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Acquiring New Business Customers: Targeting is Key to Success


Most institutions understand the deposit balances and loan profitability that accompany new business accounts. Competition for businesses as customers is fierce, so using business data to select business prospects is imperative to successfully expanding this account base. Once selected, a repetitive communication program with a competitive bonus offer will help to acquire new business customers.

Understand Your Existing Business Customers

It’s important to understand an institution’s existing business customers to gain insight about the business size and type that represent the core of the account base. This can be accomplished by appending data such as sales volume, employee size, SIC code type, and distance from branch. This information is used to establish a profile to help target prospects that are likely to respond to an offer.

It’s critical that the data is as current as possible. WordCom’s prospect business data is updated once a month, and it also undergoes phone verification (actually calling the businesses), allowing us to have the most up-to-date records in the industry.

Look to Retail Customers for New Business Accounts

WordCom can identify retail households who are also business owners or affiliated with a business but don’t currently have a business account. (See our Data Bytes article in this issue.) Understanding which households may offer a new business account opening opportunity provides the foundation for a repetitive communication effort including direct mail, email, and phone calls.

Communication Programs

To have a successful business checking acquisition campaign, we recommend multichannel marketing. This is the best way to reach a wide target audience, meet their needs, and convert them into customers. The multichannel approach includes direct mail, social, digital, email, and follow-up calls.

  • Send direct mail to targeted prospects and existing retail customers & follow-up with calls.
  • Communicate via email with existing retail customers about business services offered.
  • Place digital ads before/during/after other communications to keep your message in front of prospects throughout the year.
  • Make follow-up calls to business owners right after direct mail is received.
  • Review results by each communication channel and use learnings to enhance the program.


With the competition in the market, the direct mail offer should include a cash bonus. Research should be done to understand the existing offers from other institutions in the marketplace. The bonus offer should be very competitive with others available.

Results Analysis

It’s imperative to track your promotion to provide a comprehensive analysis of the responses so that learnings can be used to help in subsequent campaigns. Key metrics to access are:

  • Number of new accounts, open rate, and new balances
  • Business sales volume, employee size, SIC code types, and geography of responders
  • Number of additional accounts and services opened
  • Balances of additional deposit accounts opened

New business acquisition is very profitable for institutions. Sophisticated targeting coupled with a repetitive communication program is key to bringing in new business accounts.