Dotdigital: How to get started with marketing automation

Jenna Paton

Financial services are one of the world’s most important and influential sectors. Covering a broad range of activities, the target audiences for finance firms are as varied as they come. Whether you’re in commercial banking, insurance, or asset management, targeted and relevant marketing is essential for your business’ continued growth and development.

Cross-channel marketing for finance brands will help you expand you reach and amplify your message. Marketing automation will empower you to form stronger, longer-lasting relationships with customers.

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Why marketing automation for financial services?

Marketing automation is an essential tactic for all marketers in every sector. From independent practitioners looking to grow their books to international firms with diverse portfolios, marketing automation empowers you to optimise your marketing performance for growth and customer retention.

When you adopt a holistic marketing automation approach, you’ll be able to reach prospects and clients at the key stages of their journey and so much more:

1. Timely messaging

Timing is everything. Thanks to cross-channel marketing automation platforms, you can build intuitive workflows that ensure your customers and subscribers receive the right message at the right time. You can set email or SMS reminders about loan payments or insurance policy renewals. Triggered messaging can be used when prospects fill in forms or place inquiries. Overall, marketing automation will save your team time, while ensuring clients and prospects remain engaged.

2. Build trust

Being transparent and reliable is essential in the financial services sector. Consistent and on-brand communications help to build trust in your brand. Landing pages, forms, retargeting ads, emails, SMS and more are all part of a single journey for the customers. Delivering consistent cross-channel experiences drives the trust necessary to deliver customer engagement.

3. Drive loyalty and retention

Whether you want to turn prospects into clients or investors into brand advocates, loyalty and retention are essential for business growth. Lead scoring and social share buttons ensure you can target hot prospects, long-term customers, and empowers them to share your content with family, friends, and colleagues. You can also build personalised loyalty schemes that add value to every interaction and keeps customers engaged for years to come.

4. Engage and educate audiences

Preference centers, web insights, lead scoring, SCV, and AI-powered predictive analytics give you unparalleled insight into your customers. This means it’s easier for you to identify important topics and trends in your audience. By sending subscribers educational content and answering their questions as they arise through chat widgets or personalised website popovers, you’ll be able to keep your audience engaged with your brand between interactions.

5. Understand customer needs

With single customer view you can easily discover what your customers need and want from their interactions with your brand. Using insights from your cross-channel marketing automation platform, you can ensure that you only send relevant messages to the right customers. Segmentation enables you to send highly personalised offers to customers at the right time to convert. By keeping a close eye on customer behavior, you can get to know your customers better and meet their needs before the turn to another firm. What’s more, you don’t need to be digging deep into your customer data, these insights are pulled for you into easy-to-understand dashboards to make identifying trends and opportunities easier than ever.

6. Reach clients and prospects anywhere

Cross-channel marketing should be at the heart of all modern marketing strategies, no matter the sector you’re operating in. Marketing automation tools like those available in Dotdigital’s CXDP enable you to reach customers wherever and whenever you need. You can deliver seamless and consistent experiences whether you’re retargeting prospects on social media, or answer queries via live chat. Adaptive design means all your marketing channels are mobile-ready for customers on-the-go. And, AI-powered tools like send-time optimisation and predictive analytics means customers receive your content at the right time, every time.

7. Send with confidence

Protect your brand reputation with branded templates that contain everything recipients need to know. Templates can be personalised to include legal disclaimers, privacy policies, terms and conditions, and unsubscribe buttons to make it easy to comply with nationals and international laws and regulations. Additionally, dedicated deliverability teams ensure that your emails land in the inbox and not the spam folder.


Successes driven by marketing automation

Dotdigital customer Scrutton Bland, a finance brand, faced low engagement rates in their marketing campaigns, as they were underutilising its cross-channel marketing platform. To overcome this issue, the brand collaborated with certified partner StrategiQ to optimise Dotdigital for better audience understanding and targeted communication.

In its quest for a solution, Scrutton Bland employed various Dotdigital tools and strategies, such as launching automated campaigns (welcome and re-engagement series) and utilising audience insights. The brand harnessed Dotdigital’s implicit profiling and web behavior tracking to gain deeper insights into its subscribers. In addition, it added a preference center to customise communication according to its audience’s interests and used audience segmentation based on preferences and behaviors to deliver more relevant content. Scrutton Bland also leveraged Dotdigital’s integration hub to understand the full audience journey and touchpoints.

As a result, Scrutton Bland built 7,000 customer profiles and significantly improved its campaign performance.


How financial services can put marketing automation into action

The biggest advantage of implementing cross-channel marketing automation is that it’s only getting more powerful. AI is driving faster advancements than we’ve ever seen before. That means when the time comes for you to step-up your marketing efforts, you already have the tools you need at your fingertips.

No matter what services your business offers, marketing automation has the power to help you reach and engage with impact.


