Unless you’re approaching 100% loan-to-deposit ratio and checking account penetration, if you have only $1 to spend on marketing, spend it on your existing customers.

However, if new customer acquisition is in your plan, here how to have them lined up outside your doors.

Know Your Competitors

If you want to grow your customer base, you’re going to have to steal them from other banks and credit unions. It’s a cold, hard fact. So, get aggressive and know your enemy.

Where are you in market share among both banks and credit union? Look at your entire footprint and analyze each branch individually. This will give you a basic idea of your awareness in the market. If no one knows who you are, you’ll have an uphill battle.

Also look to see who has gained and lost market share over the last year. If they are showing huge gains, know what they are saying and how they are acting in your market. If they are showing huge losses, they are the weak prey for us to go after.

Know Your Markets

What does your market look like? How old? How wealthy? Do they have families? Are they savers or spenders? What life stages are they going through?

More importantly, look at the people around each branch individually. Can you create a persona or two that defines the typical person in each ZIP code?

Define Your Target(s)

You simply can’t afford to target everyone. Leave that to the Wells Fargos of the world.

Once you know who lives in your market, define who you want to attract. Sit down and draw a picture of your perfect customer. Make a list of all the traits that make them desirable to your bank or credit union. What is going on in their life that leads to those traits? Of all the personas that you created for each ZIP code, which ones do you really want to spend money to attract?

Set Your Objectives

Sales FunnelOK, Napoleon, I know you want to conquer the world, but let’s think smaller for now.

Where has your market share been trending? What about the trends of the competitors that we’ve already looked at? What is reasonable as a sales growth goal?

Your goals for each market may be different. You may want to grow loans from branch A, but deposits from branch B – based on your targeting.

Aside from the big picture, set goals down the entire sales funnel:

  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Page Views
  • Conversions or Leads: calls, online apps, form completions
  • New Customers

Prioritize Your Geography

Knowing that we’re not out to conquer the world, let’s set our sites on conquering specific ZIP codes. To do this, we need to first prioritize all the ZIPs in your footprint:

  • Compare ZIP population with the number of customers you have in it today. If you’re seeing success in certain areas, there’s typically a reason. Look to increase the penetration there.
  • Aside from ZIPs with strong penetration, what are the larger ZIPs where you should be doing better?
  • Take the personas that you built and determine which ZIPs your preferred targets live in.
  • Finally, overlay the ZIPs with the best opportunity with those where your preferred target lives and prioritize them all.

Create Your Landing Page(s)

While we recommend digital marketing to best target and track your results, whatever you decide to use will likely have your website as a primary call to action. Statistically, prospects are more likely to hit your site before they call or walk into a branch.

I cannot stress this enough …


Create a dedicated page for new customers who have no idea who you are. This page is all about converting engagement into leads! It will also help you with your Google ad placement.

Keep the marketing “talky-talk” focused and brief and have a few clear calls to action. Yes, a few ways to generate leads:

  • Online chat
  • Brief form submission that emails to your sales team
  • Easy online application link
  • Useful links to rates or specific product pages

It might be wise to consider a few separate landing pages that are specific to your different personas or campaigns.


Strategy and marketing are important … but your peoples will make the difference.

SEM will generate click-to-call phone calls: Be ready to SELL and not simply provide info. The goal is to get them into the branch and in front of a human being.

The web page will generate leads: Online apps and form submissions will not only identify who is most interested in doing business with you, in most cases, they will also tell you exactly what products or services the prospect wants. These are the absolute easiest leads to close. You planned for them, you paid for them, now go close them!!!  Assign HUNTERS!!!


Keep an eye on your entire sales funnel. From impressions to new customers, work to make the bottom of the funnel wider.

Hire the Bouncer

There ya go. By knowing your market, focusing your efforts, understanding the sales funnel and streamlining the prospect’s call to action, the new opportunities should start lining up like an L.A. night club.  Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.

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