With Christmas a good four months away, Leo Haggerty is making a list of prospects for a novel Yuletide product aimed at community banks.
Mr. Haggerty is the president of Web Boss Design Studio, a Middlesboro, Ky., company that is marketing ready-made Web sites labeled anorthpolechristmas.com to community banks for $3,500 to $4,000.
Mr. Haggerty said he got the idea from his clients, which include a number of banks.
They had told me they wanted to do a project like this but that they could not afford the expense of designing their own site, he said.
Web Boss has had no takers yet, but Mr. Haggerty hopes to sell at least 30 banks across the country this holiday season. Each site would be customized to include the banks name which would be mentioned at least twice on every page along with bank-product banner ads. He said that in the last week he had sent out eight contracts and received numerous inquiries in response to an ad in this months issue of the Independent Community Bankers Associations magazine.
Kentucky banker Baylor Fulton, the president and chief executive officer at $194 million-asset First State Bank of Pineville, said First State is thinking about buying Web Boss product. First State Bank hires Santas for its branches every year, and a Christmas Web site would nicely complement that tradition, he said.
Users of the site, which would be linked to the banks home page, could make out Christmas lists, e-mail Santa, read up on the latest North Pole news, play holiday games, and even find out the television schedule for holiday specials.
Web Boss package includes advertisements and statement stuffers that client would use to promote the site, as well as a contest in which a winner at each bank gets a Sony PlayStation 2. Bankers will also get the chance to interview Saint Nick on local radio.
Mr. Fulton said that promotional strategy sounds smart.
If you get the kids interested, you often get the parents interested, he said. And if the kids are really interested they will stick with you when they grow older."