Mailed credit card offers frustrate consumers


A new poll has found that 78% of consumers feel frustrated by poorly-targeted credit card offers that arrive in the mail. Many say that the offers do not suit their financial circumstances, while others say that they form a poor opinion of a lender if they are turned down for credit following a mailed offer. The findings indicate that many people would rather take the time to compare credit cards for themselves, rather than respond to a credit offer that arrives in the post.


Survey: Majority 'turned off' by mailed credit offers
Credit card and loan providers could be shooting themselves in the foot by sending out poorly-targeted credit offers, according to research carried out by YouGov on behalf of Callcredit Information Group. While targeted offers can be an effective marketing tool, the survey of more than 2,000 adults revealed that lenders could lose a potential customer for life by sending them unsuitable offers.

The poll found that 56% of people who receive offers for credit cards or loans do not believe the offers suit their personal circumstances. Many said that they simply do not use credit cards and 13% said they had been mailed about a product that they had no intention of ever using. Nearly one in 10 adults expressed surprise at receiving credit card offers, in light of their poor credit history. And 12% of 35 to 44-year-olds admitted they had taken a risk by responding to an unexpected mail offer for credit, even though they were worried about the repayments.

Lenders could ruin reputation for good, say experts
Furthermore, the survey highlighted consumers' disenchantment with lenders that send out unsolicited offers and then turn people down for credit when they apply. When asked what their reaction would be to such an outcome, 39% of respondents said they would not deal with the company again, and 30% admitted they would retain a negative impression of the brand.

Adam Leslie, head of data at Callcredit Marketing Solutions, says that receiving an unaffordable credit offer is "distressing" for consumers and is a waste of money and marketing resources. "This research delivers a strong message to marketers that it can also have a massive impact on a consumer's view of a brand," adds Leslie. "Getting it wrong could drive a significant number of customers away."

See related: Credit card interest rates climb higher; Do you prefer credit cards to cash? 

Published: 23 March 2011