Email marketing ROI (return on investment) is impressive. According to Marketing Evolution, for every $1 spent on email marketing, the sender gets $42 back. With a click-through rate 50 to 100 times higher than popular social channels, it is no wonder why more and more businesses feature email as an essential part of their marketing plan.
But email marketing in the financial services industry is competitive. In the banking sector alone, 47% of banking service providers send more than ten monthly emails. So as a member of the financial services community, how can you maximize every email you send? What are some financial industry email marketing best practices?
Abide by the Rules
Email marketing is a cost-effective way to nurture leads at every marketing funnel stage, but stringent regulations mean that email marketers must take extra care. Europe’s GDPR, California’s CCPA, and the US’s CAN-SPAM Act set rules regarding consent and opting in to receive email communications.
Sharing financial information is sensitive and constantly scrutinized, so strict adherence to the rules is even more critical for financial service marketers. Not only are they under strict legal obligations to do so, but even the slightest appearance of non-compliance can result in lost customers, a tarnished reputation, and hefty fines.
So, before diving into some common-sense strategies financial email senders should follow, let’s take a brief look at the regulations.
GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) – This EU regulation restricts the extent to which organizations may collect personal information without the user’s consent. To the extent that residents of the EU receive your emails, GDPR may apply to you even if your website is hosted outside the EU.
CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) – While the law currently only applies to specific-size organizations marketing to California residents, this restriction applies to many businesses. The CCPA allows consumers to request disclosure of what personal information an organization is collecting and to request the deletion of that information.
CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) – The law defines what you can and cannot do in your email communications. It provides guidelines on subject lines, sender domains, location disclosure, and opting out and applies to all email communications sent to organizations or third parties sending on their behalf.
SIMPLE WAYS TO FOLLOW THE RULES
So, how does this impact your email marketing efforts?
- Before adding a potential recipient to your email list, have them complete a double opt-in procedure. Often this includes a sign-up followed by an email confirmation.
- Provide a check-box format during the email sign-up process so recipients provide consent to receive your emails and specify the type of emails they want.
- Send your emails from a recognizable email address that includes your domain name. Using a consistent design aligned with your brand guidelines further enhances the legitimacy of your email.
- Subject lines must communicate the content of your email. Carefully weigh creative, enticing subject lines with solid, descriptive subject lines.
- Your email content must be clear, concise, and non-misleading.
- Every email you send must contain your company’s location and contact information.
- Make it easy for your receiver to opt out and unsubscribe from receiving your emails. Every email you send must contain an easily identified UNSUBSCRIBE button.
- Not only should the unsubscribe process be easy, but ideally, it should be automatic. As soon as a recipient unsubscribes, delete them from your list. Even though regulations permit a ten-business-day turnaround, immediate unsubscribes go a long way to maintaining a good standing email practice.
How to Use Approved Marketing Tactics to Engage Email Recipients
Now that we covered the steps needed to abide by the privacy rules that are particularly important for financial services businesses, how do you ensure your emails stand out from the competition? Remember that almost half of your competitors send more than ten emails monthly. So, how do you achieve high open rates and email engagement? Better yet, how do you elicit the desired action, which is the ultimate indicator of success? For overall email success:
- Spend time researching the market for newsworthy, timely newsletter topics.
- Make your subject lines CATCHY/NOT SPAMMY using emojis, newsworthy events, and personalization. Don’t overdo it, however. Too many capped words, emojis, and punctuation marks are definite SPAM targets.
- Spend time developing on-brand templates for each type of email you send. Recognizable templates build credibility and trust while making your content more engaging too.
- Design mobile-friendly emails. Over 40% of emails are viewed on mobile devices, so don’t miss an opportunity by focusing only on desktop designs.
- Use relevant, specific, easy-to-identify CTAs throughout your email. Place them strategically to guide your reader through your entire newsletter, increasing engagement and link clicks.
- Segment your list by geography, demographics, psychographics, and funnel stage. Use imagery and content targeted to each segment. Remember that financial services can be challenging to understand. Simplification goes a long way.
- Engage more subscribers by sharing your email newsletter sign-up on your social channels.
- Sign up for your competitors’ newsletters to research and learn from their tactics. Use this information as a guide. Tailor your message to be on-brand, explicitly addressing your target’s needs.
- Keep an eye on your analytics. Understand what design and message perform best and, more importantly, what underperforms, and adjust accordingly.
Let Our Experts Help You
Email marketing is a powerful tool. With increasing privacy laws, however, it gets tricky. So how do you incorporate best practices and create engaging emails that convert? Ask an expert. From email template design to actionable content to ongoing execution, Equivity’s experienced virtual marketing specialists are ready to help. Please give us a call to find out more.
Disclaimer: Equivty does not provide legal advice and nothing in this blog or this Site is intended as legal advice. Please consult an attorney if you have questions as to whether your email communications comply with applicable laws and regulations.