Email Marketing for Financial Services and Banks (Selection and strategy Guide)

Email marketing for enterprise financial services is something completely different than your typical, webshop around the corner marketing strategy. You have probably seen stats on the amazing ROI of the email channel. It makes you wonder, as a financial institution or Bank can email marketing bring home those results for us?

Luckily, it can. With the right strategy and tools, automated email marketing is the most effective channel in your arsenal. So go on a ride with us with this guide specific to email marketing for financial services.

This guide will show you how to make the most of financial services email marketing:


  • What is Email Marketing for Financial Services and Banks
  • Walk through the success factors for selection of the right email marketing software
  • Show the process of selection of new software
  • Examples of real life campaigns, with each, you get details on what you need from your ESP (Email service provider) to make them a success.

First, let’s unravel the different pieces that make up email marketing for the finance and banking industry.

What is Email Marketing for Financial Services and Banks, really?

The most straightforward definition of email marketing for financial services is “the use of the email channel to promote products and/or financial services.”

That might be a bit too simplistic because if a profitable industry like finance would invest a tad more in email marketing, they would see opens, clicks and conversions increase dramatically.

What do financial services like banking, credit card companies, insurance, stock and investment products, etc have in common? They are all built around trust and relationships.

So you can do with a better definition:

The definition of Email Marketing for Financial Services is the use of the email channel and marketing automation to develop relationships with potential customers and clients.

This means sending personalised emails to clients and interested prospects.

Nurture them with interesting content, inform them about their products and advance through the sales cycle. Warm email subscribers up to your financial services through value-added marketing and service communication.

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Benefits of a well-executed email marketing strategy for banks and financial services

Research by Econsultancy shows that almost three-quarters (73%) of companies rate email marketing as either ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ when it comes to Return on Investment. The DMA shows an amazing 4200% ROI on average.

Email as a digital marketing channel has been around for a long time, and is still performing as one of the strongest channels. While there is no “email vs. other channels”, when it comes to channel effectiveness, most financial companies should look to invest more in email.

Benefits of a well-executed email marketing strategy for banks and financial services:

1. Acquire more customers with lower Acquisition Costs

With a limited number of net new prospects in the market and fierce competition, low Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) may seem like pie in the sky for most financial services marketers. Especially the larger ones.

The potential lifetime value of a new customer is so high, that financial brands end up pouring tons of money into paid media in the hopes of filling their sales funnel.

Yet, according to research from the Digital Growth Institute, 87% of financial brands do not have a solid lead generation strategy powered by marketing automation. That’s a big opportunity – as email marketing automation is a technology that can help transform your financial brand from good to great.

An email opt-in is one of the most valuable pieces of data a Financial Services Institution (FSI) can get from a consumer. So smart marketers include the email channel in all campaigns designed to attract new customers.

Quick email marketing wins to lower customer acquisition costs:

  • Increase the effectiveness of paid media by offering sign-ups for your newsletter and specific downloads on your campaign landing pages.
  • Improve the impact of your content marketing by converting visitors to contacts and leads.
  • Bring contacts back to the site through email and set fresh cookies to open the door to retargeting campaigns.
  • Identify your best customers and use their email addresses to target look-a-likes in paid media.

2. Get a bigger share of Wallet

Most financial institutions are aware of the unbundling trend. It is not as typical as it used to be for a customer to get all their financial services from one (main) provider.

This started way back with Paypal coming to the market, airlines offering branded credit cards, car financing and lease and insurance options with bigger purchases, etc.

Industry blurring means that other “disruptors” that typically didn’t offer financial services are bundling in or widening their offers and becoming your competition. Feel free to think of Amazon as your new competition in finance.

financial world email marketing

Open banking, whether you are a strong proponent or not, is likely to accelerate the competitive trend (it was designed to open the market). Customers will get to see the effect of it.

You don’t have to be a frontrunner in the digital transformation wave to know that all financial institutions stand to reinvent themselves. As simple as it may sound, the closer you are to the customer and their online life, the better the position is to offer additional services and products or introduce new ones.

And in financial services, cross- and upselling literally means share of wallet.

