Financial Services Prospects Offered a Blanket Deal
Premium usage among financial services is on the risein fact, it has been for the last two years, according to the mail packages received by the Who's Mailing What! Archive. Compared to a few years ago, however, premium usage is still down: In 2003, less than half the number of mailings in this sector came in with a premium offer as compared to the number received in both 1998 and 1999.
In addition to using more premiums, some marketers in this sector seem to be trying to push the envelope a bit in their choice of premiums as well as how they use them.
MBNA was in the mail with several offers in February, two of which offered premiums: one for its Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Rewards Visa Credit Card (541MBNACO0204H) and the other for The University of Connecticut Alumni Association WorldPoints Platinum Plus Mastercard (541MBNACO0204J). Prospects didn't get the premiums just for applying for the credit cards, though. For the Bass Pro Shops Visa, prospects also had to make a $25 purchase or get a $25 cash advance
before March 31, 2004, in order to receive the free fleece blanket with the Bass Pro Shops logo. For The UConn Mastercard, prospects were offered a free "Officially Licensed UConn Gear for Sports Fleece Blanket," but first had to make a "qualifying balance transfer using their new card by February 29, 2004."
MBNA obviously is confident that this premium has some appeal to the prospect list to try to leverage it in this manner.
Another company that raised the stakes with its premium offer is Chase Manhattan Bank: Takers on the offer of a new Chase checking account with direct deposit get a free companion air ticket (536CHMABA0204). That's a hefty offer to make for opening a checking account, but with other financial services companies like ING Direct offering cash, it may be just the ticket Chase needs to lure prospects.
Other premiums of note in February's mail were:
* Bank One's free Disney DVD or gift card for its Disney Visa (541BANONE0204C);
* Webster Bank's offer for a free "Bob Mackie Wheeled Duffel" with a new checking account (536WEBBAN0204); and
* Sovereign Bank's free magnetic dart board for its "Totally FREE" checking account (536SOVBAN0204).