After returning from some R&R in Iowa and Kansas, I logged into my banking and credit card accounts to see what I'd forgotten to attend to before leaving town. Luckily, everything seemed in order this time.
Always on the lookout for online marketing examples, I thought it would be interesting to compare and contrast the marketing messages presented to users as they logged in and logged out of five major banking sites.
- Bank of America (business and personal credit cards): BofA typically has a marketing message at login and logoff.
Login The bank's brokerage division is pitching free Morningstar mutual fund research. I haven't seen this one before, and it seems a bit wordy, so it may be the first time for this offer (see screenshot #1 below)
Logout A pitch for a cash-back business credit card. It's a good offer, but perplexing, given that I already have a business and personal card with BofA. Not sure why they want me to have three (screenshot #2).
- PayPal (verified account): PayPal has used log-in splash-screens almost since it began in 1999 with a mix of marketing and service messages. But they don't overuse the technique, so it's noticeable when they have a new splash-screen running.
Login No marketing, just direct entry to main screen
Logout No marketing, just a landing at the usual PayPal merchant emporium (screenshot #3)
- US Bank (multiple accounts): I don't think I've ever seen a marketing message from US Bank at login or logoff. I believe I've seen a service message at login a few times over the years, but it's extremely rare.
Login No marketing, just dropped on main account page as usual
Logout No marketing, just a brief "you've been logged out" message
- WaMu (business checking): I've had the account only a few months, but WaMu has frequently posted marketing messages at login, and they've been relatively creative, as you'd expect.
Login Pitching its WaMu Live concert promotion which provides exclusive access to summer events to WaMu credit and debit card holders (screenshot #4).
Logout No marketing, just a solid recap of security precautions, a good message to leave with online banking users (screenshot #5).
- Wells Fargo (credit card): Wells uses marketing messages frequently at both login and logout.
Login Electronic statement (paper turnoff), something I've not done yet (screenshot #6).
Logoff Home equity loans (screenshot #7)
There wasn't anything particularly enlightening in these examples. The WaMu Live pitch was the only truly unique message. For the most part, they were typical, well-crafted marketing messages you'd expect from these major players. That's fine now, since most customers don't yet have "banner fatigue" at their online banking site. But going forward, the messages will need to be more targeted and more interesting to get attention and action from jaded online users.
The other issue is frequency. You'll figure this out through testing, but there's a line you don't want to cross where a splash-screen message presented at every login ceases to be effective and is just plain annoying.
Finally, for financial institutions, such as US Bank, still not using this login real estate for sales messages, your customers thank you; however, quick-loading, targeted messaging, used with discretion, should benefit your bottom line.
2. Bank of America logoff screen (1 Aug 2008)
3. PayPal logout (1 Aug 2008)
6. Wells Fargo login splash screen (1 Aug 2008)
7. Wells Fargo logoff screen (1 Aug 2008)