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Michael Ellison
Michael Ellison
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Don't Forget the Online Channel in Cross Selling Initiatives

Over the years, banks have become adept at using "traditional" media to cross-sell to clients (e.g. statement inserts, bangtails, etc.). It is important not to forget the online channel in these efforts.

Any marketing consultant will tell you that one of the best ways to increase sales is to market to existing clients. They already have a relationship with you and - presumably - trust you. Consequently, they should be easy targets for cross-selling or up-selling. Call it low-hanging fruit. Financial marketers even have a fancy (if somewhat dull) name for it: increasing share of wallet.For large banks that are approaching the cap on deposits that can be reached through mergers and acquisitions, cross-selling becomes an even more important marketing strategy. It is surprising, then, that we are seeing little use of one of the best channels to reach a captive audience: the bank's private (or customer) website.

In our latest Bank Monitor report, Private Site Cross Promotion: selling old clients something new, we looked at how the major banks are using their customer sites to promote additional products and services to their clients. Some interesting findings:

  • Only about half the firms currently use ads on the private homepage to promote additional banking and card products to users.
  • Of those that do, 20% go a step further and use banner ads, while 40% include text-based quicklinks on their private homepages for the same purpose.
  • Application pages are another useful way to cross-promote accounts and, again, only about half of the firms do so by alerting users to what products are currently offered by the firm and linking users directly to those applications.
  • In our research, we found two firms that stood out in using their customer sites to cross-sell services: Bank of America and Citibank. Both firms offer pages of special offers for users that provide specific account details, and both offer a separate Apply page to prompt users to open new accounts.

    Over the years, banks have become adept at using "traditional" media to cross-sell to clients (e.g. statement inserts, bangtails, etc.). It is important not to forget the online channel in these efforts.Over the years, banks have become adept at using "traditional" media to cross-sell to clients (e.g. statement inserts, bangtails, etc.). It is important not to forget the online channel in these efforts.

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