3. Follow through with Marketing Automation and Lead nurturing

With an email opt-in, the door is now open to develop the customer relationship. The email address is like a life-line: It’s critical for identifying customers across digital channels and on multiple devices. While an opt-in allows you to stay in touch and nurture the campaigns.

Content marketing for financial services is great to drive initial traffic when people are looking for specific information. Create a calculator, pre-recorded webinar, downloadable guide or an email training course, but follow through by staying in touch with a carefully designed nurturing flow.

A long path to Purchase requires lead nurturing
The path to purchase in finance can be quite extensive. Financial products aren’t impulse purchases.

  • In the insurance category, research by google showed that the vast majority of shoppers take a month or more to go from decision to action.
  • Insurance shoppers used an average of 11.7 sources of information to help make their purchase decision, with 40% using email as one of the main sources of information.
financial shopper purchase cycle

This shows that finance is usually above the cross-industry average, where 50% of leads aren’t ready to buy at the time of the first contact. So lead nurturing – especially through email – is the smartest way for marketers like us to reach them. Create a privileged position for current and future needs with your prospects.

By presenting the email sign-up earlier in the consumer journey, financial marketers can increase the number of new leads (more than lower in the funnel), learn what a person is interested in and identify intent to buy, before any other.

4. Increase conversions & sales

Direct communication with your customers will result in a direct increase in revenue. No matter what the customer journey looks like, engage with your audience. By sending regular newsletters, promotions and triggered emails, there will be a sizable impact on sales conversion.

5. Improve Retention and Loyalty

Marketing often misses a big part of financial services success. Results increase by simply focusing on keeping your existing customers. In this super-connected world, you have to pull out the stocks and ensure customers remain engaged with your brand. Where satisfaction with your product and services isn’t nearly enough.

For example, credit card vendors offer additional benefits and savings programs, and work together with airlines in their miles program, merely to differentiate.

Email allows you to work on “relationship finance” as one of the most direct channels.

Make sure your customers experience value – even when they are passively using your services
and you will be an obvious choice when their next life event triggers them to (re)consider services.

6. Reduce costs with proactive customer service

While service costs aren’t the first thing you’d think about, we live in a world where self-service is preferred by most middle- and younger-aged (the exception might be with the senior aged segment, or as they are sometimes referred to, “Silver Surfers”).

Email is a great channel to be proactive in customer service, and lower the costs of alternative channels like your call center or face-to-face advice. Guide customers through a welcome or onboarding program for their new services.

Similarly, customers can do self-assessments and go through an online process to get advice, handle claims, make service requests, etc.

7. Improve the customer experience

While a great product or service is essential to the success of your brand, financial services companies are expected to offer a first-class customer experience as well.

In this Age of Assistance, people expect their customer experiences to be frictionless, personal, and helpful. Rather than seeing customer experience as just a transaction, marketers should consider Customer Experience post-sales. The complete journey includes developing a relationship between your brand and your customers.

The best ways to meet and exceed customers’ expectations:

  • Personalize your service and marketing
  • Give choices to your customers and cater to their preferences
  • Provide proactive service
  • Be accessible
banner financial email experience

To offer a smooth customer experience your best bet is to bring marketing, life-cycle and transactional emails to work together. Ideally, you want an email marketing and automation platform that allows you to create and send all of them.

What you’ll need from your financial services ESP:

  • Integration with main database and other pieces of MarTech
  • Easily plan automated customer journey messaging, including service journeys

Chapter 1: How to pick the best email marketing and automation software for financial services and banking.

Your marketing and communication strategy will determine what the best email marketing software is for you. First, know what you want to do (strategy and tactics) and which requirements your strategy brings along. These wishes effectively create a blueprint to find the ideal software vendor.

Note that all email marketing tools can send a basic newsletter, so, at first glance, it might seem like they are (mostly) the same, but they certainly aren’t. A proper selection will bring this to the surface.

A Step by step ESP selection process might look something like this:

  1. Inventorize your email marketing plans for the coming period
  2. Create a list of requirements and what you are looking for
  3. Get in touch with the right vendors (long- and shortlist)
  4. Pick the right email service provider based on your evaluation and proposals

It doesn’t have to be in this order though, if you are doing a selection completely in-house but haven’t selected MarTech in this category before, step 1 and 2 can be tough to go through without already having a feel for the vendors and what they can do.

