10 Strategies to Increase Deposits at Your Community Bank

Knowing exactly how to increase bank deposits is the goal of every community bank’s marketing team, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin. There are so many ways to market your bank, and you may be wondering if some of your ideas are even worth trying.

Well, we’re here to tell you that yes, with the right plan it is absolutely worth it and that investing in your bank deposit gathering strategies is more important now than in the past decade due to rising savings rates.

The last time community banks had to proactively think about rising rate strategies was a few years before the 2008 crash, and according to The Financial Brand, there were three lessons to be learned:

  1. Big banks only passed on a small portion of the Fed’s rate hikes.
  2. Customer behavior changes when rates hit 2.5% and above.
  3. Large banks were too slow to capitalize on the rising rates, which left room for more nimble banks to pick up customers.

It’s fair to say there’s a similar opportunity today for community banks with smart deposit gathering strategies to play ball with bigger banks. It’s easier to be proactive when you aren’t dealing with hundreds of thousands of customers, and you should use that to your advantage.

With that in mind, let’s cover 10 bank deposit gathering strategies you can use to increase your deposits.

10 strategies for driving bank deposits

1. Analyze your best customers

If you want to attract more of a certain type of banking customer, then you and your entire staff need to understand who they are and their motivations for working with a local bank.

Analyze your existing customers and figure out which demographic will be your focus for this quarter or marketing campaign and then write up a one-sheet outlining exactly how they currently find out about your bank and what services you offer that are most appealing to them. Then, brainstorm ways to connect those threads.

2. Raise your deposit rate

One of the simplest ways to become more competitive is to offer better rates. This isn’t the end-all of marketing strategies, but it is the one that speaks most plainly and has the easiest pitch.

Just remember that unless you’re dealing with customers with high volumes of cash, then chances are a rate may get a potential lead in the door but won’t keep them — your customer experience and ability to help them achieve their financial goals will.

3. Invest in your community

There are few better pitches than personal care and community integrity when comparing local institutions to national banks. By firmly investing back into your community with both actions and words, you can give potential customers a reason to choose you over a bigger bank, even if those banks have better rates.

A great way to put your investment in plain view is to understand and support your local customers. If you work with local business owners, see if you can partner on fundraisers or donate to local schools together. You could also experiment with offering adult financial classes to help people understand how to secure their future — there are many options to utilize.

4. Make sure your local SEO is up-to-date

There are a lot of laundry list items you can do from a digital marketing standpoint to help you stand out online, and one of the most important ones is making sure your local SEO is up to snuff.

SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it’s just making sure your site communicates with Google and other local directories in the best way possible. You can either hire someone to do this for you or try it yourself.

The biggest things to nail down are your Google Business page, collecting Google reviews, and making sure you’ve submitted your address and phone number to Google Maps, Waze, etc.

5. Use online advertising

While prices will be much higher in larger cities, you should definitely be playing the online advertising game. Setting up evergreen ad campaigns that bid for keywords on Google like “local bank near me” and “need to set up a checking account” can go a long way for lead generation.

Tie that into a custom landing page with a Facebook pixel to retarget people who click and boom! You have a set-it-and-forget-it bank deposit growth machine.

6. Make sure your website is responsive

Everything you do online has to be optimized for mobile these days. If it’s not, Google will downrank your site and younger demographics won’t convert as well.

Being responsive is just a fancy way of saying your site can be used and looks good on mobile. To learn more, go here.

An easy way to test if your site is responsive is to open it on your desktop, click the top right of the window, and drag it down to a small size. If your site automatically rearranges itself to fit within the window, then you’re set. If it starts cutting things off and looks bad, then you know you have work to do.

7. Tie in other services

Your bank should feel like a trusted resource. If your customers can rely on you for advice around important business decisions, then they are more likely to expand their business with you.

One way to do that is to build or partner with ancillary services that support your ideal customer. For example, if you work with a lot of business owners, you could partner with an entrepreneurship center to get discounts for your members or provide innovative merchant services via a partnership.

8. Partner with reputable businesses

On a similar note, finding the best businesses in your area and developing relationships with them can go a long way — especially if the services they provide frequently require financing.

For example, many credit unions and community banks partner with local car salesmen to offer seamless loan financing. When you partner with the right people, if a customer trusts them they will implicitly trust your business and view it as a trustworthy recommendation.

9. Segment your marketing

Marketing is all about specificity. When it comes to your marketing efforts, try to tie each initiative and plan to a specific demographic. That allows to you to be focused in your copy, emails, and all communications. The more you can speak to that customer persona’s specific needs, the more likely they are to convert to your bank.

You can also approach this from a product standpoint, so dividing your marketing efforts by student accounts vs. new business accounts, etc.

10. Offer additional incentive

Apart from the bigger picture deposit growth strategies, there are a variety of conventional ideas you can employ. Here’s a shortlist to get started:

  • Offer bonuses for signing up or referring people.
  • Offer progressive rates depending on the amount in an account.
  • Remove or eliminate overdraft fees.
  • Give members free checks.
  • Offer mobile deposits.
  • Don’t charge for transfers.
  • Make sure your online portal is easy to use and makes getting new accounts easy.
  • Offer free identity theft protection.


If you take the time to really build out a plan and execute it with a smart, analytical approach, then you will absolutely drive deposit growth for your bank. The ball is in your court now. Good luck!

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