5 ways to add flavour to your email marketing campaigns

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Spice up your comms
By Jasmine Crittenden, contributor. 2 May, 2019
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On average, the open rate for emails from business and finance brands is 20.47%, according to a March 2018 report from MailChimp. Meanwhile, the click rate is 2.59%. If you’re not beating this, then it’s time to spice up your comms. Here are five tips to boost engagement with your email marketing campaigns.

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1. Making finance a fun escape: Acorns

Way too many finance brands limit their digital comms to outlooks or market updates. So, differentiate yourself with content that’s enticing or fun. Remember: for many office workers, an email is an opportunity for a cheeky desk-ape.

Acorns, an app that invests the user’s spare change in the stock market, embraces this with their partner referral emails. A series of partners are represented by photos, superimposed with phrases stating how much the user would invest per purchase. For example, ‘HotelTonight: $10 Invested in your Acorns account’ appears across an image of a stunning hotel pool.

2. In tune with the times: Toyota Financial Services

Special events are gold for marketers. Rather than having to create relevance, you get it served to you – on a silver platter.

Toyota Financial Services took advantage of this in 2017, with a campaign dedicated solely to Giving Tuesday. The first email stated the brand’s commitment to donating $150,000, asking customers to decide where the money should go by selecting from four charities. Then, the follow-up email conveyed the results. This was a powerful way of engaging readers while strengthening the brand’s image.

3. Headlines that holler: Mint

59% of links shared on social media aren’t clicked first, according to a 2016 study by Columbia University and the French National Institute. In other words, headlines get more attention than content does. But, when it comes to email, your goal is click-throughs. So, your headlines must compel the user to read on.

One finance brand that’s mastered headlines is Mint, a personal financial management app by Intuit. While one of their educational emails about credit began with the provocative headline, ‘Don’t be fooled by credit myths’, another, dedicated to new products, was titled, ‘Be good with your money: see what’s fresh with mint’.

4. CTAs that get clicks: GoCardless

One of the quickest and easiest ways to improve CTAs is through split testing, also known as A/B testing. GoCardless, a direct debit payment platform, wanted more visitors to see an online demo of their services – and was wondering if changing just one word in the CTA would make a difference. So, 50% of visitors were served the CTA, ‘Request a demo’, and the others, ‘Watch a demo’. Everything else on the page was identical. The second group converted at a 139% higher rate than the former.

5. Personalised subject lines: the research speaks

Personalisation is one of the most bandied about buzzwords of 2019. But, just how personal should you go? Well, according to MailChimp’s study of 24 billion emails, subject lines containing first and last names improve open rates by 0.33%, while the use of first name only had a 0.17% impact.

So, is it time to re-think your approach to email marketing? Apply our tips, watch what happens, but most importantly, test and learn to determine what works for your specific brand and audience.

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Jasmine Crittenden has written extensively for major finance brands including Westpac, BT Financial Group, Suncorp and Aberdeen Standard Investments – across both digital and print. She’s an expert in content that puts the human element in finance marketing, be it connecting with local communities, inspiring millennials to care about super or clarifying the complexities of personal loans.