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First Direct launches social networking site

First Direct launches social networking site

HSBC-owned telephone and internet bank First Direct has launched an online social network to help generate a sense of community and allow the sharing of recommendations amongst its UK customer base.

Built by digital agency MadeByPi with communications managed by digital marketing company Mailtrack, ‘Little Black Book’ will be offered to all of First Direct’s UK customers.

Customers who use the site will be invited to share tips on topics such as day trip ideas and favourite restaurants, and will be able to find recommendations relevant to them by searching via postcode.

The user-generated online hub - - has been trialed by 20,000 of the bank’s most online savvy customers, and its launch will be supported by a press campaign targeting lifestyle magazines and quality national newspapers, plus online banners in First Direct's familiar black and white format.

Jenny Southwell, head of e-marketing at First Direct, says “We place the customer experience at the heart of everything we do, and with the internet remaining such a fundamental part of our business, it was important for us to embrace new methods of creating value for our customers.  Little Black Book is a way for us to give something back other than through direct banking.”

Guy Marson, CEO of Mailtrack comments: “Social networks offer brands an innovative and refreshing way of generating long lasting customer loyalty and goodwill. Offering valuable and useful customer generated information, First Direct’s Little Black Book is a genuinely new and bold step for the financial sector and a great example of what I’m sure will become one of the leading branded community based websites around.”

The communications functionality as well as the delivery and management of all emails from the site have been implemented by Mailtrack, a leading digital marketing company specialising in customer acquisition and retention. The site was designed and built by specialist digital agency MadeByPi.

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