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Caslon, the management company of PODi, the digital printing initiative, recently analyzed PODi case studies in the financial services industry to determine if there are common challenges and interesting solutions for those challenges.

The study revealed that the 49 case studies can be classified into 6 major challenges for marketers in the financial vertical (and that these challenges are very similar in nature to many verticals). For each challenge Caslon identified key solutions and subsequently linked the each case study to a solution. The table below shows the results.

Financial Services Challenges Solutions for the Financial Services Vertical
Obtain new customers Personalized direct mail that contains information relevant to the recipient’s financial concerns
Increase business from existing customers Send targeted information to existing customers promoting products and services that will especially interest them based on:

  • Account activity
  • Demographics
  • Income
  • Use personalization to gain attention
  • Employ charts and graphs specific to the recipient’s account to illustrate current and desired outcomes
  • Present a clear, strong offer
Increase satisfaction of existing customers
  • Use color to make document easier to read
  • Only include information that is pertinent to individual
  • Include information on statement that educates account holder about investment choices
  • Incorporate personalized graphs
Improve collateral management for the distribution chain Develop a collateral management solution:

  • Web-to-print solution that enables representatives and financial advisors to customize and order collateral as needed
  • Automated production solution where data is uploaded at regular intervals and personalized collateral is delivered to customers
Reduce costs
  • Optimize production workflow
  • Reduce total number of printed pages by combining documents and only providing information applicable to recipient
Strengthen Employee Relations
  • Engage employees with personally relevant information
  • Consolidate various messages into one cohesive communication




Using graphics and messages that are specific to a customer’s current and future financial needs can be a Selling to Financial Industry powerful motivator to action. In particular, color charts that clearly illustrate the recipient’s account status help customers make educated decisions.


Heritage Education Funds Inc. is one of Canada’s premier providers of Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs). Each year Heritage conducts a direct mail campaign reminding clients that as the end of the year approaches, they should consider making a contribution to their child’s RESP. Doing so will enable them to take advantage of a $400 government grant.

“Our direct mail piece must deliver the message that time to leverage the government grant is running out,” says Jason Maguire, executive vice president of Marketing at Heritage Education Funds. “The piece must compel parents to respond and ideally to increase their RESP contributions.”

Heritage had used a direct mail piece printed on an offset press and then passed through a laser or inkjet printer to include simple personalization such as children’s names and year-to-date contributions. Also printed on the piece was a call to action accompanied by a toll-free number and the head office location, along with the same stock photos on each piece. Heritage had not seen an increase in its response rate in the past three years and its return on investment was stagnant. It was time to try something new.

A customized mail piece was developed with graphs that depicted the current and future value of each child’s RESP. The graphs help tell the story that the Fund wants the parents to hear. “The graphs speak directly to our clients, telling them this is where you are, this is where you’ll need to be, and this is how you can get there,” says Maguire. “By clearly forecasting the cost for each child’s education, our clients were compelled to respond.”

Version 1

Heritage Heritage

In addition, the piece was designed so the images and text reflected the age and gender of the children of each recipient. For example, a client with a five-year-old daughter enrolled in an RESP would receive a direct mail piece that featured photos of a five-year-old girl. “The range of variable data available was impressive,” says Maguire.
Version 2

Heritage Heritage

The Fund sent approximately 20,000 direct mail pieces; about half of these were traditional static mailings and half one-to-one direct mail pieces. The overall look of the one-to-one piece was kept as similar as possible to the traditional marketing piece to avoid skewing clients’ responses.

  • Within the first three weeks, the personalized piece generated a response rate 10 times higher than the traditional piece
  • Overall, the rate of return for the one-to-one piece was 191% higher
  • Responding clients increased their monthly payments by $40 on average

“By compelling so many of our clients to increase their monthly contributions, the customer lifetime value of the one-to-one piece is 400 times greater than our traditional marketing piece,” says Maguire.

If you would like more tips on how to sell to specific vertical markets, PODi has over 500 Best Practice case studies. PODi members also have free access to an exclusive collection of vertical solution maps and white papers. If you’re interested in how PODi can help you and your team understand options, new applications and opportunities, and sell more high-margin digital print solutions, learn more at


Comment from Druckerei München
Time November 17, 2012 at 1:43 am

It seems to be useful and effective information. Liked reading it. Thanks for the share.

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