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Special Project

Special Project
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

Creating a personalised onboarding experience for new HSBC UK current account customers

Finalist in Email

About this entry

HSBC UK recently revisited their onboarding customer journey to create a best-in-class programme to encourage activation of cards, increase the number of primary banked customers, improve engagement with their digital banking services, and inspire customer loyalty through demonstration of the world of opportunities at their fingertips with HSBC UK.

For this new journey, we wanted to ensure we were always being as relevant as possible - so frequency, segmentation and channel selection were going to be key in order to create something that felt truly customer-first. We needed to create something agile that could be used over the long term.

We wanted to give each new HSBC UK customer the warmest of welcomes and build excitement for their new opportunities. From carefully crafted subject lines, to dynamic visuals, we used creative excellence and behaviour economics to encourage customer actions and drive certain behaviours at every point of their journey.

And what was really exciting about this campaign, was that we were able to bring HSBC’s refreshed brand visual identity to life through our suite of developed comms.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

When developing our revised onboarding journey, we knew it needed a sense of progression. We wanted the customer to feel like they were moving through a journey. So we created three core stages: Welcome, Product Set-Up, and Digital Adoption. 

Welcome - arguably the most important part of the journey. We want our customers to warm to us from the moment they apply for their bank account. So now, with warm welcome emails, SMS and in-app notifications, we keep customers updated on their new accounts, and informed about their next steps.

Product set-up - we always want to make sure customers are using HSBC UK as their primary bank, so here we remind our customers to activate and spend on their card. Including gentle nudges to do things that are too easily forgotten - like changing your saved card on Amazon, or moving any direct debits.

Digital adoption - here, we encourage the take-up of our digital banking services, specifically the mobile app. In the last few years, it’s never been more important to empower customers to self-serve from their own homes - so we took customers through the set-up and kept them up-to-date with new app functionalities.

Using a warm and welcoming tone of voice, we produced emails and visuals that would make new customers feel at home from day one. And become familiar with the strong brand presence that was emulated through the newly refreshed VI. We tailored each email for a specific audience across our different Current Account products, including our Mass, Advance, Student and Premier customers. We showed images that would resonate with each customer type and refined copy that would do the same. 

Over the three-month journey, we revealed opportunities and information about how each could maximise the use of their HSBC UK account and took them through a timed and triggered journey that would excite them to these new possibilities. 

Not only was it about these new opportunities, but we wanted to give them a sense of progression and ideas of how each customer could build toward a better financial future, covering everything from savings to investing, each time using a best-in-class design and copy to draw them in and keep them interested.


The campaign was a huge success. We felt that HSBC UK customers were given a superior onboarding journey, which not only gave them the warmest of welcomes and made them familiar with the HSBC UK brand, but kept them interested by providing triggered information and opportunities at exactly the right time. This got them using and utilising all that their HSBC UK account has to offer and generating excitement for which opportunity they would unlock or discover next.

We’ve seen a massive decrease in the average unsubscribe rate of emails and an increase in the average open rate of emails, pushing HSBC UK even higher than the industry standard. 

The number of customers using HSBC UK as their main account has increased by a fantastic margin and active use of accounts has also increased along with the amount that was using HSBC UK’s digital platforms. 

So all in all, increases were achieved in all aspects of the customer's onboarding journey. Meaning great success and a very positive outcome of the campaign.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Josh Seaward, Josh Seaward

Entry Credits