Want to make your larger business seem local? A best-in-class example of how to do this comes from MB Financial, a financial institution serving the Chicago marketplace. It’s a formula that any multi-location company can follow to make its mailings more personalized and increase conversions.

MB Financial was targeting more than 430,000 small companies in the Chicago area. MBF has 86 branches, but it wasn’t making the desired connection with its audience. Small businesses just saw the bank as an old, stodgy institution. MBF wanted to put a face to its branches and make banking at its locations seem more inviting and accessible.

To do this, MBF developed a four-pronged messaging strategy: “We deliver the personal attention you want, the banking services you need, business advice you can use, and business connections you wouldn’t expect.” To get the message out, it used a multichannel approach. However, the heart of the campaign was direct mail.

  • First, MB Financial used customer modeling to identify 30,000 small businesses that were its most likely prospects.
  • Second, it broke its mailing into highly versioned segments, one for each local branch.
  • Third, it created targeted postcards that appeared to be coming directly from the bank manager at each SMB’s closest branch.

Each postcard included a photo of the branch manager, a personal message, and an invitation to call his or her direct line. To sweeten the pot, MB Financial included an offer to get up to $550 in bonus cash for opening an account or line of credit.

The results? High visibility and a 205% increase in sales leads attributed to the direct mail campaign.

Inspired? Let’s talk about how to create a similar campaign to reach your target audience!

Source: Drawn from “The Secrets Behind 3 Great Optichannel Experiences” in the December 4, 2019 edition of Target Marketing.