Bank Marketing: Target the 61 Million Unbanked & Underbanked Individuals to Acquire New Customers

More than one in four households (28.3%) are either unbanked or underbanked, conducting all or some of their financial transactions outside of the mainstream banking system. This audience of 61 million individuals presents a significant bank marketing opportunity for U.S. banks and financial institutions to acquire new customers.

What does “unbanked” mean? Unbanked consumers lack any kind of deposit account at an insured depository institution. Similarly, “underbanked” consumers may have a bank account, but only use limited services and may also rely on alternative financial services (AFS) providers such as check cashing services and payment apps.

The unbanked audience is an opportunity to build relationships with 17 million adults (in 10 million households), most pronounced in the South, that currently do not have an active financial institution.

With 51 million adults in 24 million households, the underbanked audience is an opportunity to engage even more consumers who are currently utilizing Alternative Financial Services with additional financial products and services. In fact, 59% of underbanked individuals said they planned to open a bank account within the next year (versus 34% of unbanked consumers).

Concentrated in the South, Mspark has an established relationship with consumers across rural America where banking or additional banking services are a significant opportunity for financial institutions to grow deposits and services.

Our shared mail solutions reach rural markets, which represent 40% of consumer buying power in the U.S.  (Learn more about marketing to rural consumers here.) We have high readership, visibility, and cost-savings over traditional direct mail.  We offer solutions that reach every mailbox or can select the most relevant households based on your campaign objectives.

The Shared Mail Advantage

Cost Savings:  Shared mail can be more cost-effective than solo mail because multiple advertisers share printing, postage, and distribution costs. According to the United States Postal Service, shared mail can result in cost savings of up to 50% compared to solo mail.

Extended Reach: Shared mail allows advertisers to reach a larger audience than they could with solo mail, as the shared mail piece is delivered to a shared list of recipients. This can help increase the ROI of a shared mail campaign by reducing the cost per acquisition (CPA) or cost per lead (CPL).

Greater Frequency: Shared mail allows advertisers to reach their target audience more frequently than they could with solo mail, as the shared mail piece is typically mailed more often than individual advertisements. A study by the Data & Marketing Association found that direct mail campaigns that were mailed more frequently had higher response rates compared to campaigns that were mailed less frequently. This can also help to increase the ROI of a shared mail campaign by reducing the CPA or CPL.

Complement Solo Mail: It’s common for seasoned brands to combine shared and solo mail to leverage the strengths of each approach. The broad reach and affordability of shared mail is used as a top-of-funnel, brand-awareness tool. Solo mail’s versatility and targeting capabilities better enable a direct response strategy, with a focus on conversion rates and optimizing CPAs while scaling the program.

Target to Acquire and Retain Customers

How we connect you with new customers and further your existing relationships:

  • Good: Our banking related variables from multiple data sources
  • Better:  Our variables + Paid Lists
  • Best: Layer in your customer address data (privacy compliant)

Our audience targeting strategies leverage multiple data points, reaching your best, hard-to-reach, potential customers, including those in relationships with competitors, the unbanked/underbanked, new movers to your service area, and furthering the relationship with your current customers. Here are some examples of variable we can use to help you target new banking customers:

  • Have Interest/Non-Interest Checking Account
  • Have Savings Account
  • Used Digital Payment Services Last 30 Days
  • Own 1 Credit Card
  • Household Income/Age
  • Wired Money last 6 months

Together we can reach and engage tomorrow’s rural banking consumers. Reach out today to plan your strategy.

Sources: “The Comprehensive Guide to The Unbanked and Underbanked,”; Direct Marketing Association; USPS