Last month at The Financial Brand Forum, Matt Wilcox, senior vice president of marketing strategy and innovation at Fiserv, hit attendees with a list of best practices to get more out of their website, social efforts, and email outreach.
Below, we offer a quick recap of these ideas, at a pace that even the busiest schedules can accommodate.
The Early Bird Gets The Opens
Contrary to popular belief, the most effective time of day for email open rates is 4 a.m., Wilcox says. Throughout the week, Tuesday is the worst day for opens and Monday is the best.
Space Is At A Premium
About 59% of financial institutions send out email marketing that is not designed for mobile, yet 41% of all commercial emails are read that way. To compensate, design your messages tall and narrow, easy to read (14-22 point font) and image-conscious to avoid long loading times, Wilcox says.
Say It With Video
Embedding video into your apps or emails is a still developing strategy, but one you can expect to see more of. In fact, when U.S. Bank integrated customized video into its emails, it saw a 30% lift in traditional open rates and a 29% lift in payment activity.
Experiment With The Paranormal
Ghost accounts are fake product listings that appear alongside a member’s actual products and services in online banking and link through to a promotion page. One bank saw a 60% lift in clickthroughs using this method, but Wilcox warns these can also unintentionally trigger concerns from members who might think fraudulent accounts were opened in their name.
Hit Them Coming and Going
Roughly 80% of the online ads you see are retargeted to you because you engaged with a brand or looked at specific information before, Wilcox says. Similar retargeting campaigns can be initiated by credit unions based on members’ web searches, site visits, purchases, or even by uploading an email list to an outside company who then finds and markets to those individuals online.
Search On A Smaller Scale
Good search engine marketing requires error- and broken-link-free text, as well the right key word density (shoot for about 2-3% of overall copy, Wilcox advises.) Mobile search also requires its own strategy, as people aren’t typing in long keywords or sentences on these devices the same way they might on a computer.
Try multiple versions of your creative, tweaking even small things like color and images used, Wilcox says. One company saw 12% lift in mortgage leads just by changing the color of the prequalify button on its homepage from blue to red. Such low-cost, electronic experimentations can then be used to inform higher-dollar analog marketing as well.
* Curious how we arrived at the 100-second approximation? According to Forbes and a study by Staples, the average adult reads five words per second. For you executive types who read at close to nine and a half words per second, this nearly 500-word article may have only taken you 50 seconds or less!