Vendors can help with their knowledge and inform your strategy and requirements as well.

Or you could read on and already get an idea of what to look at. 😀

The features you need for your email marketing software

What makes the best financial services email tool for you? Let’s start with the must-haves every business needs and then go into more detail on features that are especially important email marketing services in finance and banking.

The essentials that every business needs from its email marketing software:

  1. An intuitive drag-and-drop email builder and software interface that makes it simple to create responsive email newsletters and transactional emails. Your emails need to look right with the right branding. Your template must be built to render and display properly, in all email clients.
  2. Detailed reporting and email statistics to analyse the effectiveness of the emails and improve the emails you send.
  3. Structured subscriber administration that allows you to manage your contact lists easily. Feed the commercial opt-ins and profile information into your back-office systems.
  4. Advanced segmentation and personalisation features, so you can select targeted audience segments and send personalised messages to each of your subscribers, clients or leads.
  5. First-class email deliverability, the infrastructure and expertise to ensure your emails reach the inbox.
  6. Strong marketing automation tools, helping you manage planned customer/ subscriber journeys and behavior-based triggered emailing.
  7. Proper account management and technical customer support at the level you require. The level of knowledge and service will have a big impact on your channel success.
  8. Industry knowledge and references In finance marketing automation, it is not just about finding the right software, an ESP should ideally also have References and other clients in the finance industry. Industry knowledge and email marketing best practices in finance to share.

Let’s go into more detail as we cover the most important features for the finance industry.

Specific needs to find the best email marketing software in Finance

What are the financial services specific features to look for in your software? Let’s list them in more detail mixed with some expert insights.

select email marketing software titanic comic illustration

1. Finance email automation throughout the customer journey

A modern marketer wants to support the complete customer lifecycle and customer journey through marketing automation.

All financial businesses should have a welcome program, profile enrichment, lead follow-up, re-engagement, and win-back campaigns. Email automation increases the scale and relevance of these emails, without running out of time.

You can build sophisticated drip campaigns based on customer actions. It’s a must that your ESP includes a visual automation builder, so you can drag-and-drop campaign elements on a canvas and manage all the campaigns in the customer journey.

The best financial email automation solution must include:

  • Deep integration that includes personalisation in the journey emails
  • Triggered emails based on profile and customer action
  • Customer journey builder that makes it easy to draw and manage campaigns on a canvas.

2. Real-Time Email Campaigns and data

Email is often used for time-sensitive communication. Think about payment reminders, low balance alerts, changes to credit score, deadlines approaching for using loyalty points, etc. Timeliness and up-to-date data is important for two reasons:

1. You want to prevent that the banking and account information is out-of-date by the time it reaches the customer. It’s particularly important for segmented email, or triggered emails that are automated.

2. You want to make sure, that your mails get to the inbox on time. Obviously, with alerts and receipts, requested documents and downloads or password reset emails, customers expect timely delivery. And not doing so breaks the (otherwise possibly delightful) customer experience.

Real-time email marketing means that:

  • The email marketing software can handle data in real-time and integrate with the core customer database, without extra costs.
  • Audience selections and segmentation can be static where the group is selected and doesn’t change, or “dynamic” where the selection is updated in real-time to reflect the changes in the dataset.
  • Triggered emails are handled and sent out without delay.
  • Quickly send out mass communications – for instance for alerts and legal changes, and send emails to potentially millions of users. On that note: You never want to be the biggest client an ESP has. So be sure to ask about volume and throughput times. High volume sending in combination with solid deliverability is something many smaller, SMB email service providers aren’t equipped to do.
Case in point: One of the case examples of real-time automated workflows that credit management company Findomestic (part of BNP Paribas) together with their ESP MagNews, anticipates customers who have interrupted filling their financing application form.

The customers get a follow-up and when they return to the website, the request for funding remains populated and continues to display any previously entered information.

3. Security and privacy measures

Data security is a real concern in the financial and banking industry. Finance has always been a frontrunner to mitigate risks of any kind. Not surprisingly, it is common for financials to invest millions to manage data and communication securely.

Data breaches are a big potential risk, while trust and security are key for customer relationships in the financial services industry.

