Posted on April 1, 2019
Ensuring that your emails come across in the best possible way, especially within the financial industry and no matter what device your audience is using, can sometimes be a challenging task at hand.
It requires in-depth knowledge about your audience and an understanding of their movements and level of activity surrounding email, to decide whether or not HTML or plain text emails are best for your business. Nevertheless, there are best practices associated with emails for financial services that need to be considered and followed when designing and building an email.
Use what works best
According to HubSpot research conducted in 2015, most users stated that they preferred HTML designed emails. However, in all tests conducted, it was proven that in fact, plain text-based emails performed better and won in terms of metrics obtained such as; open and click-through-rate (CTR).
Knowing what works best for your audience is imperative. As a marketer, you should remember that the financial services industry is fast paced and so therefore every email sent to your audience is a 1-2-1 interaction. The simpler the message coupled with the speed of delivery provides the opportunity for more of your audience to engage with your communications – proving that you are tapping into what you know about your audience and using what works best to better engage them.
Sounds simple enough, but email marketing needs to ensure that how you speak to your audience is taken into consideration. Going beyond knowing the language and tone of voice that you may use, speaking to your audience also comprises of the different content types that can be used within an email and also any call-to-action (CTA) you wish the reader to take.
In general, any imagery or visual content such as video that is included within an email will slow down the overall load time – which you do not want. So as a marketer, you need to understand if you choose to use content to communicate further with your audience, or imagery, how this may affect load time as well as engagement levels.
In respect of any CTA included within an email – remember, the size does matter! What you do not want to do is include a CTA button that isn’t easily noticeable, as this will certainly affect metrics, but at the same time, it cannot be disproportionate to the email as a whole. Find the balance between the right sizes of the button, or even the font and colour used (if any) to clearly direct the reader to what you the marketer, want them to do.
Test, test and test
As you can never guarantee what device your audience will be opening your email on, it is of fundamental importance that the responsiveness of your email is repeatedly tested. Not only are you conducting tests as part of your process, but you are also ensuring to a certain degree of certainty that the email is legible and user-friendly.
Emails within the financial industry have sometimes been known to be content heavy. So test this. If your email is content heavy, make sure that the important information is displayed above the fold, so it catches the reader’s attention first. A responsive email template can be used which will allow email testing to occur on different devices, apps (Outlook, Apple Mail) and screen sizes to see how they come across.
Ultimately in emails, less is more which can be a difficult concept to grasp, however, based on your database of clients, this may not be effective for you. It is important to maintain testing over several different emails to truly understand what email best practices work for your financial services company.
If email marketing and its best practices is something that your business would like help with or you feel as though a current marketing strategy may benefit from expert advice, please do feel free to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org where we will be happy to help.