Renowned psychologist and scholar Herbert A. Simon once described attention as a “bottleneck,” and said that “a wealth of information creates a poverty in attention.” Although this remark was made decades ago, the sentiment rings truer than ever today as the attention economy dictates how our society consumes information and interacts with the world.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, “attention economy” means that a user’s attention is limited and therefore comes with a price. As we live in what is termed the “Information Age” with a 24/7 news cycle and millions of apps at our fingertips, the price and drive to get users’ attention has never been higher.
According to a study by Microsoft, the average human attention span is eight seconds, which is equivalent to that of a goldfish. Unfortunately for marketers, attention is the end-goal of every initiative, making it that much more difficult to draw users in and, once they do, to communicate key information before the user loses interest.
That’s why more isn’t better when it comes to winning attention. In fact, pumping out a higher rate of content into the market only makes the space more crowded, reducing the chances your customer will see and engage with what you have to say.
Rather, the answer is personalization. As an audience, financial services clients are more selective than most, which is completely understandable considering they have to pick a service provider that they can trust with their hard-earned money. Since the bar is higher, financial services marketers need to be able to prove themselves valuable to each end-user’s unique needs. Therefore, creating your communications with your customer in mind will help you earn valuable currency in the attention economy.
Emails should feel 1:1
As we shared in our State of Financial Services Marketing Report: Email 2019, the age of sending the same communication to a general audience is over. Our research found that making each email interaction as personal as possible resulted in higher open rates, which is one of the most influential statistics to determine an email’s effectiveness.
For example, a personalized sender name (e.g. “Gavin John”) sees an open rate of 26.4%, compared to a branded name (e.g. “StoneShot”), which receives an 11.4% open rate. Personalizing the subject line can lead to a 43% higher open rate of emails. What these statistics have in common is that they both indicate that a user is more likely to interact with an email when they feel like a human is on the other side rather than a company.
Segmented email lists can help financial marketers create more targeted, customisable content as well. Email lists with less than 500 users typically perform best because each segmented list should have a personalized message that makes the receiver feel as though they’re the only one being spoken to and that their specific needs are being addressed.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating a personalized email marketing experience for customers. You can use segmentation to create targeted email lists, remove bounced and unsubscribed users from lists, and put a preference center in place to store your clients’ activity and interests. This enables you to send many versions of the same email, personalized to each recipient, at once.
First, listen to the customer. Then, create the content.
According to a recent Demand Gen report, 67% of B2B buyers rely more on content to research and make purchasing decisions than they did the previous year. However, three out of four B2B buyers say they have less time to view the content. That means you have to create targeted content that offers value to prospects and customers. Rather than creating hundreds of blog posts that a prospect won’t read, share a few pieces of compelling content that the prospect can use as research to inform their habits and purchasing decisions.
It’s also critical to reach customers where they are. PwC’s 2018 Digital Banking Consumer Survey found that 15% of banking customers now use their mobile device as their main platform for interacting with their account, which was up from 10% just one year prior. That shift toward mobile should inform your marketing strategy, from the length of your content to the format and ease of consumption across different channels.
Whether you’re an asset manager marketing to broker dealers and advisors, or an advisor marketing to your investor clients and prospects, properly targeting your content to the receiver when and where they want to read it is paramount.
To secure the much-desired trust and attention of customers and clients, financial marketers need to create a human, personalized experience that feels like a one-to-one interaction. The ones that do will be the ones who win in the increasingly competitive attention economy.
If you’d like to learn more about StoneShot and how we can help your firm secure the attention of advisors, we’d love to chat.