account.

After signing up for an account, a customer would go through an onboarding procedure in which the bank assessed all the metrics surrounding the customer to decide what their next product would most likely be.

The direct mail piece included a PURL as well as customized images created with variable data printing (VDP). One important component was that the email, direct mail piece, and PURL all looked the same. They felt like they belonged together as part of a single campaign.

Not only did the customized landing pages generate a 5% response rate, but they also allowed customers to reconnect with the bank after purchasing the goods. Zions now does this type of promotion periodically, and they intend to replicate it for their business customers as well.

Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third Bank (aka 5/3 Bank) of Cincinnati is one of the largest regional banks in the United States, with over 1,200 full-service facilities in ten states. One of their bank marketing ideas was to build consistency across all of their marketing platforms, with direct mail being one component of their newly discovered strategic marketing endeavor.

5/3 Bank’s prior marketing strategies were overly segmented. Customers would receive many competing offers with little regard for their purchase history or interests. Customers were just confused and alienated as a result of this. So, they came up with a solution.

5/3 Bank standardized all of their marketing materials and messages across all mediums and locations. What they said online and through their mobile app, they also said through their direct mail advertising and telemarketing operations. They also harmonized their bank marketing materials from branch to branch. This served to provide the right message to customers at the right moment, while also saving Fifth Third Bank their money on marketing.


KeyBank is a regional bank based in Cleveland and is amongst the top 30 banks in the United States. Every year, they send over ten million pieces of direct mail. Upon analyzing their marketing strategies, they discovered that they were spending too much time and money on the creative parts of their direct mail campaigns. As a result, response rates began to fall. To standardize their marketing communications and save money, the bank turned to templates.

KeyBank created six direct mail templates as the base for their marketing messaging and offers. KeyBank pre-printed the templates and then modified the copy for each campaign. This also allowed them to get each campaign to market faster. As a result, they cut their cost per item by more than 17%, and they did not have to mail as many because the mailings were more targeted. As a result, their ROI increased.

Santander Bank

Santander (previously Sovereign) is a regional bank centered in Boston with over 600 locations around the northeast. Amongst various marketing techniques employed by this local bank, it was a copy-oriented direct mail piece that struck the eye of various potential customers. The bank’s direct mail marketing was done with a sizable sign-up incentive that encouraged clients to create an account.

Santander invited customers to open a Premier Plus Checking Account. However, they did not employ the type of images that most banks do. There were no images of delighted tellers or customers. Instead, they concentrated on the copy and a valuable incentive—a $350 bonus—for creating an account. The letter had various promises and three options for the customer to take advantage of the incentive. An insert contained further information along with a single image in the entire letter.

M&T Bank

M&T Bank is a regional bank that operates on a community bank model. The Fortune 500 firm headquartered in Buffalo, New York, operates 780 branches in nine different states.

One of their direct mail bank marketing concepts was to focus on the specific individual demands of their customers—in this example, business needs. M&T reached out to leads with a direct mail campaign to design a banking plan tailored to the customer’s requirements. They used lines like:

  • Understanding what is crucial for your business (on the front of the envelope) as part of their copy.
  • We will work with you to determine your company’s specific cash flow requirements.
  • They also mentioned that adopting a “customized suite of products and services” (such as making/receiving payments, managing money, and so on) will aid in the development of a firm.

As a Call To Action, M&T Bank invited the prospect to visit their local branch or call a toll-free number.

Umpqua Bank

Umpqua Bank is a regional bank established in Portland, Oregon, with branches spreading across 260 locations. One of their direct mail marketing ideas for banks was to ‘keep it simple’. When they opened a new location or relocated a branch, their first move in direct mail marketing was to offer a polite introduction with a bank direct mail postcard.

For example, when Umpqua Bank in Boise, Idaho relocated, Umpqua issued a basic direct mail piece informing customers of the change. It also reassured customers that the bank will continue to serve free cookies on Fridays along with informing about new conveniences such as dedicated off-street parking and a drive-through window.

All of these are marketable attributes that consumers will appreciate in a bank, and the direct mail postcard alerted people of the improvements. The only CTA was to come in, look around, and say “Hello.”

Webster Bank

Webster Bank is a Waterbury, Connecticut-based regional bank with 177 branch locations across Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Westchester County, New York.

When they launched their new mobile website, they used all their available marketing channels to inform customers about it. In an all-encompassing multichannel marketing strategy, they turned to direct mail to make banking more convenient for their clients.

Customers were informed that they could now see their accounts and balances, monitor transactions, transfer money, and pay bills via the secure mobile site.


Today, more than half of all businesses utilize up to eight marketing channels to engage with their customers. What makes banking any different? You will reach more customers and cater to them with more options for doing business with you.

Direct mail can help your regional bank succeed no matter how you choose to market to your consumers. You can use any or all of the aforementioned ideas and more. You are only restricted by your imagination. Additionally, your direct mail marketing efforts can be greatly enhanced by working with a reputable direct mail provider to help you get the most out of your campaigns.

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