Inside Marketing: Personalized Application Abandonment Process Streamlines Growth

empty loan application form displaying on a laptop screen
By Katie Jameson

3 minutes

Automated email campaigns allow credit unions to actively engage prospective members when it matters most.

Marketing automation has proved to be a revolutionary technology for the financial services industry. The ability to understand, score and engage with members based on their behavior on the organization’s website and online banking, as well as their interactions with the brand via email and social media, sets those credit unions using marketing automation apart from the 69 percent of the competition who are not leveraging this technology.

There are various types of sequence and segmented nurturing programs for multi-layered marketing campaigns that can help members and prospects navigate through the sales funnel toward lead conversion. For instance, $3.1 billion Tower Federal Credit Union, Laurel, Maryland, saw a two- to three-times increase in open and conversion rates for emails aimed at leads for loan products after implementing the Act-On marketing automation solution, prompting a sharp rise in loan applications.

These loan applications stand out for financial institutions as a form of measurable growth—the more loan applications, the more members and accounts (and potentially more loyalty from existing customers).

However, when between 70 and 90 percent of consumers abandon new loan applications (with a lack of ability to save and resume as the driving factor), how do you, as a financial marketer, help guide your current and future members through the sales funnel to that “Submit Application” button?

It circles back to marketing automation and creating an application abandonment process within the platform.

You likely already spent time and money on targeted marketing to convince the consumer to start an application, so now it’s time to help them across the finish line. After someone abandons an application for whatever reason, it’s essential to take advantage of this as an engagement opportunity.

According to the Digital Growth Institute’s 2017 State of Digital Growth Report, only 17 percent of banks and credit unions have an application abandonment process set up—which means only 17 financial institutions surveyed actively followed up with the 97 consumers who abandoned an application. Those 17 institutions are going to stand out in the minds of consumers among the rest who didn’t engage much afterward, despite the consumer expressing enough interest to start an application in the first place.

So what does an application abandonment process look like?

Marketing automation provides real-time analytics that influence email marketing, triggering segmented and personalized messages in response to members’ digital breadcrumbs. In the case of the application abandonment process, the marketing automation software recognizes that the IP address paired with the applicant’s name and email addres (collected at the beginning of the form) did not complete the application. This triggers an email campaign that can be logged in an integrated customer relationship management system. 

The email campaign can start as simply as sending a friendly reminder that the member or prospect has an outstanding application. This first email can extend an invitation to connect with one of your financial consultants as well as welcome questions about the application process or financial product. These messages can also incorporate valuable information relevant to loan applicants, perhaps addressing concerns about the specific type of loan or a checklist of how to know which is the right loan for them.

The key to the email campaign is building trust by offering value and gentle lead nurturing. Remember, the applicant is already on the customer journey—you’re just there to assist as much or as little as they prefer. Presenting your credit union in such a way reinforces that you’re willing to meet members where they’re at, which is increasingly on their own in the digital space.

An automated application abandonment email campaign effectively engages with consumers and can help gain insight to further build their buyers’ personas, such as what products and services catch their interest, from collecting click-through data or answers provided in forms. This in turn helps you better cater to their financial needs. Automated and targeted lead nurturing develops into faster, more efficient lead conversions, meaning more growth and member satisfaction for your credit union.cues icon

Katie Jameson is the head of EMEA Marketing at Act-On Software, a leading provider of marketing automation and one of the fastest growing tech companies in North America. Working on a global scale, Act-On Software specializes in adaptive marketing solutions that enable marketers to create Adaptive Journeys using customer behaviors, preferences and data to intelligently guide the engagement strategy.

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