What is a statement filler?
A statement filler is a type of sales brochure commonly used in direct marketing campaigns. Specifically, you are associated with financial service providers, such as banks and brokerage firms, who often include these announcements along with their monthly statements and other correspondence.
The purpose of statement fillers is to “sell” to account holders on related services, such as credit cards, lines of credit, or additional brokerage services.
- Statement fills are advertisements that are sent to customers, along with their account statements.
- Statement fills are often related to ancillary services that the sender seeks to “sell” to existing customers.
- Statement fills encourage customers to sign up for a broader range of products and services.
- Ultimately, statement fillers help financial firms improve customer retention by increasing the costs associated with switching to a new provider.
How statement fills work
Generally, statement fillings include an overview of financial services that are related to vendors with whom the client already has a relationship. For example, a bank customer with a checking and savings account may receive a statement filler that advertises personal lines of credit or retirement savings accounts. Although the institution already provides services to that client, promotional offers may come from its partner institutions.
Statement fillers are popular with financial firms because they offer a convenient and inexpensive form of marketing to clients already using their core services. In recent years, however, digital versions of these ads, known colloquially as “e-stuffers,” have also become common.
Electronic statement fillers, or “electronic sausages,” are becoming more popular in the era of paperless banking.
Statement fillers allow financial institutions to improve profitability by cross-selling or encouraging customers to sign up for a wide variety of products. Financial institutions will generally seek new customers by offering especially attractive products, often competing on price. These so-called “loss leaders” may be relatively unprofitable for the company initially.
However, the company’s goal is to increase profit margins by selling more profitable products or services to those customers in the future. As a result, statement fillers are used to promote these higher margin ancillary products and services. Occasionally, statement fillers may be used for non-commercial purposes, such as informing customers of a change in the terms and conditions of their accounts.
Example of a statement filler
If you have a bank account, you may already be familiar with the statement fillers that accompany your monthly statement. Most banks also offer other financial services, such as credit cards, mortgages, or auto loans, and they often promote these services to their banking customers.
This is also true in the insurance industry, where a single company can offer several different types of policies. If you have auto insurance, your statements may be accompanied by promotions for homeowners or renters insurance policies from the same insurer. Many life insurance providers also offer other insurance products, such as disability income insurance or long-term care insurance. The list is increasingly expanding to include investment services as well, such as annuity products.
Why Companies Use Statement Fillers
Financial firms seek to get involved in as many parts of their clients’ financial life as possible. Customers who pay for multiple services through the same provider are less likely to switch to a new provider, due to the cost and complexity of doing so. As a result, a key goal for financial firms is to maximize their wallet stake, the total dollar amount a customer spends on their company’s products and services.
In addition, banks and other financial services companies often expand their product offerings to insurance, brokerage services, retirement planning, and other areas. By advertising these services to their clients through statement fills and other forms of marketing, banks can create customer loyalty whereby the customer depends on a single institution for multiple financial activities.
If successful, this direct marketing and product diversification strategy can make it more difficult or costly for the customer to switch suppliers, thereby creating a reliable and consistent customer base.