Asset management

Asset managers need to communicate with large numbers of people in an extremely personal way. This requires a delicate balance between personal and promotional communications. You need customers to trust your team to manage their money. Marketing automation can help you build this trust.

Segmentation: Segmentation is great for targeting specific groups of people. Using lead scoring or eRFM customer modeling, you can create highly specific audience segments to guarantee you’re delivering the right content to the correct audience.

Personalisation: Using dynamic personalisation blocks you can create multiple variations of a single email. This will allow you to deliver one-to-one communications that will delight your customers as you demonstrate just how well you know them.

API: Whether it’s plug-and-play or a custom-built solution, you can pull in content such as stock exchange rates or specific contact details to create a hyper-personalised experience for your subscribers.

Nurture campaigns: When a prospect registers interest in your offerings, you can auto-enroll them onto nurture automation campaigns. This will help you discover what specific services they’re interested in and, depending on how in-depth your information gathering goes, you’ll be able to discover how much they’re likely to invest with you.


Commercial banking

Commercial banks have a wide and diverse audience as well as a varied service offering. Every customer will have a unique relationship with the brand. As a result, you need to be able to run multiple campaigns in parallel. Only with marketing automation is this possible.

Triggered automation campaigns: If you offer multiple services, you should run multiple nurture campaigns. By creating multiple forms across your website, you can target prospects with specific nurture campaigns designed to highlight the USPs for each of your services.

Newsletters: A mortgage customer will have very different interests compared to a customer with a student account. But, by creating engaging and educational newsletters for key segments, you’re going to create the kind of relationship that puts you at the top of their list when it comes to opening new accounts or taking out new loans.

Cross-selling and upselling campaigns: Again, you can use audience segmentation to target customers. Using your segments, you can deliver campaigns about account upgrades or additional services, based on their current relationship with your brand.

Loyalty reward schemes: Customers are more likely to turn to a brand they already know if their experience with them is a positive one. By rewarding customers based on their account activity or the number of services they use, customers will naturally choose your firm when they need to set up a new account or take out a loan.



Insurance clients range from individuals to firms and organisations needing to protect themselves from specific risks. Depending on the services you offer, your prospects and clients’ needs are going to be very different. Marketing automation empowers you to engage with a diverse audience with ease:

Live chat: Using live chat widgets across your site means that your agents and brokers can address queries quickly and efficiently when they arise. This significantly improves the customer experience. If they’re a prospect, you’re smoothing the path to conversion, and if they’re an existing client, you’re demonstrating your firms’ commitment to creating a positive experience.

Rewards programs: We’ve already mentioned the importance of loyalty programs – they’re a powerful tool for customer retention. Rewarding loyalty to retain customers is a foolproof tactic. When customers have more policies, they receive greater rewards, once again putting you at the top of the list.

Auto-responders: Set up auto-response campaigns when customers and prospects submit queries or pricing requests. This will help manage expectations and support your teams’ workloads.


Wealth management

Wealth management, like asset management, is all about trust. You need to build trust while delivering one-to-one conversations to create the interactions that convert and drive growth.

Lead scoring: Lead scoring empowers you to rank prospects and customers based on their suitability and levels of engagement. This makes it easier to target hot prospects and nurture leads through the funnel.

Segmentation and personalisation: Use customer insights to ensure everyone on your marketing list feels valued. The more you demonstrate how well you know your audience, the better their overall experience will be. Whether they’re a VIP client or a brand-new prospect, you can deliver one-to-one marketing that builds trust and drive conversions.



Marketing in the financial services sector requires a multi-faceted and targeted marketing strategy to ensure continued growth and development of your brand. Marketing automation enables you to deliver timely and personalised messages, build trust, boost loyalty, educate and engage audiences, anticipate customer needs, and maintain regulatory compliance with confidence. By adopting an intelligent marketing automation strategy that stretches across channels and is informed by AI-powered insights, your business will be primed for success.


About Dotdigital

Dotdigital is an all-in-one customer experience and data platform (CXDP) that empowers marketing teams to exceed customer expectations with highly personalised cross-channel journeys.

With Dotdigital, marketers can seamlessly unify, enrich, and segment customer data. Breaking down data siloes, Dotdigital streamlines decision-making and paves the way for marketing creativity that delivers customer engagement at scale.

With powerful AI capabilities, Dotdigital makes it easy to automate deeply personalised experiences across web, email, SMS, WhatsApp, chat, push, social, ads, and more.


About the author

Jenna Paton, Content Marketing Manager at Dotdigital

Jenna is Dotdigital’s resident content marketing expert. With nearly a decade of diverse experience in PR, communication, and content marketing for the public sector, non-profit, and SaaS industries, Jenna champions the power of brand storytelling and helps guide marketers on their mission to create lasting customer connections. At Dotdigital for over five years, she expertly leads the Content Marketing Team in crafting educational content that empowers readers to navigate the modern, sometimes baffling world of marketing.

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