The financial services industry is changing – and it’s time for companies to embrace this disruption. In order to remain successful, businesses need to transform the digital journey of their customers. Providing a personal inbox experience has now become essential.
In our first article on disruptive personalisation in financial services we discussed the importance of relevant, user friendly content, and mobile responsiveness. Let’s now have a look at additional ways to enhance your email marketing.
Don’t Neglect Visuals in Emails
Marketing teams in the financial industry have to follow a lot of rules and restrictions, so the visual appearance of emails is often overlooked. Slightly old-fashioned and block-y email templates, lots of content – sounds familiar? Avoiding graphics isn’t an unusual approach. Email marketers know that image-to-text ratio is important to ensure good deliverability:
But we shouldn’t forget that visual appearance and the template design impact email engagement too. Good quality, interesting images help capture the reader’s attention. In our most recent Digital Marketing Survey, we asked advisors what improvements asset managers should make in their email marketing. The answer might surprise you – more than 70% of professional investors want more visually appealing emails.
The survey reveals that a relatively small percentage of respondents have images turned off when they open their emails. 15% in the US and 16% in the UK do not load their images on their mobiles, and only 2% in the US, and 9% in the UK have images disabled on their desktops and laptops. There’s a big opportunity for asset managers to enhance their marketability using more eye-catching images, as the majority either choose to load images, or they are shown automatically.
Subject Lines Matter
It’s well known that subject lines are one of the most important aspects of email marketing. With large volumes of emails hitting advisors’ inboxes it’s inevitable that many of them will go unnoticed. The subject line is one of the first things your recipients see – and it’s essential that it stands out.
StoneShot’s DMS has revealed that all 100% of the US respondents want asset managers to use more interesting subject lines for their emails. 95% of the UK advisers agree with this too. So what does this mean? Maybe it is time to rethink your subject lines – go beyond the convenience of making your fund name into a subject line. Maybe simply updating the date for your monthly communications isn’t enough anymore.
We always recommend you test subject lines. Here are some useful tips for A/B testing.
The Importance of Sender Name
The sender name hugely impacts open rates. We all know that it is hard for a stranger or an unfamiliar company to persuade a reader to open an email. Many asset managers face a dilemma – should they use the company name or personalise with sales person’s details?
In fact, it all depends on the type of communication and the depth of your list segmentation. If it’s a mass-send email, it’s likely that recipients will recognise your company name rather than an employee (unless that employee is a big part of the brand). For smaller lists, warm leads, or clients whom you’re in touch regularly, using a personalised sender name could work to your advantage and increase engagement.
Personalisation Through Data
Adequate data analysis can help you move away from a mass-email marketing. However, asset managers need to look beyond measuring successes by open and click-through rates. With the large volumes of data that financial brands collect on their customers, emails should be more personalised.
There is so much information you can use – geographical locations, campaign types, demographics and customer roles, their interests, and their value to the business. Nowadays, it’s crucial for marketing teams to start implementing engagement scoring with an integrated cross-channel approach. Engagement scoring can help you identify various patterns: what types of communications bring positive engagement, such as email opens, and which emails cause negative, such as unsubscribes. StoneShot can help you understand your data and create a unique engagement scoring model that works right just for you.
Build Relationships First, Sell Second
Financial services are facing what’s called a decade of disruption. To succeed, the companies need to go beyond traditional transactional relationships with their clients. Marketing has to move towards what their customers want, so it needs to be as personal as ever.
It’s important to evaluate the successes of your marketing campaigns, but asset managers should also look at customer dissatisfaction metrics. These are as important as open or click rates. If you identify the triggers that make your clients unengaged or push them to unsubscribe, you can implement processes to eliminate them. Understanding your clients’ motivations will help you offer a more personalised experience through your email marketing activities.
StoneShot can help you personalise content and optimise your client’s user experience. Don’t hesitate to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.