By Stafford Sumner, Managing Director of Jarrang
The financial services industry has a fundamental need to be compliant and accurate, however in 2021, and especially in the current climate, any communication needs to be approachable, fun and simple – something that the retail banking challengers such as Metro, Monzo and Klarna have done well. How can this increasingly more expected style of communication and marketing be adopted by the more established players in the sector?
Email Marketing: The Old Kid On The Block
The very nature of the industry means there is often a need to act quickly and communicate with customers in response to the dynamics of the market. When choosing the most appropriate channel for this, often social media wouldn’t offer the personalised approach, and direct mail wouldn’t deliver the message in time – email fills the gap for its speed, accuracy, and targeting but to stand out from the crowd, and be as slick as some of the challengers, the emails themselves need to be both practical and interesting.
Time to Get Personal: Segmentation
There are two key email marketing tools that companies in the financial services arena can utilise to their favour – personalisation and segmentation. Firstly, personalisation isn’t new but hyper-personalisation is increasing in popularity – it allows emails to include real-time content so it’s relevant wherever and whenever the recipient opens it – sharing live market data with clients or brokers for example, whatever time of day or night, gives an edge over other slower moving businesses.
Segmentation is an underutilised tool when it comes to most industries. Depending on the stage of the deal, the state of the market and many of other variables, the information your client needs, is bound to differ. Being able to share relevant information based on their profile, at the right time, demonstrates a greater understanding of the customer journey than most competitors will be able to offer, and the engagement rates will be equally impressive in comparison.
Segmentation and personalisation work independently, but when they work together the results are significantly greater. Sharing live prices or highlighting buy/sell signals for different investors based on their portfolio or interest means that when your email arrives in the clients’ inbox, they’re more likely to see it as an interesting and relevant source of information, not just another message that falls in the junk folder never to be opened. Ultimately, when done correctly, email marketing allows mass messaging whilst retaining the personal touch.
Email Marketing: Long or Short?
Once you know that you’re writing to the right person at the right time through appropriate segmentation, it’s important to consider the difference between short messages and long-form content.
On one hand, short messages with a Call To Action that takes the recipient straight to where they need to be, is an incredibly efficient way of achieving engagement. On the flip side, if the key messages are longer, the quality of the copy in the email has to be top notch to gain the attention of the recipient.
If you want people to take the time to read it, then you have to make sure you’re giving them value, educating them, or entertaining them… essentially giving them a reason to commit to always opening your emails and reading them.
Of course, it’s possible to have a mix of both – but as with every marketing channel, all messages in email marketing need to be carefully considered. Ultimately, do the message, format and objective sit hand in hand?
Capitalising on Email Marketing
A prime example of a financial services company harnessing the power of email marketing is Regency Capital, a premium trading and research service, with whom our team at Jarrang have been working since launch to develop and implement their email marketing strategy.
Case Study – How email marketing works hand-in-hand with the financial services sector
Example: For consumers that had previously engaged with an email campaign about hydrogen stocks, and were therefore interested in this thematic investment, then received a follow up with the above short message campaign which included a single Call To Action to go directly to the longer-read content on the website.
Client: Regency Capital, a premium trading service, providing its clients with a valuable edge in the financial markets
Problem: Ensuring every email sent is engaging for the recipient whilst also complying with the respective financial regulations and maintaining high levels of inbox placement
Solution: Implementing a solid infrastructure to cope with the high volume of emails sends with minimal margin for error; developing a bespoke template that capitalises upon the possibilities of segmentation and personalisation; and working in partnership to provide ongoing advice, insight and analysis to recognise the customer journey and maximise the impact of the channel
From the ongoing campaigns with Regency Capital, we’ve seen consistent inbox placement, which can be more challenging than one might think. Match this with solid engagement rates in terms of opens and clicks, but also conversions and positive feedback from clients on the timely nature of communications – it’s been a winning combination.
So, when we look at the financial services industry and the potential of the relationship with email marketing, there’s so much that can be done to challenge the challengers. Making content more relevant is the first step to success – of course the information needs to be well presented for anyone to engage (goodbye to the don’t judge by a book by its cover quote!), but above all, timing and personalisation is key to engagement. We all recognise that compliancy and accuracy are crucial – but that doesn’t mean you can’t add a splash of personality and colour!