PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND OBJECTIVE
At more than a century old, Liberty Bank for Savings is a solid institution serving the Chicago-area community. With five locations and more than $800 million in assets, Liberty ranked third on Crain's List of Chicago-area Banks and Thrifts based on assets as of March 31, 2010. Bluespire began producing a quarterly email version of Liberty's print publication, The LATEST, in late 2009. The success of the quarterly program prompted Liberty to turn to Bluespire for strategic advice on how to enhance their email program with the goal of engaging their audience and increasing customer retention.
Liberty and Bluespire began testing the waters using targeted content. Bluespire took data from Liberty's data warehouse system and analyzed customers using psychographic data from Nielsen Claritas. Bluespire helped Liberty identify four key segments (middle age, young, senior and affluent) that could be prime candidates for a targeted, monthly educational content-based email. Then, Bluespire worked closely with Liberty to identify the kind of content to be used for each segment.
The quarterly email version of The LATEST has continued to produce a solid 26.3% unique open rate through third quarter 2010 with a 3.9% unique click-through rate (CTR). The segmented monthly emails that began in August 2010 have shown very promising results. In the first two months, the overall results for all segments saw a 30% lift in unique open rates (25.9% overall) and a staggering 100% lift in CTR (an impressive increase to 7.8%).
Liberty has been able to view actual engagement with each audience, learning more about how they prefer to receive information from the bank—and the type of content they want. Affluent and senior audiences were initially very engaged with the monthly segmented emails, and those two segments continue to perform well. Initial results for the middle-age and young audiences showed an opportunity for improvement. By modifying content for the second month send based on the previous results, Liberty Bank achieved a 74% increase in the percentage of unique clicks for the middle-age segment. A recent survey concluded that more than 87% of The LATEST recipients view it as a valuable source of information and nearly 90% believe the frequency is “about right.”