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8 tips for successful email marketing for banks


You’ve just returned to work after a seven-day vacation at a resort in some tropical locale, only to be greeted by an email inbox that has you wanting to look for a flight back to paradise.

We’ve all been there. Do you find yourself sifting through unread messages on your mobile phone during your time away from work because you don’t want to return to a mountain of unread email?

So as a marketer who knows that email marketing is vital to your overall bank marketing strategy, how do you make sure your message makes the cut?

Here are some tips for a successful email marketing campaign:

1. Establish goals.

Do you want to increase the number of mortgage applications, new checking accounts or mobile application downloads? The content created or curated should further those goals.

2. Craft a subject line that carries a sense of urgency or requires an action.

Avoid generalizations like “monthly newsletter” or “weekly updates.” Instead, consider using “Mortgage rates are at an all-time low! Respond now to lock in your rate.” Or “Improve your credit score with these five tips.” In a world where time is at a premium, we must help the consumer make the most of it.

3. Remember readability.

Sit down with your marketing team to wire frame each section of the newsletter. Make sure the email template design is organized and easy to follow. You can do this by utilizing visual cues, like line breaks or call-to-action buttons, and place evergreen information in the same section of the email. For example, you could place your mortgage and auto loan rates in the upper right-hand corner of the template. If you plan to share an article from your blog, consider putting that in the same section each month, as well.

4. Include ‘real’ photography.

It is a proven fact that consumers will read only about 20% of the words on any electronic page. However, if you utilize photos in the newsletter, it will increase readership, so make sure to insert non-stock photography. Not only do photos increase readership, but photos are also a great way to create a relationship with your consumer. When you include photos of actual people who work for your bank or credit union — or even well-known people in your community — your newsletter (as well as your bank or credit union) gains credibility and trust! And trust is an essential element in any banking relationship.

5. Be consistent.

You must set a schedule for your email marketing campaign. Whether you determine your schedule to be once a day (which I never would suggest), once a week or even once a month, the customer will begin to expect an email from your organization. The biggest key to determining the frequency will be figuring out what is manageable for your marketing team to execute. You don’t want to decide on weekly communications and then realize after a few weeks that you don't have enough content to populate weekly communications. Or vice versa: you have communications that need more immediate action but only send out communications once a quarter.

6. Don’t forget the calls to action.

The whole point of the newsletter is to get the customer to act. If you want them to call, make sure to include that message with the phone number. If you want them to apply online for a loan, make sure to insert the link to apply. It may seem simple, but so many companies forget this simple step.

7. Analyze.

After the campaign is completed, go back and analyze the data. Many email newsletter services offer analytics, and it’s imperative that you see what worked and what didn’t work as you prepare your next campaign. Go back to your goals and measure the success of the campaign against those goals. If you don't have an email service that offers analytics, we recommend HubSpot (paid) or MailChimp (free).

8. Don’t sell. Solve!

Finally, but most importantly, your email marketing should be mostly educational and non-promotional. People know when they are being sold. Come alongside your customer to advise and encourage. Establish the relationship first. Once trust has been established, sales will come.

If you would like help in setting up an email template design or managing an email marketing campaign for your bank or credit union, reach out to BrownBoots.

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