Email is the most popular channel for driving personalization, but financial services marketers are missing the mark. On average, financial services marketers spend more on personalization technologies than their counterparts in other industries, according to The Relevancy Group. However, only 46% of financial companies regularly optimize email content by implementing personalization or dynamic content.
Today’s consumers don’t just prefer personalization, they expect it. And getting it wrong can come at a cost for financial brands.
Here are three ways financial services marketers can use the technology they are already leveraging elsewhere to build personalized emails:
1. Send tailored offers based on the customer’s life stage
One of the biggest things a company can do to turn a customer off is send an irrelevant offer. This is a roundabout way of telling the customer, “We simply don’t understand you.”
If a customer hasn’t given any indication that they are a homeowner, it makes no sense to send them refinancing rates. In a similar vein, financial companies should not attempt to engage long-term clients with introductory content.
“Rather than promote additional products or services randomly to your customers (which will annoy them), you should use data to deliver smarter and better-timed promotions,” advises the Evergage on its blog. “You can do this by leveraging your CRM data to learn what products the customer doesn’t already have, and using behavioral tracking to gauge interest in other specific products or guides.”
2. Curate relevant rewards based on loyalty statuses
One would think that consumers are reaping all of the benefits of their loyalty programs, but many are letting their points sit idle. A Bankrate.com study found that 31% of credit cardholders in the U.S. never redeemed their credit card rewards.
There’s a good chance people don’t know how many points they have or don’t even realize that they’ve accrued rewards, experts told CNBC. “In my experience, the more our members are reminded about their card benefits, including their rewards bank, the more they redeem,” said Matt Freeman, head of credit card products at Navy Federal Credit Union.
The onus falls on financial services marketers to remind consumers that they are being rewarded for their loyalty. Email is the ideal platform for this as it serves as a one-to-one channel where customers can learn what’s applicable to them. Sending tailored rewards to users based on their preferences will make them feel appreciated and build a certain level of trust.
3. Provide additional insights into spending habits
Most major banks and finance startups now offer services to help consumers analyze their spending habits. But, people need help putting that data to use.
In a recent study, U.S. Bank found that people are hungry for financial management advice. It’s the second-most common type of advice people search for on their smartphones (only behind exercise/health advice).
This demonstrates a major need for financial services marketers to build off the personalized content that already lives on their sites and apps.
“Personalized services should also demonstrate added value,” reported Accenture. “It is not enough just to tell consumers how they are spending their money. Instead, providers should show them how they can save money and take advantage of offers. Customers should be made to feel that they are genuinely benefiting from the service, for example by receiving reduced charges or relevant promotions.”
This comes with a caveat: Although consumers have a strong appetite for this type of content, marketers must tread the line carefully. No one wants to be judged or criticized for their spending habits. Email content that provides a breakdown of consumers’ spending habits alongside valuable, relevant promotions will come across as welcome.