So your new email automation platform should provide a high level of security. Security layers should be built in, so they work without elaborate technical knowledge from platform users. Here are some of the requirements to look into:

Secure Email Encryption
Encrypt your communications by setting how and when to enable Transport Layer Security (TLS) for email delivery from source to destination. Meaning that no one could read the emails except the intended. This is a best practice, especially for sensitive content.

Encryption also means that emails sent to recipients whose email providers do not support an encrypted channel can be omitted from sending.

For these non-encrypted recipients, you can choose an alternative path, such as sending a less classified email, or even a different channel like SMS or direct mail.

Another layer of security can be formed by Data encryption at rest.

Email Authentication and DMARC
DKIM signing, SPF and DMARC compliance, these authentication protocols you want to certify that you are indeed the sender of your messages.

Authentication is good for deliverability and to prevent spoofing and phishing as much as possible. Spoofing is a big problem in finance, where people with bad intent send fake emails that seem to come from you. At least with DMARC you can monitor and take action against senders that try to use your sending domain. As a financial institution, you want to send from your own (sub)domains and deny any others that try sending in your name.

ISO certification and security processes
You can ask for security procedures and certifications both at the level of the Data Center and the ESP. Often Banks and financial institutions will require their vendors to be ISO certified.

ISO 27001 is the best-known standard. Among other things, it provides requirements for an information security management system (ISMS). An ISMS is a systematic approach to managing sensitive company information so that it remains secure. Including people, processes and IT systems by applying a risk management process.

Email clusters and uptime
When it comes to software and servers, one of the best ways you can hedge the continuity of performance is by increasing the availability. In IT jargon, this is known as a Cluster rather than a single-server email software. Simply put, if you split the sending on three (or more) machines instead of one, you’re creating a setting where if one server is unavailable, load-balancing switches to another and keeps you up and running.

Two-factor login authentication (2FA)
Passwords can be hacked or stolen, two-factor authentication is a better way to keep the bad guys away from your systems and data. With 2FA, logins take two steps to get access. Step one is username and password, additionally an SMS or app verification code, USB key or similar.

Action points to get email security in place for your financial institution:

  • Ask for Incident response policies, Penetration tests & network scans
  • Review ISO certification or similar data processes
  • Have a sit down with the Data Protection Officer

4. Legal: Possibility for (custom) Service Level Agreement (SLA) and contracts to be up to in-house standards

A Service Level Agreement has the agreed-upon terms of a company and their customers that makes sure the email marketing services provided meet set standards (like uptime, responsiveness, etc.).

Some Email Marketing providers have quite weak, unenforceable or blanket SLA’s and won’t be willing to offer a stronger or tailored SLA or have a very limited penalty for not achieving the service level, which makes it hardly a priority.

A standard SLA might include overly extensive exclusions, registering everything under maintenance, or not sharing uptime information unless the client reports it. Also, some of the question marks can be placed at wordings like “commercially reasonable efforts”, without defining what it means.

As financial services companies usually have more compliance and legal staff and are pretty strict on the legal requirements, it is good to take note if the vendor can work with you on creating the agreements and SLA to match the level you need.

Action points to get the best email marketing service for finance:

  • Check their standard Service Level Agreements and example contracts
  • Ask if there is a custom SLA is an option
  • Get legal involved early in the process to review and point out any concerns

5. User Rights and rights management

People in the Financial services industry will need good rights management for their applications. This means varying degrees of access to data and permissions to the email marketing software.

Some examples of rights management:

  • While a copywriter or junior marketer can write and create email campaigns, they might be limited to access individual customer level data.
  • Some of the texts and images can be edited, while other parts – like branding and footer / legal information are locked and can only be edited by certain users.
  • Functions like database field changes, or data in- and exports are locked and only available to those that need them.
  • The tool might have workflow management and quality assurance built-in, so email can’t be sent before getting an OK by for instance legal / compliance.
  • When a company has different brands or departments working independently, there should be a strict separation of databases.

Permission levels will most typically be role-based and can be adjusted person by person depending on their use of the platform.

6. On-premises email marketing services, Cloud ESP, or Hybrid?

Today there are a lot of SaaS Cloud providers, but a few industries like finance, banking and government, still look for on-premise email marketing solutions or MTA.

