{Detailed Report} – 26% of Americans do not have any savings at all. How can banks market savings accounts to underserved consumers?

26% of US adults do not have any cash in the bank, according to Credit Donkey. The same source cited that 38 million American households live hand to mouth essentially without any money saved from their wages. In a tough climate for employment and business around the world, it’s clear that saving is difficult for many people. That said, banks and financial services companies have a duty to create products that serve all segments of the financial economy, not just the ultra-wealthy clients.

In this detailed report, I am going to share some unique marketing strategies that banks and financial services companies can use to target underserved consumers who do not have savings but are employed and receive monthly income.

5 ideas to promote savings accounts that you need to read about NOW

  • Companies need to focus on where this consumer base spends their time

Is there a profile or persona for consumers who do not save money? There is but you need to put in some effort to create a detailed profile based on where your target market is located. American banks and financial services companies should invest in blogger outreach in the personal finance space and look for segments within personal finance blogging. There are different types of consumer segments including frugal minimalists, families who focus on personal finance, women focusing on economical empowerment and young people looking to save money to create a financial foundation. Your financial services company could benefit from advertising on these blogs via sponsored ads or working with the bloggers directly as chances are people who don’t have savings but want to change will be reading content for specific blogs.

These consumers are also on social media specifically on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. If you are growing a financial services company and you want to target people who don’t save, social media is a good place to start branding your business.

Always look for your consumer base on their hunting ground instead of assuming everyone is going to come to your website.

  • Make savings accounts and other financial products easy to understand

Everyone knows they need to save however the numbers don’t lie. Americans, Brits and many people around the world continuously struggle to save. Banks and financial services companies need to have savings accounts simple to use and to understand. One of my favourite American examples of this is from US Bank. Have a look below:


I like how US Bank have listed the requirements of the standard savings account with bullet points. Of course there are detailed terms and conditions but for a savings account summary online, this is in-depth as it gets. I particularly like how the bank highlights what you need to keep in the account in order for the ledger fees to be waived.

Financial products can be made easy to understand by breaking the key elements of the product down in Plain English. This means no fluffy buzzwords that no one cares about (look at our disruptive savings account!) and this also means create simple design that allows your content to be easily explained to consumers.

People who do not have any money saved also need motivators on how things can look if they do save. If you are trying to make changes to your financial services company, you should also be including savings interest tools and calculators so people have the freedom to visualise how their financial future can look like.

  • Target the Latino market with Spanish-language promotions

Bank of America has been aggressive in this segment and is seeing results by focusing on the Latino market in the US. The Hispanic Executive website reported that Bank of America launched a Spanish-language banking app. I think smart financial services brands will focus on targeting the Latino market in dedicated consumer segments.

Hispanic-Americans come in many shapes, sizes, colours and backgrounds and they should be marketed to with respect and authenticity. Ideas banks could use to promote savings accounts to Latino-Americans include having bilingual employees, writing terms and conditions in Spanish and creating dedicated Spanish-language digital and direct mail campaigns.

I love direct mail for this space – family lies at the heart of Latino identity and culture; if your financial services company can find a way to do a direct mail campaign that promotes savings accounts to Latino families in your city, there could be success to be found since people receive direct mail when they are at home.

  • Come up with a unique campaign to reach out with African-Americans

African-Americans have woven vibrant threads in the US fabric with contributions across the board. With around 45 million African-Americans, the economic power of the black dollar should never be underestimated but it is known with research that African-American and Latino communities have a tougher time with saving due to socio-economic factors. 75% of Latino and African-American households have less than $10,000 in savings, according to Credit Donkey research.

If you are working for a financial services company and you want to target African-Americans in the realm of savings accounts, you should come with a thoughtful campaign that recognises African-Americans importance while focusing on growing their dreams and aspirations.

Savings accounts are vehicles that drive people to the destination that they want to reach. I can see a lot of opportunity for banks and financial services startups that target Black Americans with dignity and authenticity and staying away from stereotypes.

Ethnic minority customers are not given as much marketing space as the general white population – if you target black customers in a way that is authentic, you can create customer loyalty much easier compared to just a general campaign.

If I was working with a financial services company that wanted to run a campaign targeting African-Americans, I would consult that they team up with credible influencers and celebrities to add a sense of vibrancy to the campaign. Social media, digital and a grassroots marketing campaign in local beauty supply, barber and nightlife establishments would be a must.

  • Target savings accounts to mothers

Whether children are raised in two parent households or not, the power of mothers in choosing which products get bought at the supermarket should not be underestimated. That said, why aren’t banks and financial companies figuring out how to inspire mothers to save more money? If mothers are the key focus of deciding the family budget, mothers should also be marketed to in terms of savings accounts. I like the idea of creating TV advertisements on lifestyle channels such as TLC and Lifetime, as well as advertising on ‘coupon websites’ or voucher redeeming blogs.

Whether you work for a bank or a financial services startup, you realise the importance of savings for all consumers. Sometimes in the financial services industry, we can focus too much on different client bases without being inclusive. However, with dedicated targeting and focus, it is possible to market to a wide variety of customers.

I hope these 5 ideas inspire your financial services company to think of new ways to inspire your clients and customers to save money.

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