Did you understand the message? Who is the sender? Did you make use of the offer?
With the aid of direct questions and eye-tracking, Ikano Bank received the answers it needed to improve its marketing.
“We went from outdated direct marketing with poor response rates to combined mailings with double the response,” says Peter Stuhr, Sales and Marketing Manager.
“And the most important thing is to measure the actual response. The aim is that everyone should know what is in our communication and act accordingly.” Products such as individual loans, family loans and Ikano Bank Visa have made Ikano Bank a major operator with almost one million customers in eight countries. In response to the results of the eye-tracking measurements, Ikano Bank tried different ways of combining letters and e-mail. An average index of 100 was defined on the basis of the previous response rate, and it emerged that the combination of e-mail and letter, in that order, produced an index of 231.
“Taking out a loan isn’t an easy decision, you need time to think it over. So we always send two mailings with the same message, the letter acting as a reminder,” says Peter Stuhr.
The mailing is the challenge
The challenge in Ikano Bank’s mailings is to be seen as a separate operator and not just to go along with customers’ perceptions. Because Ikano Bank’s customers are all familiar with names and big brands such as IKEA, H&M and Toys “R” Us. By carefully evaluating everything from the location of the logo in the mailing to the size of graphical elements and the use of the company’s colour profiles, Ikano Bank struck the right chord.
“What has to be seen doesn’t necessarily have to be big – but it must be well-
positioned. We’ve conducted trials using different messages in the areas where people look. Now we have the knowledge and tools to let us know quickly whether or not a campaign’s been successful,” says Peter Stuhr.
With six campaign periods a year, parallel offers and ongoing follow-up, it’s important for Ikano Bank to retain its flexibility in connection with the mailings.
“The partnership with Stralfors has given us new opportunities and at the same time both cost-efficient and postage-optimised solutions,” says Peter Stuhr, continuing:
“We don’t have the full knowledge and understanding of paper, weight and print options.”
Segmentation takes place at several different levels, and all communication nowadays takes place by both e-mail and letter. Those for whom Ikano Bank has no e-mail address receive two letters instead, one after the other. Peter Stuhr views the doubling of the response rate for DM as the start of an exciting development within Ikano Bank.
“Last year really was a year when we focused on research and follow-up. Now we have to use and develop the knowledge we’ve gained. Can we use it in other areas in our own marketing? Is it possible to optimise our processes to create even higher revenue and to generate an even better response?”
Passive users the most difficult
The most difficult target group is referred to by Ikano Bank as passive customers, i.e. consumers who have customer cards but who don’t use them or even keep them handy in their wallets.
“The ideal situation would be to know exactly where our customers are in life, as there are lots of complex factors that determine whether you’re receptive to advertising. The next step will be to challenge the limits of segmentation and follow-up even more.”