On-premise email marketing systems reside, as the name says, on a company’s premises (physical) or on their private servers. In Finance, marketers consider in-house email solutions due to the ability to maintain control over production and integration with other applications and platforms.

on-premise email marketing solutions

Aside from possible effectiveness and cost efficiency, IT and compliance can consider an on-premise email solution because they can maintain control as well as the security argument of having data stored in the business’ own servers.

Large enterprise clients seeking digital marketing solutions can have internal policies or requirements to keep the data on their side. Especially if it contains Privacy sensitive content.

On-premises can avoid an “uncontrolled” generation of data, which means it is:
– Easier to trace the data in case of GDPR information or access requests.
– Quick access to data, without need for third-party activity,
– Greater control over data retention times, even at low levels, like database logs.
– Less risk of data exposure, because of a small attack surface no sub-suppliers, fewer systems.

Some companies opt for on-premise solutions due to its compliance with government and their own data regulations (avoiding storage in countries that don’t guarantee data privacy).

Like Bank of America CTO David Reilly says about why they didn’t move to the Cloud: “I don’t have to solve the security questions that come with using the public cloud. Such as where data is stored, who has access to it, whether the bank will have access to capacity when needed.”

In some cases, an on-premise email marketing tool is deployed as Hybrid. That means the complete software and data remains local. The emails are created on the private server, then sent through a cloud email relay that handles the delivery.

Email software selection tips:

  • Decide if an on-premise email marketing solution is a desired option or requirement for you early in the process.
    A lot of SaaS providers don’t offer an on-premise version of their tools, so if you want to host locally, you can save a lot of time and focus on the right email marketing service for your financial business from the start.
  • Additionally, look for those that can offer a cluster (with multiple servers) to increase the availability and uptime.
  • Maintenance and user support should be available similar to any SaaS software.

7. Advanced segmentation and personalisation

Before we dive into the different types of email marketing campaigns, lets touch on segmentation and personalised marketing.

One of the main challenges of marketing in financial services is that there are so many different types of customers. The challenge is to address all groups with specific messages for them. Since financial relationships aren’t one size fits all, marketers agree that customer personas and using segmentation is critical. Simply put: blasting all your relationships with the same offer is not the way to optimize results.

With the advent of DIY financial services and smart banking, each customer expects to get a product or service tailored to their individual needs. Marketing preferences, behavior and profile-driven over the selection of channels most suitable for them. This approach drives customer satisfaction.

segmented marketing messages finance

And it is an important change.

Along with simplicity and speed, customers expect personalized communication. In fact, 40% of banking customers listed more personalized service as a reason to switch financial providers.

It’s important to understand that creating a marketing strategy for your financial service doesn’t have to focus on just one or two customer fixed segments or data types. You can segment your strategy and communication by any type of available data.

8. Technical know-how, customization, legacy

In banking and finance, the technical infrastructure is often a point of concern.

A large structured company, such as a bank, insurer or financial services institution, has to consider the Technical Debt from legacy systems as they transition to new systems for marketing processes. The idea is to expect and mitigate it in advance.

There are already MarTech and database solutions in place. The new tools must be able to adapt to the language of many systems. This allows data transition and manipulation to be as seamless as possible.

It is also quite likely that there is some legacy software that will stay in use. Often it is not a priority for being replaced yet, so email marketing software needs to work together well with other parts of the MarTech stack. Select a vendor (or implementation partner) with know-how on how to create custom integrations, business processes or even API or Apps that will serve as personalized web services.

Email marketing service selection tips:

  • Make a list of all your MarTech, databases and legacy systems.
  • Work with a vendor or integration partner that has the technical know-how to connect the dots.
  • Make custom wishes (dashboards, integrations) clear, early on in your selection.

Selecting the best email marketing software for financial services

In a world of DIY (Do It Yourself) Finance, the digital channel allows you to service customers as they want. At the same time, you want to use customer data in a safe, secure way, to tailor better offers and support.

Now that we have gone through the different sections to look at when finding the best email marketing service you have an understanding of what is important or not.

But soon you will find that it is not only a question of “if” a vendor offers a feature, but also “how well” they do it and that is something you can only experience by getting very practical.

