Financial services marketing automation is the use of software to automate certain marketing activities for companies like banks, private equity firms, and insurance agencies. Automating repetitive tasks, such as social media posts, surveys, and email outreach, frees marketers’ time and reduces human error. More importantly, when marketing automation combines software with strategy, it can deliver highly personalized content that nurtures prospects and converts them into customers by making them feel valued.
The internet revolutionized the customer journey. In the digital age, financial services customers expect engagement, a personalized consumer experience, and a sense that they are not just another target. Marketing automation uses customer segmentation for highly targeted content, regular social media postings, and personalized email outreach at customized cadences set with triggers. When customers do something — click on a webpage, fill out a form — your automated program emails them. This is especially beneficial for financial services companies, where relationships play a central role in developing the trust that converts prospects and maintains customers.
Marketing automation offers many benefits for financial service firms and branches, from marketing their locations to offering promotions based on particular customer needs, be it wedding planning or home loans. Few benefits are greater than building consumer trust in an industry fraught with financial worry.
Finances are a sensitive issue. Money causes stress. It can ruin relationships, damage physical and mental health, and burden families for generations. Many people do not naturally trust the institutions that manage, invest, and hold their money. But financial institutions can use marketing automation to build that trust.
Winning consumer trust requires that financial service providers understand their customers’ struggles and individual needs. Customers still want conventional credit cards, accounts, and loans. They also want a financial institution that can help provide them a certain lifestyle by taking the anxiety out of managing their long-term finances. Build trust by understanding and marketing to that lifestyle. Banks build trust by offering customers a way to live a freer, happier, less stressed lifestyle thanks to your trustworthy financial institution. Even though traditional financial products and services remain essential parts of the financial services business, customers seek guidance from trusted advisors, they want people whose professional recommendations can reduce their financial stress while helping them achieve greater financial security. And before customers decide where to get their next credit card or loan, they do online research for a reputable, reliable financial institution. That means marketers in the financial sector must interact with their customers on a regular basis, through customized emails, offers that meet them in their unique journey, and through social media. Providing real-time experiences and increases customer satisfaction, which builds brand loyalty and customer retention. Marketing automation technology will help your operation deploy the individualized emails and social media content that sustains engagement and builds trust.
How do you convince consumers to trust you with their financial health? The answer: personalized content, to the right people, at the right cadence, through marketing automation.
In the digital age, the customer journey is all about personalized engagement.
For banks, the customer journey starts with online research, which can include content marketing and digital advertising. The journey moves to the consideration phase, where the customer mulls things over and forms an opinion built from relevant sponsored digital content, customer review sites, and the company website. And the journey ends with a decision, often based in a feeling or emotion, to purchase something like a bank account, a loan, a credit card.
No savvy makeover or automation platform alone can perform the larger task of nurturing leads or trust. In fact, those goals may require rethinking the conventional model of the sales funnel and replacing it with a customer-centric vision of marketing, where customers live at the center of everything your financial institution does. The most effective marketing automation combines strategy with software to build and maintain those important customer relationships. That takes us back to automation.
To use marketing automation to build consumer trust, start with personalized emails.
Personalized messaging creates an ongoing dialogue that engages each customer uniquely along their customer journey and lets customers feel like more than a face in the crowd. This is where marketing automation excels. The ultimate goal is to drive revenue. To do that, drive leads to your website and branch locations, and convert those leads into customers who open accounts, make deposits, get credit cards and loans. To reach customers where they are in their journey, marketing automation software can deploy content that specifically speaks to prospects’ and customers’ financial needs: building credit; reducing debt; attending college; buying a home; saving for retirement. When personalized messaging reaches people with the messages they already need to hear, it captures their attention, makes them feel seen, and that builds the kind of relationship that leads to loyalty. Personalized content also slices through the overwhelming white noise of digital marketing and defeats the competition.
Examples of personalized automated emails for banking include:
Hello, and thank you for becoming part of the So-and-So Bank community.
When people sign up for your financial services, thank them, and welcome them to your community. Show them that this is indeed a community, united by trust and a shared desire for financial stability and prosperity, and locally based. Let them know you’re happy to have them there. Show them your gratitude by offering a discount on their next purchase, be it a box of checks or card with a good APR, and capitalize on the period when your business is still top of mind.
Welcome emails are one way to create a strong first impression as you onboard customers. Make them remember that you remembered them. It’s also a time to start keeping them engaged and building loyalty, so follow this welcome with a series of related, automated messages about special seasonal offers, customer testimonials, industry trends, local events, personalized recommendations, and company innovations coming down the pipeline.
Another way to let your customers feel seen is to send them a special offer on their birthday. This tactic drives revenue while building customer satisfaction. Everyone likes hearing “Happy Birthday!” As a financial institution, you already have your customer’s birthdate, so while you onboard them, add it to your email list, and follow your warm birthday wish with a birthday discount to encourage purchasing.
Marketing automation works very well in the middle of the funnel, and can be used to nurture inbound leads.
For instance, when a customer doesn’t finish filling out a credit card application or other online form they started, send them an email thanking them for their interest and offering to answer questions. Acknowledge their interest and reward their effort. And don’t waste this opportunity.
According to the State of Digital Growth Report, 83% of banks and credit unions do not make use of these kind of leads. You can with one email.
Reengagement emails can also motivate customers to make subsequent purchase by giving them a discount code for their next order. Marketing automation lets you use particular subscriber behavior to trigger emails. Set the parameters: When two months pass with no new purchases, send them an email. If they leave something in their cart, send them a deal in an email.
Surveys that are deployed by pre-determined triggers are very simple tactics to automate. Set the parameters, then deploy your email, requesting feedback on services rendered or items purchased.
Financial services can easily reach customers on the day new products and services launch. If your bank is offering a deal on first savings accounts, email customers whose personal data indicates they have children of a certain age. If you are promoting home loans, email consumers who have already used that service, and alert them to new loans with lower interest rates. If customers have reached retirement age, let them know they can attend a webinar about saving, and make sure to share your excitement about the event.
Track how much time users have spent on your website and engaging with your brand’s emails using the lead scoring capability of your marketing automation platform. This will help you know what content to send to leads next, and when they’re sales-ready.
Advertising compliance is critical in channel marketing because financial services companies are required by federal law to protect consumers from misleading information about their business. Financial services companies often rely on independently owned branches and agencies to market the brand at the local level. Marketing automation can help financial services companies maintain compliance in local advertising through providing brand and legal-approved advertising templates, expediting the approval process, and ensuring all brand assets are up-to-date and accessible to local partners. Having a marketing automation platform helps financial services companies keep control of their brand image and avoid legal snafus.