"The Estate Planning Report monthly letter which we title “Life Planning Strategies” along with the Trust Update and Sales Notes is the center of our direct marketing and training efforts. The articles are very good and we get comments every month from current as well as prospects we send it too."
Randy McFarland - SVP, Trust Officer
Mercantile Bank, Quincy, IL
The inside story behind the success.
The Importance of Touch Points
How often does family see each other? Friends? Business partners? Strangers?
The distance between communications impacts the perception of the relationship.
Creating perceived value in a relationship is no different than creating perceived value in a product. It's about creating an impression of offering more than the competition, with relationships your competition is everyone. To compete with everyone, you need to not only communicate often, but in a way that's engaging, appreciated, and shown to incur cost to yourself on the behalf of the person you are communicating to.
Enter: Mercantile Bank
Mercantile Bank like many Merrill Anderson customers has been utilizing our services for 15+ years.
Randy McFarland understands the need to communicate often with everybody that could impact his business: appreciated customers, prospects that may become customers, branch personnel that may speak with customers that have a trust need, estate planning attorneys who's clients may need trust administration services.
Creating all that content would be more than a full-time job for someone at Mercantile Bank.
Enter: Merrill Anderson Co.
Merrill Anderson has always had a turn-key approach to marketing, creating products that clients could setup and subscribe to so their materials is ready to go each month without them having to this about it. By focusing on the niche of the Trust and Wealth Management industry, we're able to create high-quality content and amortize the high cost of creative among many different clients that are not geographically close or competitors, and batch their production so that they can realize economies of scale that a single purchaser wouldn't have access too.
Though our process wasn't formalized when we first partnered with Randy, we've been going about it the same way, making sure that the strategies and content is working and helping the way he would expect. We create a monthly newsletter for his clients and prospects, and additional collateral so that it could be distributed in-bank as additional education, and a bi-monthly technical newsletter for local estate planning professionals. We provide response devices so that if inquiries come up the Mercantile team can respond to them quickly and easily.
We do so in a turn-key fashion so that the materials are printed, shipped, and ready to be mailed or otherwise utilized throughout the year.
We recently had a client (in a different state) considering using this type of continuing communication approach, and I reached out to Randy as a long-time user to see if he'd be willing to share some of his experience working with us. He responded by saying:
"Feel free to have him contact me. The Estate Planning Report monthly letter which we title “Life Planning Strategies” along with the Trust Update and Sales Notes is the center of our direct marketing and training efforts. The articles are very good and we get comments every month from current as well as prospects we send it too."
We're proud to have been part of Mercantile Bank's growth, and to be able to provide an approach where they can be confident that the communications they are sending out will be continual, appreciated, and representative of their vision.