Your email strategy is the roadmap to channel success. As you lay out your tactics, it becomes clear where the opportunities lay and what you need from your ESP to succeed. So let’s look at the email campaigns you should be running and the requirements that come from those.

Chapter 3. Effective email marketing campaigns for financial services and banks

Financial services companies are expected to offer a smooth customer experience. Which is why your best bet is to bring marketing, life-cycle and transactional emails to work together. Ideally, you need an email solution that allows you to create and send all of them.

Unlike other industries, an effective financial email marketing strategy is not only about attracting new customers and up- or cross-selling. Retention, customer experience, transactional messages, and service are important to build trust and loyalty.

47% of banking providers send over 10 email campaigns per month. But what are the most effective email marketing campaign types for financial services and banks?

email campaigns financial stats

Here is a quick overview of the different email types in Finance:

1. Financial services Newsletters that pack a punch

A newsletter is not only about the latest breaking financial news. Of course, you can use the newsletter for branding and informing the subscribers on what is the state of their products. A newsletter can offer tips, ideas, and insights and make them informative to increase financial literacy.

Don’t just send a standard newsletter, try and gain interest with topics that will get your customers engaged.

By aligning your newsletter to your content calendar and promotions, it makes for an informative and useful newsletter program for your subscribers….

intuit email marketing newsletter turbotax

And you can also offer breaking news, if you want.

What you want from a financial ESP to send newsletters emails:

  • Create engaging emails with embedded images, video, maps, etc.
  • Design campaigns quickly & easily using branded templates
  • Personalisation and dynamic content in the emails

2. Loyal Customer Reward and savings programs

The majority of our financial life is online. Online banking makes it possible to open a bank account without even setting foot into a branch, so somehow we need to build a “long-distance relationship” without a lot of face-to-face time.

With loyalty programs and nurturing flows, banks or financial services like credit card companies, reward their loyal members through points, travel, discounts, exclusive membership offers.

To stimulate loyalty programs, many financial services companies make use of data analysis to find their most valuable customers (eRFM) and likeliness to churn. These and participation in rewards programs make a good basis for a segmented approach to loyalty marketing.

A strong loyalty program has a combination of active participation, an emotional and a rewards component.

Incentivize and stimulate your customers to “earn and burn” (if they have a big point balance) and start using the premium features and rewards. Automated emails make sure customer rewards information is always up-to-date, encouraging them to take action faster and use their points more frequently.

finddomestic financial email automation rewards

This is a good example of an email campaign by Findomestic (BNP Paribas). An “earn and burn” email, stimulating point redemption. The message shows the current points balance and gives a couple of suggestions to redeem prizes with the current balance. The call to action asks to login to the club portal, and redeem (or browse other rewards). A side effect is the extra attention given (top of mind) to the benefits, which in turn can stimulate to use the card more often.

What you want from a financial ESP to send newsletters emails:

  • Personalisation of emails, points balance and suggested rewards
  • Automated triggered campaigns, based on points tiers, date (or other data points).
  • Integration with backend systems

3. Welcome new subscribers with a welcome series & Onboarding emails

Welcome emails allow you to have a first soft-touch with your newly registered subscriber. Start on the right (but automated) foot and begin building out that relationship. Marketers typically see 3x higher engagement on their welcome emails.

A welcome email is the perfect place to:

  • Introduce your product and brand
  • Manage expectations and build a bit of excitement on what’s to come
  • Ask for preferences and enrich their profile so you can send targeted emails later.
square financial welcome email

This financial email example from payment provider Square shows a lot of the onboarding email trademarks. Once a business has registered with Square,they receive an email to get acquainted with all they have to offer. A marketplace, product addition, rewards program, analytics and more.

A welcome or onboarding email doesn’t have to stop at a single email. A welcome sequence can be a planned out automated email drip series that divides the content over a longer period of time.

4. Financial literacy program

A financial literacy program is used to raise awareness and encourage financial action. Banks, credit unions and other financial institutions often include it as part of their overall content strategy.

