Opinion: 4 email marketing metrics that matter for financial services brand engagement

Sam Duggan

Sam Duggan, head of marketing at marketing automation platform Force24, explores the metrics that email marketers need to be monitoring and referring to on a regular basis.

For modern-day finance professionals, their role is now not only about being customer-centric and developing a solid portfolio of clients, but also how technology-focused they are too thanks to a wealth of digital tools that are readily available at their fingertips.

As well as streamlining operations and improving efficiencies, savvy tech has the capability to transform the way in which brands now communicate with their audience. Many financial services organisations do this via effective email campaigns. However, when the latest piece of content is delivered, are they making the most of the data that’s right before them?

Say an organisation has just hit ‘send’ on its latest email marketing campaign, what happens next? Its marketing department might be inclined to check the email open and click through rates as its first port of call to determine how the content has been received.

This is the first mistake because it’s not an effective way to monitor the success or failure of their digital comms.

That’s because open and click rates will only offer a small element of the complete picture – they never truly tell the full story. For example, a recipient may have accidentally gone into the email but then seconds later deleted it as it was neither relevant nor interesting.

Something like that can leave the marketing department with a statistic that may look positive on the surface but, if they were to delve a little deeper with more sophisticated measuring capabilities and marketing automation technology, they would discover that this particular recipient isn’t someone who is engaged with the brand and therefore won’t be investing in the financial services offering anytime soon.

Email open and click rates are merely ‘vanity metrics’. Marketers shouldn’t completely ignore them, but they must also never fully focus on them. And with that, here are some of the more effective ways for the industry to analyse every customer and prospect interaction.


  1. Ensure ‘lead scoring’ plays a part in the overall picture

This form of measuring should be in every marketer’s toolkit. It’s perhaps best explained by visualising numbers above the heads of every single person that has engaged with the organisation.

For the individuals who are highly invested – for example, they’ve downloaded a guide or spent time on a company webpage – these are the ‘hottest leads’ and therefore have a large score above their head such as a ‘98’.

What that also means is that these are the recipients that any financial services company should be focusing on with hyper-personalised comms because they know they’ve already bought into the messaging and what the organisation stands for.

Armed with this granular level of lead score information too, the marketing department can feed in the critical data for the sales team or account managers to convert.


  1. It’s all about segmentation

Although this isn’t technically a metric, it’s vital that enterprises know how to split customers up into specific groups so that they’re receiving relevant content they want to read – rather than what the company thinks recipients might be interested in.

Financial services organisations should never ignore how each segment is growing or shrinking based on their interactions either and the more groups created, the better. This way, firms can focus on what an individual wants to consume and know exactly when they’re most likely to engage with the content. Marketing automation makes all this possible – in just a few clicks.


  1. Tap into the powers of user web engagement

Browsing behaviour has always been a vital way for organisations to not only understand who is interacting with their brand, but what sections of the website they’re engaging with.

Web tracking data can provide financial services companies with a much deeper level of insight that uncovers a user’s of-the-moment interests and needs, however, despite its prowess there are still very few businesses who tap into this type of metric – and use it to their advantage.

It’s important that a brand’s web collateral is created to support this level of information gathering and that email content can also be hyper-personalised as a result based on each real-time interaction.


  1. Always analyse conversions

Even when they might be highly invested in the brand, that doesn’t mean their interests will stay the same – so react accordingly by interpreting the company data well.

And, depending on the email campaign goals in question, set, measure and evaluate the results based on the relevant call to action – for example how many inbound calls has the organisation received? What’s the referrals rate or number of price guide downloads achieved?

By articulating what the organisation is trying to achieve from its latest marketing campaign, relevant metrics can be applied so teams can not only further understand how well the content is performing but respond with further relevant messaging too.

And while it might also seem like a negative metric to check, monitor unsubscribers too. This can be quite large if the organisation is targeting cold leads with its latest campaign, but take notice as it could also indicate that the frequency and content of the digital communications needs a refresh – sooner rather than later.

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