Promoting financial events is exciting – there’s always a buzz, you see lots of preparations. Most importantly, however, it’s a good opportunity for a clearly visible return on investment. Regular emails usually contain a number of catchy phrases, images, freebies and special deals with great urgency to not miss out. However, email marketing for events-based campaigns in financial services is quite different and often rather restrained.

Marketing and Compliance

Financial marketers who create or approve event campaigns have to also assure that all collateral is compliant. For one, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – the regulator in the UK – wants to ensure that all marketing material is “fair, clear and not misleading”. This distinguishes the financial services from other many other industries where you would be able to promote the best aspects of their events or services. In contrast, financial marketers can’t cherry pick data or information about their product or services. It’s thus quite tricky for a marketer to search for promotional angles. But worry not, there are still a few ways to make your events emails stand out.

Measurable Call-to-Action

First of all, always make sure your events emails have a call to action. It can be anything from a save-the-date to an invitation, a reminder or a post-event communication. There’s nothing more frustrating to a recipient than being informed about an event without proper registration instructions. In most cases, save-the-date emails lack good CTAs because they’re usually sent out in the peak of planning when time and resources are running low.

Pro tip: If you do not have a landing page ready at the point of email deployment, offer an easy way for your recipients to add the event info to their calendars. Otherwise, in a few days or a week the email will be lost and your event will be forgotten.

CTA needs to be clearly measurable. Always know what your goal is and how you will track it. It should be different in each event email cycle. For example, you could measure:

  • calendar file downloads
  • requests for a call-back or asking for more information
  • clicks to the event landing page
  • email forwards
  • final registrations

No More Mailto Links

Many asset managers send event emails with a registration call-to-action that contains a mailto link. That means that once the link is clicked, the recipient has to write an email in order to register for the event. Using mailto links is convenient for the sender – coding them is easy too. If you’re HTML-versed you can even put a message in the reply email body, “Yes, I would like to attend” – and hope the recipient just clicks send.

However, mailto links have a caveat – they aren’t bulletproof. To illustrate, many developers report issues with mailto links for Gmail and Yahoo mailboxes, and even Outlook. If you use mailto links, it’s likely that some recipients won’t be able to open them. And what if that is the only way your client can register? All those preparations go to waste…

In many cases you cannot track mailto links, so your metrics won’t indicate the correct engagement. And if the replies are going to an inbox that is managed by sales, it is even more difficult for the marketer to evaluate the performance of the campaign.

The solution? It’s time for financial services brands to embrace web-forms or contact forms. Of course, it will add to your event prep timeline but the job will be allocated to your developers (or StoneShot). The advantages though are considerable. Not only will your campaign look more professional, but you’ll also have all registrations in one place. An added bonus –  you could sync your web-forms with your CRM software, such as the StoneShot Event App. This’ll also give you the option to create automated trigger emails, such as thank you for registering.

A game changer, no?

Watch Those Metrics

Promotional event emails tend to boast high engagement, or at least higher than your average. How wonderful it is to see the open rates reaching 50% and the click-to-opens going as high as 70%! But don’t let that fool you, there’s more to reporting than that.

Events invites in financial services are usually sent to quite a targeted audience – and in most cases it’s not about the reach and scale as it is in many other industries. The number of attendants is usually limited, so marketers work with sales on selecting and inviting people. Therefore, if your metrics aren’t showing a good response, something is not right.

Don’t forget to check total opens – high number of total opens from one recipient might indicate that he or she shared the invite with the colleagues. As scale is not the goal, watch how your click-to-open rates are performing. Always make sure that all your links, file downloads are trackable and utilise engagement time tracking.

To learn more about event marketing management best practices contact us at engage@stoneshot.com.