3 Reasons Email Marketing Should Be Top of Mind for Banking Executives

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Effective email marketing is a critical component to enterprise-level companies who want to compete in today’s market, and this could not be more true than in the world of banking.

In Banking Industry Outlook 2016Deloitte US noted that the banking industry is still one of the least trusted industries by consumers, taking much of the blame for the 2008 financial crash. As a result, Deloitte said banks must prioritize building sustainable brand equity and providing an impeccable customer experience for their customers.



Strategic email marketing contributes significantly to these goals. Every email a financial institution sends carries a message about the brand. Opt-in alerts and automated messages communicate service and security. Relevant and personalized content shows customers that the institution understands their unique needs. Marketing emails are limited to those topics where the customer expresses interest. Control over email frequency and subject matter lets the customer tailor their experience.

Banks have a number of key touch-points where they interact with their consumers, and the inbox is one of them. Here are three ways banks can improve their email marketing and use it to build their brand.

1. You’ve Got Mail

More than 40 years in existence, email marketing is still king when it comes to return on investment and customer acquisition. The email marketing industry was $1.5 billion in 2010 and is expected to reach $6.5 billion by 2018. In our research conducted in partnership with The Relevancy Group and outlined in our Email Trends and Best Practices report, marketers said that email generated the highest revenue for businesses at 20%, beating out returns on mobile, display, and social. In a survey by MarketingSherpa, 75% of social media addicts said that email was still their channel of choice for important messages and marketing. While social media may be the modern neighborhood or public square, email is still the digital living room.

2. Let Them Have Data

In finance, analysts with the best information can typically make the best decisions. The same goes for marketing. Marketers need access to the most current information to effectively meet buyers’ expectations and deliver a personalized experience to each and every customer. When MessageGears and The Relevancy Group surveyed 300 mid-level and enterprise marketers about email marketing, respondents said that access to data was THE most important element to email success – beating out analytics, automation, and creative services.So why is access to data an issue? Many companies rely on cloud services to store portions of their data, and retrieving this information can be time-consuming and risky. Customer data may also be held in different departments and vendor tools, requiring time and I.T. involvement to locate and retrieve. The ability to access real-time data and information relevant to a sale is key to marketing success. Consider performing a technology audit to identify what data should be moved to a centralized database. Following the audit, you can explore solutions that allow you to bridge silos while saving functional processes like processing and delivery for the cloud. With more data at their fingertips, marketers can quickly tap into the customers’ complete profiles and histories so they can be more creative and responsive with the ways they segment emails and target their marketing.



So why is access to data an issue? Many companies rely on cloud services to store portions of their data, and retrieving this information can be time-consuming and risky. Customer data may also be held in different departments and vendor tools, requiring time and I.T. involvement to locate and retrieve. The ability to access real-time data and information relevant to a sale is key to marketing success. Consider performing a technology audit to identify what data should be moved to a centralized database. Following the audit, you can explore solutions that allow you to bridge silos while saving functional processes like processing and delivery for the cloud. With more data at their fingertips, marketers can quickly tap into the customers’ complete profiles and histories so they can be more creative and responsive with the ways they segment emails and target their marketing.

3. Keep it Secure

When a company is hacked and customer data is stolen, the impact is largely negative and long-lasting. Customers are inconvenienced and assume the company was either unprepared or negligent, both reasons to take their accounts elsewhere. The company inevitably loses the public’s trust, and their profits decline. This could not be more true than in the banking industry. Security in banking, when dealing with people’s money, assets, resources, and accounts, is paramount. Moreover, banks must comply with countless legal regulations and requirements.

In the SaaS model, clients of an email vendor are required to send pieces of customer data back and forth between the vendor and their internal database, putting them at a greater security risk and taking up precious time that could be used for real-time communications. Businesses can improve their data security and turn-around by keeping key information behind their own firewall in their internal database and utilizing a solution like MessageGears to access it directly.



Returning to Deloitte’s Banking Industry Outlook, experts say that the banking industry is experiencing an unprecendented disruption that will transform the financial and capital markets. Competition is fierce and technology is upending many long-standing rules and players. Banks have a golden opportunity to wow their customers and introduce relevant new products with the emails they send. They can either show how advanced, personalized, cost-effective, and useful they are, or they can prove themselves obsolete and out of touch.

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