With apologies to Clint Eastwood, I recently experienced all three. Actually, it began the same day I posted my last blog entry. Our bank had an offer that provided a bonus if you opened a checking account and met certain criteria. The promotion began in July and most of the accounts were opened locally, through our branch system. Everything changed when, on October 7th, a blogger on the site DepositAccounts.com found the offer and posted on his site. Within minutes, we began receiving phone calls, online chats, and applications from all over the country asking about the offer. In a little over two weeks, we processed as many applications as we had for the first six months of the year. It was insane.
The Ugly- As Murphy's Law states, anything that could go wrong, did. We declined many of these accounts because they didn't meet our approval criteria. Unfortunately, we had issues refunding their money in a timely way. We received some pretty nasty feedback from these folks.
The Bad- Our intent was never to run this as a nationwide campaign. It was designed to help us grow our local customer base and build relationships. It is unlikely that many of the accounts we opened from outside our footprint are going to be long term customers.
The Good- As these prospects visited our site, they found our promotional CD offering a very competitive rate. We generated a good number of these accounts that will help our core deposit base. Let's face it, CD's are far less risky than a checking account.
We learned a very powerful (and sometimes painful) lesson about the impact of these social media groups. This will certainly change the way we position our promotions on the web. Hopefully,we can figure out how to more effectively manage these groups in the future.