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He opened your email. Now what?

You’re sending out emails.  But, are you really getting the response and the return that you want and deserve? Even if you’ve been in the bank marketing business for a relatively short time, you probably understand the power of marketing automation. And when it comes to automating marketing processes (for me, anyway), there’s nothing like using automation to supercharge your email marketing.

Are you still taking a manual, hands-on approach to your email marketing?  If so, it’s time to stop. With ongoing developments in AI (Artificial Intelligence), and ML (Machine-Learning), marketing automation has taken quantum leaps forward in its ability to dramatically enhance certain marketing processes; email marketing, in particular.

Today’s AI-powered emailing is far more effective and efficient than it was just a year or so ago! Automation has taken email from a cost-effective means of getting your message out there into a cost-effective means of carrying on a very personal, timely conversation with both customers and prospects alike.

Unfortunately, here's what many community banks are still doing… and need to stop doing.

  1. A staffer manually creates customer and potential customer records/lists from a variety of data sources, often in different formats
  2. Using an email program that enables the building and sending of emails, each email is created and manually sent
  3. KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) such as bounce and open rate are available, but no real, actionable insights. The assumption is that an “open” signals interest, so follow-up emails are then sent to those individuals. Again manually.
  4. The follow-up emails are not specific to the recipient’s wants or needs because that data is not available to the email program. In all likelihood, response is low as it isn’t possible to align an offer, product, or service to a recipient’s need

And here is a great example, courtesy of 360view.com, of the difference that automation can make to email marketing:

“Southside Bank in Tyler Texas remembers their days before marketing automation. Gone are the days where a marketing campaign looked like this: we decide to promote auto loans, we get a list of all our customers, we send them an email, we celebrate that we sent them an email, and that’s it. Now we strategically build each campaign specific to a customer group and track what happens after the campaign—night and day difference.”

When you add the power of the marketing automation tool to your email messaging, you now have the ability to talk to your recipients about products and services that matter to them most at a particular time in their “purchase path” or “customer journey.” AI-powered emailing solutions can tell you when it’s a customer’s anniversary, when they purchased their last vehicle or their current home, the credit cards they use and their payment history… and all of it stored where you can access it quickly and easily… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Just think about how much more personal, and effective, your conversations with customers can be, when you not only know their interests and behaviors, but you also having that information right at your fingertips… right in your email marketing service’s CRM (Customer Relationship Management) database.  Direct access to this kind of recipient data and preferences enables you to create a true “nurture” marketing campaign; one that truly nurtures your relationship by meeting your customer with the right message, in the right place, at the right time…. every time. How? With the help of “triggers.”

HubSpot does a pretty good job of going into detail on trigger marketing here. The short of it is this: “Trigger marketing refers to the use of marketing automation software to perform a task as a result of an event, often an action taken by a prospect or customer. Couple multiple data points through analytics and it increases the precision of your campaign.” For example, lifecycle campaigns might include triggering a communication when a customer reaches a certain age, since different types of accounts are more beneficial at different ages. Couple the age profile with wealth and demographic data, and you can more successfully offer retirement planning or life insurance products. Another example is a balance trigger; it might involve a customer reaching an account balance over $100K, which could indicate that the customer might be interested in a different type of account, such as an investment product that they don’t currently participate in.

Email marketing automation allows you to automatically generate more leads, increase revenue, and retain customers without manually managing your email marketing program. Enhanced analytics will provide you with greater insights into your audience and their needs. Automated tasks will free up your marketing resources. You’ll now be reaching your customers, and potential customers with the right message in the right place at the right time, and more.  In short, you’ll finally be getting the response and the return from your email marketing that you want and deserve.

Lastly, when you’re ready to begin looking at what’s out there in terms of an email marketing tool, there are many, many to choose from — each offering a unique set of features and benefits — at a wide range of price points.  I found this to be a good place to start; ventureharbour.com. Happy hunting!

About Bank Marketing Center 

Here at BankMarketingCenter.com, our goal is to help you with that topical, compelling communication with customers; the messaging — developed by banking industry marketing professionals, well trained in the thinking behind effective marketing communication — that will help you build trust, relationships, and revenue. In short, build your brand. 

To view our marketing creative, both print and digital – ranging from product and brand ads to social media and in branch signage – visit bankmarketingcenter.com.  You can also contact me directly by phone at 678-528-6688 or via email at nreynolds@bankmarketingcenter.com.  As always, I welcome your thoughts on the subject.

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