We are at that time of year where those of us who still receive paper credit card statements in the mail are being inundated with thick envelopes from the various credit card companies whose cards we carry in our wallets – the damage of holiday shopping is upon us. But did you know that credit card statements can be a great way to reach potential customers all year long?
The positives for using the statement media channel are
- A monthly circulation that can reach almost every household in America.
- Increased visibility of your offer since bills need to be paid — statements have to be opened.
- Reaching a credit worthy buyer that can purchase your product.
- An implied endorsement from the financial institution
- Less clutter since billing statements are sent via first class mail with usually only 2 other non-competing offers.
Securing a placement in a bank is a little more involved than traditional package insert programs. Most banks can run a maximum 3 offers a month, depending on the insert format. That means there up to 36 offers that a bank will run in a year. Because space is limited, it is best to look at multiple months or even a quarter, rather than one specific month. Your mailer will get flexibility in what files you can run since one file may not be available in a particular month, but may be available the following month or even the month prior (should you have enough lead time). It does not happen all the time, but on occasion, a bank may be forced to send out a change in terms or a privacy mailing which would cause a placement to get bumped.
There are some challenges to the statement channel. Each program may require a customized creative. Creative must also be approved first by the marketing department and then by the banks legal and compliance departments. The lead time on this can be anywhere from 30 to 60 days. Once approved, programs will have strict print and delivery guidelines.
But once your ad is in the hands of a credit worthy customer, wasn’t it all worth it?
In additional to traditional credit cards, there are utilities, cable companies, retail statements, private label oil cards, mortgage companies and auto finance companies open to running outside offers to their customers.