Acquiring new checking account relationships can be a challenge, particularly because most people already belong to a financial institution and switching can be a hassle. With this reality, financial institution marketers need to focus on the “how” and the “when” in order to win new checking account relationships.

Understand Your Audience’s Interests

How are you promoting your checking account products and when are you promoting them?

It’s always interesting to perform quick keyword research to see what exactly people are searching for when it comes to checking accounts and checking account products. Using a keyword research tool (like Moz or Google AdWords) will let you quickly see search volumes for phrases and keywords, as well as suggested words and phrases. This comes in handy as it can give you a popular search phrase you may not have initially considered. After plugging in various keywords and phrases, here were the top results and their monthly search volumes:

  • Free checking account: 11.5k – 30.3k
  • Best checking account: 11.5k – 30.3k
  • How to switch banks: 1.7k – 2.9k
  • Best checking account offers: 1.7k – 2.9k
  • Online banking: 30.3k – 70.8k
  • Mobile banking: 4.3k – 6.5k
  • Mobile deposit: 2.9k – 4.3k
  • Online bill pay: 851 – 1.7k

Focusing on these products can help you easily capture those new checking account relationships.

Best Time to Promote Checking Accounts

When considering timing for a checking account campaign, ask yourself two questions:

  1. Why do people switch financial institutions?
  2. When do people switch financial institutions?

Doing some research into these two questions can help with planning your campaign to ensure you’re targeting the right people at the right time. It’s safe to say that the majority of people stick with their current financial institution, so what is it that causes them to switch? The main reason for someone to switch financial institutions is a move. So, looking at the times of year people are most likely to move or relocate is a good starting point to determine when to send out your checking account and checking account product marketing campaigns. Due to school-year schedules, most people choose to relocate during the spring and summer, so planning your campaigns to begin right before these months can help you to capture new checking account relationships.

Knowing What to Promote

The last piece in the campaign planning process is to use what you’ve gathered from your research and plan the content and messaging that will make up your checking account campaign. Be sure to consider all of your audience’s pain points. Here are four main things to consider when planning your checking account campaign content:

  1. Highlight “free” or “no fee” products. Chances are, once a prospective relationship engages they could very likely upgrade to a different kind of account once they learn the best fit for them based on their deposit and spending habits.
  2. Promote benefits associated with your checking account products. Do you offer rewards? Mobile banking? Online banking? Direct Deposit? Bill Pay?
  3. Give incentive to switch to your financial institution. If they’re not relocating, what’s in it for them by making the switch? Offer something like cashback.
  4. Make it easy. Remember how we mentioned that switching financial institutions can be a major hassle? Help streamline the process by giving something like a “switch kit” that outlines each step in the process and how your financial institution will be there to guide them.

Opening a new checking account is typically the starting point of a relationship with a new financial institution. So, once you capture new checking account business, these relationships will be more likely to explore additional savings and loan options with you, helping you to further expand these relationships.