Think of the email subscriptions you have. Which do you take a moment to check when they arrive?
Chances are, those that catch your interest aren’t big blocks of text. Maybe that local restaurant is promoting discounts (say, for a take-out meal special), plus new menu items, events (even virtual), and giving campaigns.
Besides those “we’re open for business” COVID letters, it’s rare that our example eatery will send lengthy reads.
On the other hand, constant selling gets old, too. Especially if it isn’t relevant to the recipient.
Your subscribers agree to receive emails from you because they add value in some way. If they don’t, say hello (or goodbye?) to that unsubscribe.
Keep your communication fresh, engaging, and relevant with these various types of emails. Remember, sending the right kinds of messages to targeted groups is worth the effort.
Looking for other tips on improving your email marketing? We’ve got a whole series to boost those metrics! Here, we’ll look at the best types of marketing emails to send. That last one might surprise you (seriously!):
5 Best Types of Marketing Emails
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Yes, I want to stay informed!
“Hello, Laura! So happy to welcome you into our family! Here’s some of the perks of membership for you to enjoy.”
Isn’t it nice to feel appreciated? Anytime someone joins your institution, be sure to get an appropriate welcome email out soon after. This can even be a series of messages. I’m a huge fan of hand-written letters. Let’s consider those an also. We’ll focus on email here.
Make a point to stay high-level with these touch points. This is not the time to sell. Introduce your team (short videos are perfect), share services that might make sense for them (based on how they started their relationship), and review access instructions for app or online login.
Bottom line: Make them feel welcome. And valued. Because you are happy they’ve joined, right?
Drip (Nurture) Campaigns
Drips are frustrating when they’re from a faucet. Your inbox is a different story. Drip, or nurture, campaigns help migrate someone through a process with an end goal. It may be sales, but also maybe not. A multi-step guide or awareness program could work this way.
Taking the metaphor of a leaky spigot, drip campaigns provide continuous email messaging over a course of time. Say, every Wednesday morning comes along and, drip, another piece of your campaign arrives. We use this process on all our outreach.
You are looking for helpful content about GAP. That’s cool! So after reading some of our articles, you download our 5-Step GAP Cheat Sheet. Smart move. Along with those resources, you’ll get a series of drip messages over the next number of weeks.
“Why not just send everything now?”
When you get overwhelmed with information, how do you respond? Do you stop everything and set to absorbing it all? Of course not! By spreading the information out over time, you increase the chance of the recipient reviewing it. And they’ll be more comfortable doing so.
Variety In Your Nurturing
You know there will be a series of messages. This opens the door to variety. While ensuring it’s clear they are part of a set, add uniqueness to the content. Make slight variations in content style, design, and even the order you deliver the “drips”.
Over a number of recipients, compare which resonated better, then focus on improving from there. Just be sure not to change too much, or you could alienate someone who already agreed to get emails from you!
Beyond our own example of GAP info, how can you use drip campaigns? Great question.
- Welcome package: Your best chance of growing a relationship is right when it starts. Inform new account holders of what you’re about. Share how you can help achieve their goals, but also what you stand for, and how they’re a part of it.
- Re-engagement: They’ve been with you for 10 years, but just opened a credit card account. Now’s the time to share what they need to know about it, and also how other services may connect (especially if you have a rewards program).
- New Year: Nearly 65% of Americans had a 2020 resolution. (Ha! Hope it was, “stay at home and use my webcam way more than I ever expected”.) Share a 10-week “best financial you” guide, including staff and member stories.
- Crisis updates: These cannot be planned, but COVID-19 gave us a great example. Such a drip campaign would provide updates focused on how your services make the crisis safer or easier. Be consistent, even if all you have to share are videos of support.
- Abandoned cart: This kind of campaign is common on shopping sites when a visitor adds items to their cart, then browses away without buying. For you, use it when someone starts, but doesn’t finish a loan or other application.
A great question for nurture campaigns is “how often do we send new messages”? The answer is that it depends. For an “abandoned cart” situation, consider getting a reminder out the next day, one a few days following, and a “final notice” a week from then.
If it’s a new account relationship, then you can go on for weeks, even months, so long as you continue to provide helpful information. These can bounce between educational and selling in nature, ie. “what you can learn and how we can help”.
Our own drip campaigns tend to be weekly and go on for about 6 weeks. We find it to be a reasonable balance between familiar and overwhelming, while also covering a decent span of time.
Your own ideal scheduling may vary. Good thing you’re doing lots of testing and looking at your data!
No matter what the focus of your drip campaign may be, it has a goal. This could be moving a prospect to a customer, an existing account holder to a deeper relationship, or even just providing reassurance that you are there to help. It’s about building and maintaining trust.
Since you’re already reading about Marketing strategies, this goes right with it. Tired of e-mails getting ignored? We put together 5 tested tips to get your e-mails read.
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Of all emails that aren’t direct sends from one person to another, I’d say this is the most familiar. Do you have a newsletter? I’d be shocked if you said no.
This category evolved from the paper newsletters and serves the same purposes: Educate, inform, and introduce (to sell).
They’re sent on a consistent schedule. Depending on how much you have to share, it could be weekly, monthly, or even quarterly. It’s possible to say too much (Please tell me if I ever do that!). Your goal is to be interesting to your target audience.
Does that legal analysis of a recent ruling belong in your newsletter? Probably not, unless it is of critical and actionable importance to your customer base. And if it really is, provide a short summary, suggestions of what they should do, and then link to the full text.