The following categories can give you an idea of typical financial literacy topics that are used:

  • Kids/Youth Savings Programs
  • Home Buying
  • Debt Management
  • Building Credit
  • Basic Budgeting and financial responsibility
  • Safe Banking – Fraud Protection
barclaycard financial credit-card profile enrichment email

5. Invitations and event promotion

Offline and online events can be an important part of your financial services marketing. Whether it is a “Lunch and Learn” series run as a brand, a roadshow with local events, sponsorship or bigger shows you are a part of. If you are organising an event, you want the right people to attend and get the full experience.

Using basic Marketing Automation, you can send a series of email, push, SMS messages and even a combo with direct mail to communicate with the contact before, during, and after an event.

Tip: Email capture at Live events
Not everyone attending bigger shows will already be a lead or contact. There are applications that work on tablets and smart devices to allow for the quick and easy capture of contacts generated from offline activities (trade shows, events, in-store, sales network), and integrate them in real-time with the customer database. That way, the event is the begin of a personal dialogue through email/SMS with leads starting from the live meeting at the event.

With an on-site sign up app, you can:

  • Create an unlimited number of forms
  • Use your own graphics, color scheme, and branding
  • Manage permissions and access to the email capture App
  • Visualize reporting on new financial service leads
  • User-friendly privacy management and personalized forms

6. Cross and Up-Selling email campaigns

With Marketing Automation, you can create cross and up-selling workflows. Trigger an email send containing products/services related to your customer’s historical purchases.

While the style of cross and up-selling is unique to each company, it always requires a shift from a product push to a relationship deepening and customer-focused strategy.

With a subscriber profile in hand, relevant product offers and recommendations lead to meaningful outcomes. Customer development in the sense of cross and up-selling campaigns.

HSBC financial services email cross upsell

This well-timed example email campaign from HSBC is sent a couple of weeks after opening a new bank account online.

The tone-of-voice is helpful, personal and a “we’ll be there” trust-building message. But don’t be fooled by the “welcome” in the headline. This is definitely a multi-purpose email campaign, whose main call to action is to encourage an individual financial review and “discover more”. You know where that is going: identifying whether the customer is in need of other products and services.

7. Transactional emails and receipts

Transactional emails are system-triggered emails, based on a user’s activity (e.g., confirmation for submitting a form), or messages that are planned to go out on a fixed schedule (e.g., monthly statement overviews or receipts). Password notifications, alerts and reminders are more examples of transactional email.

Financial services send millions of transactional emails each month. Transactional emails contain very valuable information for customers, so it is logical that transactional emails get very high engagement. Typically transactional emails can have 6-8x more opens and clicks than any other type of email, and can generate a multitude of revenue versus standard marketing mails.

Yet, often these are generated through backend systems and lack customer life-cycle awareness and / or branding. In these cases, marketing is hardly able to attribute a marketing value or do any testing on them.

Here are two examples of transactional emails in finance: Paypal sending you a message (if activated) each time you receive a payment in your account and Chase Bank sending a confirmation that a credit card payment has been set up.

paypal payment reciept transactional email small
chase creditcard payment-statements transactional email small

What you need from your ESP to send these financial transactional emails:

  • Integrates flawlessly, securely, and reliably with backend systems
  • Automation that handles recurring (time-based) triggers and action-based mails
  • Ability to use recognizable branding and design, email editor
  • Use of separate subdomains to separate the flow from marketing emails
  • Top deliverability and email delivery monitoring

The best financial and banking email marketing tactics

Financial services email marketing is an effective way to grow brand and engagement with customers. Email marketing campaigns are by definition easy to set up, but marketing often misses a big part of financial services success. Conversions increase by simply focusing on your existing customers. Give your customers a better customer experience through email marketing.

At the same time, there is so much that can be done with the email to lower Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) and get new customers in the door.

This is what makes your email marketing golden:

  • Understand which email campaigns and tactics are most effective.
  • Pick the features you need and select the best financial email marketing software.
  • Use our campaign examples as a reference when you’re building your own campaigns.

The best email marketing automation software for finance will help you grow and continue to acquire new customers, without getting in your way. So go and create campaigns that increase revenue, engagement, and goodwill for your brand!

About Jordie van Rijn

Jordie van Rijn is an independent email marketing consultant and Analyst. He is the Founder of Email Vendor Selection and specializes in smart email marketing, optimisation and RFP / vendor selection. Named one of "50 Online Marketing Influencers to Watch " by Entrepreneur magazine.

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