9 Effective Web Engagement Strategies for the Retail Banking Industry
Written by
Ritu Poddar
Ritu Poddar

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9 Effective Web Engagement Strategies for the Retail Banking Industry

Published : July 11, 2019

When is the last time you recall visiting your bank’s branch for a cash transaction or for updating your account details?

Over the last few years, the retail banking sector has seen dramatic disruption. As per this article by Gartner, 80% of traditional banks will be rendered irrelevant. Banks as well as the users have embraced the digital innovation alike, making use of internet & mobile banking mainstream.

As the banking industry is moving towards adoption of digital technologies, the challenges posed on you as marketers are also mounting higher. Modern users keep switching between app and website, and it is no cake walk to keep them actively engaged, across web and app.

Browser push notifications and web messages are the two most crucial tools in your web engagement tool kit, and if used right, they can boost your business tremendously.

Here are 9 customer web engagement strategies to convert visitors to users, keep them engaged, and build long lasting relationships with them:

1. Promote your content :

When it comes to innovative content marketing, the retail banking industry is just catching up. This article by Forbes explains why banks need to focus on content marketing for long term success. Blogs, educational content, videos, etc. are increasingly becoming powerful means of lead generation. Also, good content helps your brand to be viewed in a positive light, and move existing sales leads (a qualified lead) or marketing leads (unqualified) down the sales funnel.

The same article quotes above says that consumers engage with approximately 11 pieces of content prior to making a purchase. This means, your customers look for a lot of content before they sign up with your bank.  With all the banks churning out similar content, you do have a hard time figuring out ways to create unique content. While creating extremely good quality content is one step complete, unless it reaches your users, it hardly serves the purpose.

There are many ways to promote the content, but web messages and browser push notifications are effective tools to drive traffic to your blog/resources. These channels work well especially because of the quick response time that they receive.

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2. Maximise customer experience :

According to this report from Accenture, about half of the users expect banks to play a supporting role in the purchasing process of non-banking products like a house or new car. They say banks could assist with these important decisions by sending helpful contextual information like the best mortgage rates, or deals on auto loans or insurance based on their location, price range and other personal preferences.

Customer’s unified view gives you the required insights you need to send such browser notifications. I am a regular buyer at Amazon. Axis bank sends me this notification, which does tempt me to go for an Axis bank card.

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3. Engage through offer announcements/promotional alerts :

Browser push notifications and web messages are now increasingly used (and preferred to email/SMS) for promotion of new products, offers, brand partnerships, updates etc.

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The reason is the higher response rate that these channels garner. Coupled with behavioural segmentation and personalisation, these two channels work brilliantly well in keeping the users warmly engaged without making you appear too pushy.

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4. Cross and upsell :

Winning new clients is estimated to cost 8-10 times more than selling related products to current customers. Selling the existing customers a higher-value credit/debit card, investment schemes, a new fixed deposit, etc. is one of the most powerful revenue-boosting tool for your business, isn’t it? Gone are the days when you could rely on cold calling, emails, and SMS alone to cross sell or upsell your products. The aggressive, high-pressure sales tactics do not work anymore.

In today’s fast-paced digital world, a long lasting & rewarding relationship with customers is built over time through meaningful conversations with your customers through multiple channels. Web messages and browser push notifications facilitate that conversation when your users are online (which is an average of 6 hours every day). Use the customer data, such as their transaction behaviour, existing accounts, demographics, lifestyle, etc. for segmentation and cross-sell/upsell the products, services and offers that are most relevant to them.

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5. Strengthen relationships through seeking feedback :

For certain activities, users prefer online/website banking to mobile banking.

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As for any other sector, it is very important for the banking sector to seek feedback about its products and services. How important is customer satisfaction for banks? Very much! With all banks serving similar offerings, there is little else to compete on than customer experience. And how else can you know if your customers are happy with you or not, than asking them directly? Users respond to quick feedback forms (through web messages) more promptly than to any other means.

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6. Generate more leads :

Anonymous visitor retargeting is a challenge faced by every business, more so by banks. The bounce rate in financial websites was approximately 60% in 2017.

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Bounce Rate by Industry Browser push notifications are really helpful in bringing back lost website visitors owing to the high CTR and conversion rates. While browser notifications help you attract the users to your website, web messages can help in converting anonymous visitors into leads. Strategically timed web messages nudge the user to fill up the lead form.

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7. Build brand affinity :

In a service industry like retail banking, your customers choose to stay with you or leave you based on the experience you deliver. Data-driven marketing is must, says this report by McKinsey.

Leveraging the power of AI and ML, unique, personalised, real-time messaging with contextual information gathered from the customer’s behaviour can help create the “WOW” moments for them. After all, it is not about selling products and services only. Onsite and off-site website engagement through web messages and browser notifications respectively play a key role here.

The following graph published by The Financial Brand says that hyperpersonalised marketing is amongst the top strategic priorities of banks across the globe.

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8. Send transactional communication :

Browser push notifications and web messages can also be used to send reminders, upgrade alerts, transactional communication, payment reminders, etc. Due to the instant nature of browser push, you can leverage them to get a faster response and action from the customer for transactional communications like payment due date notifications.

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9. Share geo-location based information :

Banks and financial organisations across the globe are leveraging the power of geo-location targeting through browser push notifications. You can boost customer engagement by promoting credit and debit card discounts your users are near specific stores, restaurants, hotels, etc.  However, app push notifications work better in delivering geo-location based content.

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Related post: Leverage Geolocation Targeting to Power your Mobile Marketing Game

Concluding thoughts

A clear advantage that you as a business vertical have over others is, you often have deeper insights into your customer data. Ensuring regulatory compliance, you can use this information to your advantage for creating more personalised & engaging marketing content. After all, a fully engaged bank customer is likely to be loyal, emotionally attached, and bring increased revenue than an un-engaged customer.

To know how can an AI-powered cross-channel marketing automation platform like Smartech fuel your user acquisition, engagement and retention strategies, get in touch with us today!

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Written By: Ritu Poddar