Case Studies

Customer Profile

Cole Taylor Bank is a subsidiary of Taylor Capital Group, Inc. and the sixth largest bank in Chicago according to Crain’s Chicago Business. As of March 2014, Taylor Capital Group has $5.7 billion in assets, $4.0 billion in deposits, and more than 1000 employees.


North America (Chicago-area and nationwide)


Commercial financing and treasury management, personal banking and mortgages


Business checking customer acquisition.

"Cole Taylor has been meeting the banking needs of Chicago-area businesses – and their owners, managers and employees – for more than 80 years. Today Cole Taylor also serves customers across the nation from the regional offices of Cole Taylor Business Capital, Cole Taylor Equipment Finance and Cole Taylor Mortgage."



In the face of increasing competition, ColeTaylorBank requested Marketing Alternatives assistance in testing direct mail as one vehicle it could employ in a new business checking customer acquisition initiative.


Marketing Alternatives created an oversized mailing that reflected ColeTaylorBank’s corporate image and invited prospective bank clients to meet with a ColeTaylor representative to establish a new business checking account. The piece included a four-page, slit-nested brochure focused on the benefits of ColeTaylorBank’s business checking product, as well as an offer of a $25 Lettuce Entertain You gift certificate for opening a new business checking account.

The mailing dropped to a list of 2,000 business checking prospects which was provided by ColeTaylorBank. Two weeks after the mailing drop date, an outbound follow-up campaign launched as a joint venture by Marketing Alternatives Response Management Group and ColeTaylor’s own business centers with the goal of setting appointments.

A total of seven appointments were set – the equivalent of a 1% response rate – which is admirable considering the difficulty of convincing small business owners to consider switching banks. In addition, one sizable new account was signed as a direct result of the mailing. But the real benefit ColeTaylorBank gained was exposure to a select group of prospects who – while perhaps not ready to switch banks at the precise time of the campaign – may have a higher propensity to contact ColeTaylorBank when they are ready to switch.