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3 personalization ideas for Financial Services

There’s nothing more personal than your money. Consumers are demanding traditional financial institutions to rethink how they engage their visitors as upstarts look to capture their attention and wallet.

According to a 2015 Accenture survey, the absence of personalized outreach is a primary reason people switch financial service providers. On the flip side, survey respondents felt that an engaging communication strategy is core to their satisfaction with the financial institution.


An EY report found that 71% of customers decide whether or not to trust their financial services provider based on what their customer experience feels like. Plus, an astounding 70% of people surveyed noted that they would be willing to give more personal information to their bank if it led to a better service experience. Wow!

Visitors are eager to experience better, more targeted interactions with their financial services provider. Marketing to visitors as individuals with targeted, personalized experiences builds trust and converts them into customers.

In this blog post, we’re looking at 3 use cases of how personalization shapes trust and delights new visitors with offers and incentives that are targeted to their individual consumer profile.

Use Case 1 - TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade’s “Human Finance Project” isn’t another influencer marketing campaign - it’s a movement, according to the company’s marketing director Kelly Caffrey. One story at a time, the company is aiming to change the perception of the finance industry by introducing real investment advisors (RIAs) online. Personal storytelling puts a “human face” on the  financial industry. TD Ameritrade’s campaign isn’t salesy and uses regular people - not celebrities - to engage with the audience.


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TD Ameritrade “Human Finance Project”


TD Ameritrade encourages advisors to share how they feel by contributing a photo to Twitter or Instagram along with a caption that highlights who or what motivates them to do their best as a financial advisor, tagged as  #HumanFinanceProject. The company supports advisors with a “How-to” guide, giving them the tools necessary to be brand ambassadors.


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TD Ameritrade “Human Finance Project” How-To

What If?

To boost their current influencer strategy, I would create a marketing campaign that sheds more light on their current influencer efforts. We are going to collect data from the company’s two domains to create a richer customer intent profile that will shape our future campaign. In particular:

  • Create a segment - by visualizing it. Here, we segment our visitors as narrowly as we can. Let’s focus on an individual who is looking into becoming a real investment advisor. There are two sections on the main website called “Making a Move” and “Benefits of Independence” which cater to visitors possibly interested in starting an independent practice. By using the Event Visualizer, we are going to create events that will be building blocks for the future segment. We are looking for visitors who browsed at least 3 pages from both sections (behavioral property Count of), engaged with at least one of the pages for additional information (behavioral property Has Done), haven’t been to Human Finance page (behavioral property Has Not Done) and are not predicted to fill in the lead capture contact form, which is main goal of the website (predictive property Will Not Do). Such a segment indicates an intent to know more about RIA practice or to become one, but lack of persuasion to proceed.

We use the Event Visualizer - one of the Intempt tools that overlays your website and lets you capture events by demonstrating them. We simply perform actions we want to track and the event is generated and retroactively applied to your traffic. Here’s an example:


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Event Visualizer

  • Moving on to notifications. We set “Engages with a page” as a trigger event for our personalised notification. If a visitor falls into a segment described earlier, they are qualified to see a notification introducing one of their Human Finance stories. Taking one step further - a story is coming from an advisor of the same geolocation as our visitor. Here’s what it could look like:

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Simulated Scenario - Predictive Notification


Zooming in

Why this notification at this time?

  • The visitor has browsed at least 3 exploring pages and engaged with one of them, which indicates intent;
  • The visitor is new to #HumanFinanceProject, so a story can really grab their attention;
  • The visitor is browsing from San Francisco area, triggering a story from a local RIA.

Imagine that visitor clicks a link to read Catie’s story. To harvest that interest, we’re showing another notification that leads a visitor closer to the final stages of the funnel:

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Simulated Scenario - Predictive Notification

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Zooming in

Why this notification at this time?

  • The visitor got interested in Catie’s story by engaging with a previous notification;
  • The visitor is guided to a Contact Us page to make a contact request and be converted into a lead;
  • The visitor is introduced to #HumanFinanceProject and encouraged to share their story in the future, but the hashtag is not a live link in order to keep them focused on filling in the contact form.

By visualizing events, creating a segment and a series of information-related notifications, we’re guiding visitor towards filling in a contact form in a gentle, non-salesy manner.

Use Case 2 - Mint.com

Mint aggregates all your financial life in one, easy-to-understand place. They also give you free advice on how to save money on their blog. Mint's primary service allows users to track bank, credit card, investment, and loan balances and transactions through a single user interface, as well as create budgets and set financial goals. In 2016, Mint claimed to have over 20 million users.>

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Mint's Homepage

Mint’s blog is a place where a company educates their visitors on various topics - from saving money to buying their first house to making financial investments. Content marketing is on Mint’s agenda and the numbers speak for itself - some of Mint’s blog articles receive up to 200,000 views.

