Three Must-Haves for a Successful Onboarding Program

Mark Arnold June 26th, 2017
Marketing Insights

Onboarding – the process your bank or credit union uses to define your ongoing relationship with new customers or members – is a critical part of your marketing strategy. A comprehensive onboarding process gives financial institutions a great deal of control over that relationship starting with the initial enrollment of a product or service. A successful onboarding program defines how and when you communicate with each individual customer or member, and which products and services will benefit them most.

Your marketing department is at the heart of this process, which involves many variables. Here are three must-haves for any successful onboarding program.


Nearly 75% of all cross-sell opportunities occur within the first 90 days a customer or member begins a relationship with your financial institution. That’s according to a report on next-generation customer onboarding published by PitneyBowes. Obviously, your cross-selling efforts should be continued long after that, but those first three months present a critical opportunity to really hook those new relationships on as many products and services as possible. Make that window of time a priority from an onboarding standpoint.


Your financial institution’s marketing efforts are only as good as your data. You can have the most clever tagline, the most creative copy, and the most attractively designed marketing materials. That means nothing if you don’t get them in the hands of the right people, at the right, with the right message. Your data drives this. It is imperative that you gather as much useful data as possible when a consumer opens his or her first account. If this person is in the market for a new house or car, your financial institution needs that information. Have processes in place and train your staff to gather this information when the consumer opens that first account. Continue collecting information like that at every contact point.


Onboarding doesn’t happen by chance. It involves an intricately mapped out plan which dictates what offers a specific member will receive and in which order they will receive them. It is a matrix that changes the order of customer or member communications based on whether or not a specific person responds to previous offers. This is a highly-automated process that many financial institutions may need help implementing. If you don’t have the expertise or automation in place to execute something of this magnitude, choose a vendor who does. Remember, you have a 90-day honeymoon period to achieve your highest cross-sell opportunity. You don’t have time to get it wrong.

Marketing is all about getting the right message to the right consumer at the right time. Your chances of increasing cross-sell opportunities and deepening relationships with customers or members greatly improves with a successful onboarding program.

This content is accurate at the time of publication and may not be updated.