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Turning email marketing into a customer engagement engine

It’s an interesting time to be in the finance marketing business…

Consumers are moving more of their business and personal interactions online by the hour. Brands in every sector are falling all over themselves trying to catch up with their rapidly changing habits. And through it all, one important marketing truth is becoming crystal clear: learning how to meet and engage consumers on the digital channels where they now live is the most pressing problem financial brands face in the COVID-19 era.

Maximizing customer lifetime value through digital marketing channels has never been more important than it is right now. 63% of consumers say the way they obtain goods and services “transformed” during 2020 and 57% say the same about the way they engage with companies.

With conversion rates higher than those of social media, direct traffic, and search marketing, email remains the most effective channel for engaging users and driving loyalty. However, maximizing performance on this crucial channel is becoming increasingly difficult as 2020 winds down.


What’s going on?

Between 2016 and 2019, average North American email marketing open rates declined from 35.6% to 30.7%. During that same period, the average click rate dropped from 3.5% to 2.9%. This means that potentially, millions in email marketing revenue was being left on the table, even before COVID-19 had appeared on the world stage.

As financial brands redouble their efforts to win new customers (and retain the ones they have!) on digital channels, an emerging problem has kicked into high gear. The global volume of marketing messages is increasing rapidly. Consumers’ digital worlds are becoming very crowded places. It is becoming all too easy for brands to get lost in the noise. Forging meaningful connections with customers is becoming a more daunting task by the day.

Couple the revenue-driving importance of email marketing with the channel’s inherent reliance on effective language, and you’ve got a recipe for a sea change in the way email marketing campaigns are managed.

What can be done?

Technologies like automation and artificial intelligence are now commonly applied to email marketing problems. Optimized send times and journey-to-purchase drip campaigns have been “best practice” in the financial sector for some time. The question is: why aren’t these same technologies applied more frequently to the even more important problem of optimizing the language those emails contain?

Here at Phrasee, we’ve often wondered the exact same thing. AI-optimized email marketing language consistently leads to 19+% more opens and 10+% more clicks for brands operating in the financial sector, after all. In the finance game, customer lifetime values can be (and often are) quite significant. Better email marketing performance translates into a marked uptick in real marketing ROI dollars.

That’s why delivering the right message to the right customers at exactly the right time in their journey with your financial brand will be even more important in the months and years to come. It may also explain why 83% of banking and finance marketers report that they plan to invest in AI in the next 18 months.


Onwards and upwards!

The fact is, maximizing performance on the email channel as an engagement driving engine isn’t just a nice-to-have anymore. It’s business critical for financial brands as the uncertain consumer landscape of 2021 nears.

Financial brands that embrace powerful marketing technologies like AI sooner rather than later will thrive in the digital-first economy of the future. Financial brands that don’t, won’t.

The question you and your team should be asking yourselves is: which side of the fence will you and your financial brand live on?

To learn more about the six key trends in finance marketing, check out our full report.

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