Financial Content Wrap-up: All Aboard for Onboarding at Banks

All Aboard for Onboarding at Banks - via Wikicommons user Yaohua2000Our white paper, “Onboarding: A Setup for Sales”, recently hit a record number of downloads! To celebrate, this week’s Financial Content Wrap-up brings you a cornucopia of onboarding tactics, strategies and tips. Check out what industry luminaries have to say about onboarding at banks and at large.

21 Tips For Onboarding at Banks

These tips from The Financial Brand have a lot in common with what we recommend to our clients. Two of our favorites are included below, but you should check out the full list here.

Banks should be listening to everyone and personalizing for everyone. These things are especially important as day-to-day banking continues to go digital. Simply asking your customers what their needs are right now is a great way to 1) hear what they’re thinking and 2) follow up with personalization. If you learn during onboarding that a customer is saving for a house you can subsequently target them with relevant, personalized info. If you’re only targeting by demographics you’re playing a guessing game.

The key to personalization is not to send people direct ads, but relevant content. People don’t like to be sold to. You need to supply them with something more than an ad. Give them tips on saving for a home, or paying for college; Teach them how to set up a monthly budget; Base what you send them around their personal needs.

If you’re being truly personable, trust should come before the sale.

4. Collect Insights from Day One

The ability to personalize communications and provide targeted solutions is based on the amount of demographic, behavioral and social insights you can collect. The collection of insight doesn’t stop at the new accounts desk, but should continue during the entire onboarding process…


The challenge is to balance the desire for collecting more insight either in person or through digital channels with the need to simplify the account opening process for an enhanced customer experience. A simplification strategy that is proving effective for some organizations is the integration of smartphone/tablet camera functionality to capture primary data and insight both in the branch and as part of digital account opening.

7. Personalize Dialogue

Each communication must reflect where the new customer is in their financial lifecycle with your organization. Show the consumer you know them and understand their needs. Eventually, the goal is to mine the data on the customer to generate marketing messages that are customer (as opposed to profile) specific.


Just as important as remembering the demographics and product ownership of the customer, it is important to build a communication channel strategy for each consumer based on the channels they use and respond to best. By leveraging data from all sources, content can be developed based on needs, channels and devices.


Content Experiments

You’ll notice a recurring theme here. PERSONALIZE!

You don’t need to take my word, or Financial Brand’s word, or even Content Marketing Institute’s word about the effectiveness of personalization. Ask yourself – if you’re in no way interested in college at this point in your life, how valued would you feel as a customer if your bank sent you a bunch of ads for student loans? If you need a hand with your financial state or to get a credit make sure you get Help with personal guarantees

Onboarding’s the time to start personalizing because customers are most-excited to engage with your brand. It’s the honeymoon period.


6. Strive to achieve true personalization

At Refinery29, Lee says, “All these A/B testing things are trying to get us closer to understanding what people are interested in, but to truly have the one-to-one marketing is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.” The more content you test across more channels, the more you can begin to personalize each individual client’s or prospect’s experience with your business — the emails they will receive, the links they will see first, the eBooks they should be offered. It is a difficult goal to achieve, but testing gets us closer to realizing it every day.

7. Understand that our jobs start after we publish

If we believe our jobs are over when we have created a piece of content, we are in huge trouble. Publishing something is only the beginning. For content to truly make a difference, we have to constantly evolve what we do with it after it is sent out there. Today, it’s easy to test how, when, and where we can promote our content most effectively and efficiently — and to do it in real time. The lessons learned about which promotions drove not just the most traffic but also the most conversions for a given piece of content will often translate to other pieces down the road. Remember: You’re not just testing ideas and concepts, you’re testing channels and delivery mechanisms, too.


Ideas for Digital Onboarding

Your can reach customers with personalized content through a ton of different channels. During onboarding you’ve already got the customer’s curiosity. You just need to capture their attention to keep them engaged.

For banks and credit unions, the onboarding process is a critical moment to retain your customers’ interest. They’ve heard what you have to say, they understand what you’re offering and they’ve decided to open an account with you. You’ve worked hard to gain your customer’s attention. Hold on to it with an effective onboarding process.

When it comes to communicating with a new client, “[o]ne contact and one channel is never enough,” says The Financial Brand’s Jim Marous.


Your new customer – scratch that, everyone – is on multiple digital channels. Everyone checks their email, browses on their phone, is on at least one social network.* Moreover, people check out your website frequently to manage their account or look for products. Why wouldn’t you reach out to them through these channels to keep them engaged?


Boost Channel Engagement

For more ideas about onboarding at banks, check out our next workshop!