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Mint's Blog

What If?

To leverage their current content strategy, Mint would create a marketing campaign that collects data from the company’s two domains to create a richer customer intent profile. The profile shapes personalized notifications that pull a visitor through the funnel. Here’s how we get there:

    • Link domains. First, let’s identify the shared visitors of our two domains,  mint.com and blog.mint.com. Using a platform like Intempt, we specify a tracker for 2 domains to understand visitor behavior across domains and leverage the data in the future campaign. Specifically, we store every interaction by a visitor on both websites to understand the full expression of their intent.
    • Create a predictive segment. We specify a target group by blending past behavior (fact) and future behavior (predicted). For this segment, we are focusing on first-time or returning visitors who haven’t subscribed (behavioral property Has Not Done), have browsed X or more pages of the blog’s Travel Tips category (behavioral property Count Of) and are predicted to drop off without subscribing (predictive property Will Not Do.) We specify 2 pages since we know that the average amount of pages the visitor spends on the website is 1.23 , based on Alexa (or Web Analytics) data.
    • Campaign time. For this campaign, when 2 blog pages are viewed, we know the possibility of a drop-off is high based on the average number of pages per visit, and the platform may predict that the visitor will leave without converting. If so, it would be a good time to send a notification inviting the visitor to sign up for Mint. Final look:

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Simulated Scenario - Predictive Notification

Why this notification at this time?

  • The visitor has engaged with at least 3 blog posts around the Travel category;
  • The visitor is new to Mint’s services;
  • The visitor is predicted to drop off without becoming a customer.

In this scenario, we’ve leveraged a visitor’s intent of saving money for their dream vacation and used that intent to convert them into a customer.

You can’t do this stuff today without Web Development and Analytics teams! The tools simply aren’t in marketer control.

Use Case 3 - SoFi

Social Finance, Inc (commonly known as SoFi) is an online personal finance company that provides student loan refinancing, mortgages and personal loans. As of October 2016, SoFi has funded more than $12 billion in total loan volume and has 175,000 members.

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SoFi Homepage

What if?

SoFi.com aims to collect data such as emails, name and state of residence from its visitor base to help them with competitive finance rates. While the required lead form is a small commitment, visitors may still be hesitant to submit their contact information without being incentivized. We’re creating a campaign targeted at visitors who express doubt and are predicted to drop off without submitting any information.

  • Collect and store data. First, let’s store every interaction by a visitor to understand their behavior. Imagine that we’re collecting data from the Registration page capturing input on all fields, along with any other interactions visitor had with the website.
  • Create visitor segments. Using a platform like Intempt, we can specify a target group. We again blend past behavior (fact) and future behavior (predicted). For example, we create a segment that contains visitors who have not read the stories of other SoFi Members (behavioral property Has Not Done), expressed interest in Personal Loans (behavioral property Has Done), came to Registration Page (behavioral property Has Done), have not finished filling in the form within a certain time frame we find appropriate for the form (behavioral property Has Not Done), and are predicted to not sign up (predictive property Will Not Do.
  • Time to campaign! UsingIntempt Campaign Editor, we create our future campaign in 6 steps by specifying a targeted segment, campaign goal, preferable channels of communication, notification message, and delivery preferences. In our case, we delay the notification by 20 seconds to give visitor a chance to fill in the form without being notified, and link them to a separate page in the new window in order to not interrupt the form submission. Here’s what notification looks like:

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Simulated Scenario - Predictive Notification


Why this notification at this time?

The visitors’ past browsing behavior as well as their current context is indicative of what marketing they receive:

  • They expressed interest in personal loans
  • They are not aware of the membership reviews;
  • They are hesitant to fill in the form;
  • The platform predicted that the visitor is not going to fill in the form (Will Not Do predictive property) unless they are influenced, hence the “See why you should join SoFi community” notification appears to encourage the visitor to proceed with a subscription.

Due to the mix of behavioral and predictive properties, we are guiding a visitor towards a desired conversion goal.

Final Thoughts

Visitors are expecting a relationship before they are willing to commit. This is especially true when it comes to money matters. Having the right personalization platform in place allows a marketer to shine with relevant offers for the visitor during their session. This, creates sticky website experiences and lowers retargeting ad spend. Learn more about how to make the most out of your existing traffic

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