How to Re-Engage Dormant or Inactive Account Holders

by Sarah Morris

Studies have shown that building comprehensive onboarding programs is the best way to develop fully-engaged and profitable customers or members. However, all financial institutions will inevitably run into some issues of inactive, pre-dormant, or dormant account holders. Attrition continues to be a hot topic among banks and credit unions. So, we have put together a few best practices for engaging (or re-engaging) inactive customers or members based on some of our clients' successes.

Strategies for Prevention

Let's first start by looking at what we define as a fully-engaged, active deposit account relationship. Most financial institutions agree that fully-engaged deposit account holders will have (and use) additional products like bill pay, eStatements, online or mobile banking, and direct deposit. These ancillary products - or convenience products - are great indicators that your customers or members are engaging with their accounts.

It's important to emphasize that the first 90 days after acquiring a new customer or member are the most critical days in that relationship. As we've mentioned before, new customers or members are three times more likely to show attrition within the first 90 days of opening a new account. This means that brand new relationship onboarding should be a top priority. It should be extensive and regularly monitored and tweaked for continual success.

But it shouldn't just stop there. Taking things a step further, what can banks and credit unions be doing to prevent customers or members from even reaching the pre-dormancy stage? Communicate. It's important to remember that your banking relationships are just like any other relationship. If they're not properly tended to, they wither. This is why we constantly urge our customers to have a regular communication and engagement strategy in place. Some ideas for regular engagement include things like sending birthday and anniversary messages, holiday branch closure notices, and timely, relevant and personalized product offers.

Strategies for Re-Engagement

So now that we've covered the steps to take to prevent customers or members from becoming dormant or inactive, let's talk about how to nurture those that still find their way into those categories:

SET UP INACTIVITY REMINDERS

Consider setting up automatic reminders that trigger based on inactivity of your products or services. Has a customer or member not logged into online banking, used their debit card, or deposited money into their account in 30 days? Set up an automated reminder. 60 days? Set up another reminder. 90 days? Set up yet another reminder. And so on. Setting up reminders to trigger based on inactivity can help you to re-engage your account holders before they go completely dormant or churn. These reminders can be things like account benefits reminders, simple "don't forget to log in to your online banking account" or "don't forget to use your debit card this month to earn rewards.” They can even say things like, "We miss you."

How Core iQ Can Help

If you are a Core iQ user and have the right data feeds and last activity date for your deposit account ancillaries mapped into the system, you can quickly and easily set up an automated communication plan to remind your account holders that they haven't used their debit card, deposited money into their account, or signed in to online banking, in a certain amount of days. The best part? You only have to set up this account inactivity automation once.

SET UP AND AUTOMATE PRE-DORMANCY COMMUNICATIONS

Similar to your inactivity reminders, you can also set up pre-dormancy communications. First, you'll need to determine as an organization how you define a dormant member. Then you'll want to set up a similar automated communication schedule to identify those accounts or account holders. Once you know how you define a dormant member, determine the timeframe prior to them reaching dormancy that you'd like to start sending automated retention and re-engagement communications. These communications can differ from your inactivity reminders. Don't be afraid to customize your re-engagement strategy and use segmentation and personalization just like you would with any marketing promotion strategy. In fact, it can be even more important for re-engaging those lost accounts.

How Core iQ Can Help

Just like with inactivity reminders, Core iQ users can automate pre-dormancy communications in the platform with the right data feeds. Not only can they automate these messages, but they can also segment and personalize communications to be relevant based on specific product combinations, balance roll-ups, buying propensity, spending habits, or demographics.

USE INCENTIVES TO DRIVE RE-ENGAGEMENT

When trying to reduce attrition, sometimes you have to pull out all the stops, which is why we recommend offering incentives as a strategy for re-engaging inactive or pre-dormant account holders. Once they are truly in that danger zone of becoming dormant or churning, incentivize them to do things like using their debit card or deposit money into their bank account. Here are a few of our favorite ideas for incentivizing account holders to re-engage with your financial institution:

  1. Send out an email saying that everyone who signs into their online banking accounts during a certain timeframe will be entered into a drawing to win some big prize. This can be something like a grill, a new piece of technology, or gift cards.
  2. Offer a statement credit to any account holder for making a deposit into their account. Consider implementing a certain threshold amount they need to deposit in order to receive this statement credit.
  3. Offer a reward like a gift card or a prize for swiping their debit card 10 times within the next 30 days. This may remind and encourage them to engage with their existing products or services.

Be creative. There is an unlimited number of ways to try and incentivize this group of account holders, and the payoff will be well worth the investment.

How Core iQ Can Help

Core iQ comes with tons of reports that can help you easily identify certain customers or members, including those approaching dormancy or with inactive products or services. With the right data feeds, you can quickly and easily turn these reports into campaigns with the click of a button, queue up your incentive re-engagement promotions, and watch your attrition numbers decrease.

Remember, as long as you're using personalization, taking into account each customer's transactional behavior, and fine-tuning future communications to be sent at the right time with the right message, these various nurture strategies are sure to help you reduce attrition and re-engage inactive or dormant account holders.