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Are You Afraid To Use Email Marketing For Your Bank?

Digital Marketing

Are You Afraid To Use Email Marketing For Your Bank?

Elle Humphries by Elle Humphries

Director of Marketing

Contact author Full biography

Full biography

Elle has been involved with the WSI Team and has been helping them simplify the internet since 2016 when she came on board as a marketing intern. Elle became a full-time digital strategist in May of 2017, in which she focuses her talents on Project Management and Digital Marketing for the WSI team.

Elle is now the Director of Marketing for WSI as she brings many attributes to the table, such as social media marketing, email marketing, display/search marketing, search engine optimization, content creation, customer relationship management, project management, and more!



With email being the most effective digital marketing channel, it is surprisingly the least used marketing method when it comes to financial institutions. Why you may ask? Because many bankers are afraid that sending emails will be seen by recipients as “spam”. When in reality, email marketing could be the #1 tool for creating a positive return on investment (ROI) when it comes to their overall marketing strategy. 

If Email Can, Then So Can You

Email Can…Increase ROI

In fact, 73% of companies rate email marketing as “excellent” when it comes to their ROI. The ROI of email marketing goes up with the use of personalization and automation. These strategies draw in the attention of the subscriber by making sure the message is tailored to their needs and wants, and not simply something the bank is advertising or promoting. 

Email Can...Create Storytelling Opportunities

With that being said, email gives us the ability and opportunity to tell a story to our subscribers--A story that is similar to the one they may be living. For instance, in the book “Banking on Digital Growth”, one of the key aspects to drawing in a consumer is through the use of storytelling

Storytelling is one of the most powerful marketing tools when it comes to building a relationship with a banking customer and a product/service that your financial institution offers. By telling a story that relates to the buying stage of your customer, you make them feel important. It also provides them with information that makes them trust you based on past experiences you have encountered with similar consumers who wanted the same thing. 

For example, let’s say a past customer named Jane Doe decided to take a big step to switch banks and recently opened a checking account with us. But before she opened the account, she was unsure what account would be best for her financial needs, what other services she may need from the bank, and was concerned about how to get in touch with the bank if she ever needed help with her account. 

The bank employee worked closely with Jane to help determine what checking features would best fit her financial needs. The banker also took the time to help Jane download the bank’s mobile app, which provided a variety of ways to not only do her banking but also reach out for support if she ever had questions. Ultimately, Jane was super pleased with her decision to switch banks and appreciated the personal service the banker provided. 

This “personal/tech” story can be shared via email, ensuring that someone reading it who is thinking about opening an account (but may have the same concerns) is able to better understand the process after learning about Jane’s story. By using a storytelling approach in our emails, it helps others feel comfortable about making a switch to our bank based on a real-life example of a previous consumer who had the same situation. In turn, new customers will trust us with their financial needs and open an account based on Jane Doe’s story.

So how does storytelling benefit your bank's email strategy? Simple. Storytelling helps increase engagement--things like email opens, click-through-rates on links in the email, website visits, etc. How? Because the story within our email resonated so well with the consumer that they wanted to learn more information on how they could open a checking account with the bank. 

Email Can...Enhance Your Marketing Strategy

Can you think of a time when email was non-existent? You’d have to go back to the 1990s - way too far back for some! In fact, consumers think email will still be around for years to come (70% of consumers believe email will still be just as popular in 10 years from now, unlike other marketing channels, such as cable TV). Therefore, we like to think of email as a “future-proof” marketing channel, one that is here to stay. 

So, with that being said, if you are not using email marketing, you are and will be, missing out on a crucial opportunity for your bank. Especially, with banks and financial services being in the top quartile (9.4%) when it comes to click-through rates (CTRs) by industry, with a unique CTR of about 3.2% overall. What does that mean? It means there are a lot of opportunities for your bank to be found online, and email marketing is one of those many opportunities that help consumers find your bank online. 

Now that you’ve got CTR on the brain, let’s talk about the importance of engagement rates and number of subscribers. As a financial marketer, you need to use email and consumer data across various sources to personalize every aspect of your email campaigns, including send time, campaign details, email lists, and email content. 

Let’s pause on the word: Content. Content is the engine to all your marketing efforts, so this must be taken seriously! When I say content, I want you to think about the subject line (will the recipient even want to open your email), your email banner image (if you have one at all), your preview text, any images or videos throughout your email, and overall, the context of your email and its message. 

How can you prove your email content is working? Consider using A/B testing and try to send various versions of the same email to different audiences/consumer lists. You can then take that data and apply it to future email campaigns, remembering to segment your lists based on interests and email preferences. 

Your Bank...Can Use Email Marketing

With the majority of consumers (51.9%) being subscribed to more than 20 different companies’ email distribution lists, it is important that your bank stands out as one of those companies. Email marketing does not have to be a compliance nightmare or put on the back burner of your marketing strategy. Unlike other marketing strategies, email is here to stay, so the sooner you get your bank's leadership team on board, the sooner you can capitalize on new opportunities (such as landing that new checking account customer). 

If you are still not convinced email marketing is for your bank or business, watch our free webinar “How to Make Email Marketing Work For Your Business” and/or contact us, and we will be happy to help you with your bank's email marketing strategy. 

Interested in learning more about email marketing and other digital marketing strategies? Sign up for our email list to receive the most recent and up-to-date digital marketing information for your bank!  


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