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Alpine Bank Emphasizes Service with Animated "Escape" Banner on Homepage

By Jim Bruene on June 30, 2009 1:18 AM | Comments

image Business runs in cycles and right now many of the large financial brand names are a bit tarnished. Over the next few years, we'll likely see community banks and credit unions turn up the volume on marketing campaigns emphasizing their low-key, low-risk community-based services.

We ran across this good example two weeks ago at $930-million (assets) Alpine Bank of Illinois. The bank uses a clever escape theme that should resonate with hard-core computer users and novices alike (see screenshot 1 below). The eye-catching banner sequence (see screenshot 1a) asks a serious of three questions, then culminates in an escape key (ESC) inviting users to click to a landing page with more info.  

Then on the landing page, the "Esc key" in the lower right (screenshot 2), takes users to an online Contact Me form (screenshot 3) that includes simple contact info to be used for a followup call or email (customer's choice). This is a nice high-touch alternative to regular online app, that can take 7 to 10 minutes to complete and are abandoned at alarmingly high rates (see note 1).  

Analysis: Overall, the campaign is clever and well presented (note 2). But the bank could make several landing-page changes (screenshot 2) to improve conversion rates: 

  • Increase the visibility of the $25 account-opening bonus. It's currently buried in the first paragraph. I didn't even notice it until the third time we looked at the page (note 3).
  • The account opening link on the landing page should be enhanced with one or more brightly colored Open Now button.
  • While the "escape key" is clever, users may not realize that's how they are supposed to request more info. The bank should add a More Info button and/or add "more info" to the Esc key graphic.
  • On the Contact Me form, their should be an Open Now button for users who decide they are ready to open immediately.

For more info on improving your online account opening results, see our latest Online Banking Report: Opening Accounts Online, published last week.

1. Homepage (16 June 2009)

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1a. Homepage banner ads (they cycle through in this order)

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2. Landing page (from homepage banner; link)
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3. Contact Me form (link)

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Notes:
1. For more info, see Online Banking Report: Opening Accounts Online, published last week.
2. One small nitpick on the design: The banner ads should only cycle one or two times per visit. There's no need to keep cycling the banner ads over and over, it's annoying for someone trying to find something on the homepage.
3. The $25 bonus does have a small banner on the homepage, lower right. But visitors attracted to the large escape banner could easily miss it.

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