Community Bank Marketing Tips for the Holidays

By Amanda Martin, AVP & Calling Officer

By Amanda Martin, AVP & Calling Officer

‘Tis the season! Americans, me included, typically spend heavily during the holidays but in today’s economy, many could be changing the way they shop. How do you, as a community banker, use this season while supporting your customers? Get in the holiday spirit with these five marketing strategies to help your bank shine throughout the most wonderful time of the year.

1. Offer a Skip-a-Payment Promotion

Consumers are always in need of extra funds this time of year. Offering qualified loan customers, the option to skip a payment in the month of December is a great way to create customer loyalty! Remember to charge a small fee so your end-of-year numbers stay solid, too.

2. Cash Incentives

The increased need for cash during the holidays makes it an opportune time to offer cash incentives. If you want customers to sign up for a particular product or program, offer up to $200 +/- in incentives. Trying to cut down on paper statements? Offer $10 when customers sign up for e-statements. Want a little extra publicity? Call up your local media outlets and let them know that you are randomly swapping out $20 bills in your ATM for $100s! There are a ton of ways to give cash while gaining business, all while controlling the bottom line. Don’t forget to include disclosures in any advertisements!

3. Get Festive on Social Media

Spread holiday cheer on your social channels – they are an online extension of your bank, after all! Think of fun ways to treat your customers and give back to your community all while possibly gaining new followers and therefore, gaining potential business! A few ideas include doing contests like 12 Days of Gift Card Giveaways or a Holly Jolly Photo Contest that your customers can enter. You could also donate $1 to a local charity every time someone uses your special #holidayhashtag.

4. Provide Savings Tips

People look to their bank for financial advice, so be sure to provide that during the holidays with some savings tips. Whether you share them on social media, print out reminders for your drive thru tubes, or add tips to the slideshow in your lobby, you never know who you could help. Even better if those extra dollars saved stay in your core deposits, right? Here are tips you could share:

a. Participate in No Spend November and/or Don’t Spend December where you don’t spend any money on yourself (expect necessities, of course) and put that money towards gifts, instead.

b. Make a gift giving budget per person and stick to it.

c. Remember to account for extra costs besides gifts. Think: wrapping paper, greeting cards and stamps, Christmas cookie ingredients, trees, and décor, etc. It all adds up!

5. Embrace the Spirit of the Season in your Community

A community bank is a vital part of the community it serves so invite your community into your bank! Get into the spirit and decorate to the nines, host pictures with Santa, put up a free hot cocoa and cookie bar, collect donations (like canned goods, coats, toys for tots, etc.), wrap gifts for free, sponsor (and attend) local events, and give back to your customers in simple ways like branded canned cranberries at Thanksgiving or black-eyed peas for New Years … or, our favorite, bags filled with chocolate nuggets!

Above all, fill your hearts with the spirit of the season and share that joy with your customers. Happy Holidays from everyone at The Bankers Bank!

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