Common Things to Include
Newsletters give you a wide berth on topics to cover. Here are a few go-tos:
- Blog content: This is the place for that “5 Easy Ways to Start Your Saving Journey” article. Education is always worth sharing. Help ensure it’s also worth consuming by making it relatable and interesting.
- Financial resources: If rates or other services are suddenly really appealing, point them out, with examples to make it clear why someone would want to click (ie. Save $20/month on a $10,000 loan).
- Company updates: Include what’s interesting to a member. Staff changes are only worthwhile if you also have a fun video or story. Relate all topics to how it tangibly makes their experience better (not just in theory).
- Industry news: Did you hear about that credit union which bought a community bank? Yeah, that’s not relevant to your readers. But the financial education program your institution just added is.
Education and guidance are both important topics. Sometimes, however, you just gotta sell. Think of these messages as the “how to” for all the educational content you share. In those, you explain what members need to know and the possible gains they can receive.
These emails give them a path to make it happen if they feel it’s a fit. The “understanding your car loan protection options” series makes a lot of sense when you now present the products available. To that point, I’ve got an idea which might help…
What kind of promotions can you offer?
- Time-sensitive deals
- Bundled products
- Reduced price (or free) services, often used as upsell opportunities
It’s about delighting the recipient, while creating a sense of urgency in action. Clearly communicate the offer, and the value to them to boost engagement/conversion rate.
Here’s some ideas, sticking to an auto loan theme:
A member uses your car buying service to find a new ride. They submit their information to get detailed price and availability information on a series of vehicles. Your team receives an alert of their interest, which also triggers an email to them with a pre-approval notice.
To encourage immediate action, the message includes a promotional auto loan rate that expires in 48 hours. It’s short, simple, and to the point. The email closes with a thank you for using the service and provides links to your auto loan application and protection products.
In the sales world, we call this a “warm” lead. Don’t let them cool off!
That member took advantage of your offer, which is fabulous, and is now approved for the loan. They get an email confirming their approval status, plus highlights services other car buyers include with their loan (GAP, VSC, Payment Protection).
Remember, they were already introduced to these, so it’s not new, just a reminder. Be sure to share what pains each can address, not just the “features and benefits”. If you have real-world examples of other member experiences, that’s golden. Videos especially!
Present all the products and, if able, price them right there with an “$8 per month” as appropriate for their approved loan. In a sense, this is similar to how your AD&D program upsells from the blanket coverage. Big numbers are scary. Little numbers are better.
After explaining why they want to consider these products, come back around to how the process continues. Clarity is always nice to have.
You can send an “act now” follow-up if they have not yet closed the loan, encouraging them to lock in their rate and vehicle. Of course, provide easy contact and online booking links to get it all done right from the message.
Ok, so you don’t renew an auto loan. But people do buy new vehicles. Besides just sending a reminder to those whose loan is nearing completion, also look at your data. What is the average loan runoff? Get in touch around that time frame as well.
Direct them to your car buying service to make their search easy. Feature any rate discount opportunities. If you are able, consider a promotional offer only for repeat borrowers.
The goal of your renewal email is to encourage repeat business. If nothing changed, show what they received for their investment and present why they should just continue. If you have new services, functionality, or capabilities, highlight them here.
Then, make renewing so simple that changing (unless it’s an upgrade!) or stopping isn’t even a consideration.
You may be wondering why security emails are included in a list of marketing strategies. It’s a valid question. Let’s address it from your own perspective. Of the companies you choose to do business with, how much confidence do you have in their security policies?
Taking that further, would you shop on a website you didn’t believe took the security of your personal information seriously? More to our point here, would you bank with an institution that didn’t give you that confidence?
And that’s why it’s marketing.
Having a clear and effective strategy of how you are protecting account holder information makes people feel secure with your institution. How can you grow this feeling? Here are some ideas:
- Quarterly security update: Present the steps your institution has taken to protect their information, especially if you have examples of retail data breaches or similar
- Automated security messaging: Notify users the moment someone tries to sign in from a new device. Give them the opportunity to see what kind of device it is and where they’re located. Make locking down their account (or cards) simple, if necessary.
- Preventative suggestions: Offer tips on protecting both their account access information with password managers and physical card security (ie. Why EMV or contactless is good for them and your institution)
- Data safety guidance: Provide a security checklist. Encourage account holders to complete all steps to make their data at your institution and elsewhere safer. (Gamify it with progress bars and congratulations as they activate features or finish tasks)
- Bonus: Consider rewards like interest rate boosters or other benefits if people commit to good security practices, such as turning on two-step verification on their banking and other accounts.
All of these show up with your consistent branding and style. Why? Because they’re part of your institution messaging. It may take some effort to get all your automatic notices unified within this policy, but it’s worth the energy.
For me, security concerns can be a make-or-break for doing business with someone. Others might not be so digitally-focused, but they will feel off with a relationship that plays fast and loose with your information.
Continue Your Email Marketing Journey
There’s a lot to sending great emails that get read. Fortunately, your institution’s messaging will be in that special group, because you’re learning all aspects of the strategy. And then you’re putting them into action across the entire institution!
Nice work! Can I send you a congratulatory email?
Our email marketing series helps you make the right decisions when it comes to setup, content, and engagement. This article provides the 5 best types of marketing emails, including security! Our “starter guide” to improving email marketing looks at the big picture.
Then, test, test, test, and more with our 7 tips to better email marketing.
Soon, your emails will be the most exciting content to arrive in inboxes! Ok, there’s still that prince with $40 MILLION US DOLLARS. I’d call it a tie.
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