Someone’s getting creative on Chase’s search-engine marketing team. Look at the ad they placed on the RSS feed of a recent Payments News article (see first screenshot below, note 1). Using Google AdSense, the bank cleverly placed an ad against a story about Wells Fargo’s same-day bill pay service.
Chase probably figures consumers reading about same-day payment capabilities might also have experienced problems with overdrafts in the past. But, I’m not sure why Chase used a call-to-action aimed at driving prospects to a branch:
Wamu Overdraft Forgiveness
Help Take Control of your Finances. Find a Chase Branch Near You Today! (emphasis added)
Prospects that clicked through on the first ad landed on a microsite with a large branch finder at the bottom. This is a good microsite, although it doesn’t directly mention taking control of your finances (see second screenshot).
Over at the main Google site, Chase used a pitch that seemed more likely to induce clicks (see third screenshot):
Welcome to Chase
Chase Checking Alerts Help You Avoid Fees. Learn More Today!
These search ads were not displayed in searches today, so perhaps they were pulled after performing poorly.
Lesson: There’s a lot of attention in the press these days about overdraft fees (see NY Times editorial today). If you have good tools to avoid them, especially mobile alerts, it might be an effective way to attract new customers.
And even though these particular ads may not have worked, it demonstrates that Chase is being creative in its search engine marketing efforts. The only way you can find what works in your market is by continuous trials (note 2).
Google ad on Payments News RSS feed (29 July 2009)
Chase landing page from ad shown above (link, 29 July 2009)
Google AdWords ad for “Wamu overdraft forgiveness” (29 July, 12 PM Pacific, from Seattle IP address)
1. Viewed in a soon-to-be-defunct NewsGator reader.
2. For more info on search engine marketing, see Online Banking Report: Searching for Customers 3.0 (March 2008).