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How to promote credit cards

how to promote credit cards

What you need to know about credit card marketing

To have an effective, and revenue generating credit card marketing strategy, credit card brands should use data analytics to create segmented offers, targeted ads, and omni channel campaigns. Then consistently evaluate and modify the approach.

How to approach credit card marketing

When it comes to credit card marketing, it’s important to have a clear plan in place. It’s equally important to remember that the best credit card campaigns speak directly to individual consumers. This personal approach makes sure that your message, content, and timing have a significant impact.

Here’s how to approach credit card marketing:

1. Put relevant content on the right channels:

First look at your target customer for your credit card, and then identify the most appropriate platforms they spend time on. Keep in mind what their state of mind may be while on those platforms.

For example: If your target users are on TikTok, odds are they’re looking for more entertaining and engaging content. If they’re spending time searching on Google, they’re probably looking for more educational, text heavy content.

You’ll want to develop content that resonates with your specific target audience and then choose the best timing for maximum impact.

But how can you time your ad to have the most impact?

You can do so by mapping your customer’s problems and experiences to a buying cycle.

For example: If you create a piece of SEO focused, educational content, and a customer comes to learn more about your credit card, they may be shopping around. If you run a retargeting ad campaign, you can include content around the benefits of your credit card offering (or even reviews from other customers) a few days later while you’re still top of mind.

2. Build flexibility into your plans:

Consumer motivations, expectations, and behaviors can change rapidly. To stay ahead, you’ll want to collect data and generate insights that allow you to adapt your credit card marketing campaign. This flexibility will help you avoid making mistakes that come from not mapping your marketing to economic and generational differences in your target audience.

3. Highlight key differentiators:

Like we mentioned just before this point, different generations and income levels have different needs and preferences when it comes to financial products.

You’ll want to create compelling campaigns by personalizing your approach and highlighting the unique benefits that will resonate with the specific audience you’re targeting.

Limitations on marketing credit cards

There are certain limits that are legally put on credit card companies when advertising to potential customers, which starts with the Credit Card Act of 2009

What is the Credit Card Act of 2009?

It limits credit card fees and makes credit card statements more transparent. It also significantly limited the marketing of credit cards to young people and reduced credit card fees by more than $16 billion.

But outside of legal limitations, ad platforms also limit how you can market credit cards. Basically, ad platforms like Meta and Google limit the type of affinity and demographic targeting you can do on their platform. This way credit card companies can’t put together predatory ad campaigns, or exclude certain racial or income groups.

Best channels for marketing credit cards and how to get the most out of them

  • SEO: This is probably one of the most competitive channels to leverage when marketing your credit card. With 100’s of review websites, competitors, and affiliates all vying for position, this channel’s become crowded. Instead of trying to climb the mountain, just leverage sites that are already there. Also look to plug holes in content gaps that competitors are missing. There’s a ton of ways to nibble around the edges with data-focused content.
  • Affiliate: Affiliate marketing for credit cards is a great way to let other people do the hard work for you, without much downside, since you’re paying per sign up. But be careful of affiliates looking to make quick cash. You’ll need to be proactive in pruning your affiliate network to weed out bad (and underperforming) actors.
  • PPC: Expensive, but necessary for any credit card company. Especially with interest based and lookalike targeting, there are ways to make your ad budget more efficient, and get you a higher ROAS (return on ad spend).
  • Email Marketing: Lead nurturing is an important part of sales, and email marketing is a great way to upsell and cross sell existing clients.

Sample credit card marketing strategies

  • Seasonal marketing: Get in the festive mood with your audience. Fall’s coming up, so let’s talk about pumpkin spiced lattes! Winter? Holiday and cash back rewards when buying presents. Summer? Talk about travel points. Meet your customers where they are mentally.
  • Big data & automation: Segmenting your customer data will vastly improve your marketing performance. Cohort analysis, LTV (life time value) measurement, and interest based grouping can help you know who to sell to, what to sell, how to speak to them, and what products you can cross sell them on. Even better: you can automate that analysis.
  • Contrast vs. large credit card companies: If you’re a smaller credit card brand, don’t be afraid to compare vs. the big brands. Often you can offer much better terms, benefits, or even better customer experience.
  • Credit card consolidation: People have multiple credit cards. Using ads that help people roll multiple credit cards into one comprehensive card that gives most of the same benefits has been a consistently successful strategy for a lot of credit card marketers.
  • Focus on rewards & make it engaging: We’ve seen more engagement and conversions from ads focusing on rewards than rates. Your mileage may vary, which is why tracking and analyzing your data is most important.

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Picture of Tanya Treseler

Tanya Treseler

Tanya is a Managing Partner and all-things-backstage at Crescendo. As a domestic violence activist, Tanya learned how to use content and marketing to help spread awareness and get in front of online audiences. Now, she uses the same skills to help finance companies scale their businesses. She's also danced professionally across the San Francisco Bay Area.