Driving Customer Acquisition via Non-Financial Gift Promotions

Partnerships & Referrals
October 1, 2020
Financial Services

Key Takeaways

RBC’s Customer Acquisition Tactic — Free Airpods/iPad with Account Sign-up: Prior to COVID-19, RBC was running a promotion that offered new and eligible clients who sign up for a new savings account a pair of free Apple Airpods. Due to the pandemic, they paused that promotion and brought it back in the summer. Soon after the end of that promotion, RBC launched a similar promotion, this time offering a free Apple iPad to entice clients to sign up for their “All-Inclusive” banking accounts. Both promotions drove significant interest to RBC, first with search volumes for RBC spiking throughout the promotion dates and then with various media outlets covering the promotion, from RedFlagDeals to mobilesyrup. The iPad promotion currently sits as the second most popular deal on RedFlagDeals’ “banking and investing” offers.

CIBC’s Customer Acquisition Tactic — $100 Amazon Gift Card & Digital Streaming Services: Although the majority of CIBC’s offers are FI-related (cash back, travel points, etc.), the $100 Amazon Gift Card offer drove the highest volume of web traffic with 305K site visits since August 2020. This indicates that non-FI related product offers are highly resonating with their target audience. CIBC also offered a second non-FI related product promo where customers received a 50% rebate for the first 2 months when they signed up for an eligible CIBC credit card for both Crave and DAZN. 

BMO’s Customer Acquisition Tactic — $50 Amazon Gift Card Promo for Financial Check-up: Earlier this year, between September 15th and October 18th, BMO ran the promotion targeted at their current clients with the “complete a financial check-up” call to action. The bank offered a $50 Amazon gift card as the incentive to visit one of their new locations. BMO used the same visuals and ran the ads exclusively on Facebook (total ad spend: $22.5K). There has been an uplift in traffic to the main branches.bmo.com domain, which can be linked to this promotion. Due to the relatively short campaign lifetime and three ad messages: a) new location opening, b) financial check-up, c) amazon gift card; it is hard to estimate the effect the $50 Amazon gift card had on the traffic increase alone. 

In Q4 2020 only three Financial Service Institutions are offering non-FI related product offers:


RBC ran a series of promotions prior to the pandemic (from January 2020 to mid-March) before switching to COVID-19 related ads.


By August, RBC had resumed its regular promotions, including its Airpods promotion from earlier in the year.

For this promotion, RBC was offering new and eligible clients free Apple Airpods when they opened a new RBC Personal Bank Account.

Following the end of their Airpods promotion, RBC followed up with a similar offer, this time giving new clients a free Apple iPad.

As with their previous offer, this campaign was created to encourage new and eligible clients to open a bank account, this time promoting their All-Inclusive accounts.

The iPad promotion is also featured on popular deals sites, like RedFlagDeals, where it is currently the second most commented and viewed deal in the “Banking and Investing” category in the past 6 months.

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Several articles were written about the offer, from mobilesyrup to iPhone in Canada, resulting in just over 250 engagements over Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Article #1, Article #2, Article #3

Both times that RBC ran these promotions, the search volume for RBC and “ipad” or “airpods” increased significantly.


Although CIBC offers non-FI related promos, they did not run any advertisements for these campaigns. Their main focus for digital advertising has been on welcome offers for their Aventura travel card where users receive up to $400 in value and 20,000 Aventura points. 

Search spend excluded from total ad spend

The majority of CIBC’s offers are FI-related (cash back, travel points, etc.), however the $100 Amazon Gift Card offer drove the highest volume of web traffic with 305K site visits since August 2020.

20% of CIBC’s Top 10 offers were non-FI related product based offers. In addition to the *$100 Amazon gift card, CIBC also offered a *50% rebate for 2 months for Crave TV and DAZN. 

To claim the $100 Amazon Gift Card, customers had to open a Smart Account online and maintain a recurring direct deposit, 2 recurring pre-authorized debits or 2 online bill payments.

For the Digital Streaming campaign, customers had to sign up with an eligible CIBC credit card to receive a 50% rebate on Crave or DAZN for two months.


BMO stimulated visits to to its two new locations (Red Deer, AB and Kitchener, ON) with a $50 Amazon gift card promotion.   

Search spend excluded from total ad spend

Ads were running on Facebook only and the same creative was used to promote both locations. Traffic was driven to the respective branch location pages.  

Traffic to branch.bmo.com moderately increased during September-October. This could signal that the financial check-up call to action accompanied by the Amazon gift card found some resonance among BMO clients.

Web tracking tools do not provide data for the specific locations data .../ab/red-deer and ..../on/kitchener

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