GI Insight Study: Financial Services Need to Improve E-CRM


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The latest study by database marketing specialist GI Insight has revealed that e-CRM (communicating via e-channels such as email) in the financial services sector is considered by customers to be below average. Improvement in this area is vital given that consumers are willing to be contacted via this channel. The study asked respondents about their willingness to give ‘permission to email’ and found that 74.4% of UK adults have given permission in the last six months to at least one company they buy from regularly. More surprisingly, 39.9% have given permission to at least one company they have not yet bought from.

This statistic provides a major validation of the efficacy of collecting permission emails from the customer base. However, marketers in the sector must not be seduced by the low cost of email and place over-reliance on this medium to meet their revenue generation targets. Anecdotal evidence from actual practitioners shows that combining email marketing with direct mail produces conversion-to-sale rates seven to ten times higher than when email is used stand-alone.

The results of this survey should act as a wake-up call for financial services firms to start re-thinking their channel strategies, whether for cross-selling or for affinity activity, to stay ahead of the competition.

Andy Wood, Managing Director, GI Insight, comments: “Our new study underlines the importance and potential return on investment from systematic gathering of permission emails, whether from existing customers, or from enquirers who have not yet bought but who have declared some sort of interest. Banking, Credit Card, and Mortgage Finance are all experiencing heightened levels of competition, in part as a result of the credit crunch and an impending recession. And, UK banks, despite investments of millions in CRM systems, still only have, on average, less than two products-per-customer.

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