Segmentation in marketing strategies has proven to be a highly lucrative method of getting your message to the most likely customers. In the banking world, this has streamlined cross-sell strategies quite a lot.
But in a push to optimize your cross-sell strategy, don't fall into these potential traps that might cause you to miss valuable opportunities.
Whether it's putting your segmenting energies to very specific "attractive" demographics or narrowing the focus of your message too much, opportunities may present themselves that you don't notice outright. Though younger, lower-income non-homeowners might seem like fruitless leads initially, think of the products that could benefit them in their current financial state, cultivate trust and a relationship and upsell and cross-sell down the road at a more opportune time. Start small - your free checking, your prepaid cards, etc. - and stick with them as they grow financially toward future interest checking, CDs and mortgage loans down the road.
One of the biggest mistakes you might make in over-optimization is targeting messaging so much that you miss clear opportunities in your web, in-app and in-branch real estate. For example, if you have an online account-opening form, it's sensible to keep the form landing page itself restricted to the task at hand. But the thank-you page is fair game - use sidebars or top-of-the-fold page real estate to cross-sell related products (i.e., sign up for checking account, cross-sell online bill pay or apply for a mortgage, cross-sell children's savings accounts).
Fear of overwhelming your customers or coming on too strong might cause you to optimize away a unique opportunity that only presents itself on initial acquisition or the rare occasion when a customer comes into your branch. Account opening is an opportunity to share pertinent upsell products and services—just remember that keyword, pertinent. It's not about playing hard to get and skipping the sales pitch all together - it's about preselecting products and services that a particular customer will find valuable. (And, as always, it doesn't hurt to incentivize to sweeten the pot.)
It's not about sending every message to every consumer—it's about taking your opportunities when you have them and holding back when appropriate. Don't optimize away a potential sale for the sake of segmentation.