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Top 10 Marketing Tips for Financial Professionals

Meredith Olmstead
May 17, 2019 10:37:00 AM

Two members of our team attended and presented at the Financial Brand Forum in Vegas this Spring, and we had a blast! But more than just having some fun, we also learned a lot about what’s happening in our industry right now.

Here are 10 key marketing take-a-ways you will definitely find useful:

1. FOMO – Urgent, Exclusive Rewards Work

Using a sense of urgency or scarcity is a great way to spur someone into action on or off-line. Adding wording like ‘respond in 5 days’ or ‘by invitation only ' will help encourage people to sit up and take notice. Even if an offer isn’t time-sensitive or open to only a select few, couching it in these terms can prove very motivating for people who don’t want to miss out on a great opportunity.  

2. Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Talking about why others are enjoying the benefits of doing business with your institution is a great motivating factor for people. But consider trying to make this a bit more person, when possible. If you can segment your campaigns to a specific area or region refer to that neighborhood or town in your communications. Something like ‘8 out of 10 of your [town] neighbors recommend ’ the bank or credit union sounds much more convincing that just ‘other customers agree.’ Give it a shot!

3. Eyes on the Prize!

Believe it or not, the images on your digital assets can greatly impact how people interact with your calls-to-action. People naturally follow other’s ‘eye gaze.’ If you are placing images of faces on website pages or landing pages, and these pages include actions you’d like users to take, point the eyes of these images AT the buttons or forms you are targeting.

Download Now: The Ultimate Guide to Successful Inbound Marketing for Financial Institutions

4. Learning is Work?

Another fun wording tip… avoid the term ‘learn.’ It makes users feel like they will have to work for what you are sharing or telling them. Instead use a term like ‘ discover ’ or ‘ explore ’ to get the person to click to find out more about something. This does a better job of peaking interest without implying that someone will have to work hard to get what they are looking for.

5. Not Wanting to Lose vs. Gaining Something

People are fickle, (see the learn = work tip above). Consumers are highly motivated by the prospect of missing out on something. So, rather than selling an offer with terms like ‘get this great rate…’ or ‘take advantage of…’ consider couching your offer with phrases like ‘don’t miss out…’ or ‘an offer you really shouldn't pass up…’

In general, people will put twice as much effort into not losing something as they will into working to gain something. It’s a very narrow difference, but every little bit helps!

6. Coupon Clippers

Funny enough, even though many paper coupons are being replaced with discount codes online, the look and feel of clipping for savings still catches a person’s eye! So, if you have a great new promotion or offer consider surrounding it with a dotted line on your website or email to visually show the potential savings to your customers. This look of a coupon draws attention and can lead to a higher rate of actions taken.

7. FREE is Key!

When addressing titles or subject lines to consumers consider using words like: free, new, and introducing. It used to be that these would trigger spam reports, but that isn’t the case any longer and using these terms has shown a significant increase in open and click rates. Even upwards of 30%!

8. Authority Principle

Read this one as…. If someone I know says an offer or item is good, I’ll trust that. But, if a business says the same of their own products or services this is less motivating. So using testimonials, ratings or other customer statements of approval is a great way to promote your institution’s products or services.

9. Subjects Lines Matter

We see emojis and words like ‘invitation’ giving a great boost to open rates of emails. Also, personalizing emails in subjects and content is very effective. But don’t just add a first name and call it done. Consider smart content that changes based on user behavior or known existing accounts. So, for example, if a customer already has an auto loan maybe you send them a newsletter that references Gap Coverage or another next best product or service offer at the very top.

10. When All Else Fails… DO NOT Turn to Display Ads!

All I will say here is that paid search ads through Google AdWord or even social media ads are a great way to enhance any digital marketing campaigns. But, in 6+ years of working with financial institutions I’ve yet to see real proof that display ads are a significant value added to marketing efforts. Much of this ‘traffic’ is low quality or even mistake clicks and we’ve seen A LOT of evidence that display traffic can often be fake bot clicks. So, save the budget on banner ads and spend it where people are searching for your products or services or already interacting with you on social. 

Originally published as a guest blog for CU Insight.

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