I recently opted in to the Umpqua Bank email list. And even though I’m not a customer, I received an upbeat message this morning from bank president Ray Davis (screenshot below).
This email appears to be geared towards businesses (see the closing line below). And that makes sense because I’d recently been looking into its business social network (note 1). But the message is on-target for consumers as well.
The well-written 185-word letter covers three main topics:
- A cautiously optimistic message about the overall economy
- Some tangible evidence (new banking division, new lending teams, new capital, and 20,000 hours of community service) that the bank is a forward-moving survivor
- Reassurances to customers that they were well-capitalized and moving closer to repaying TARP money
The tone was completely soft sell. There is a link to its online switch kit at the bottom and links to its LocalSpace business social network and Twitter feed (note 2) on the right. It’s more “we’re in this together” than sales pitch and closes with this wonderful line:
As we wrap up 2009 and look ahead, I encourage you to commit to the spirit of recovery and take action that positions you for the future.
We recommend that every other well-capitalized bank and credit union send a similar message before the holidays. We are about to move into the annual “year in review” exercise in the media, and this year’s 100+ U.S. bank failures will be high on the list. Remind your customers, members, employees that you are still a vital member of the community. And that for every financial institution that went under, there were a 100 like yourself that did not.
1. For more info on the small-business market, see our latest Online Banking Report: Small Business Online & Mobile Banking.
2. Umpqua dreamed up one of the most compelling reasons we’ve seen to follow a bank, or any company for that matter, on Twitter (with the possible exception of the tweeting bakery): updates on its truck handing out free ice cream (Umpqua Twitter page).