What to Know About Email Marketing for Banks

Melanie Balke
October 23, 2023

It’s no secret that financial institutions get the short end of the marketing stick. It takes a lot to put a fun, creative spin on credit unions and investment firms. And that’s just to bring people in; you’ll still need ways to please existing customers!

So, what can you do?

It may seem like a dismal situation, but there are ways to use digital marketing to your advantage. Allow me to introduce you to the power of email marketing for banks! This digital marketing strategy is a high-yielding way to balance customer satisfaction with intuitive acquisition. Your marketing emails serve as more than glitzy advertisements; they’re targeted campaigns, keeping customers informed about the ever-changing world of financial services.

Many financial services companies already use this crucial digital marketing channel; you should be, too! So, keep scrolling to see how your financial services company can take full advantage of its email marketing campaigns.

Why Use Financial Services Email Marketing?

A pile of pennies. “Why Emails? The Perks of Email for Finance Pros.”

I’ll start with the big question: What makes email marketing for banks such a valuable resource?

After all, financial institutions have plenty of ways to cater to clients. Every financial institution has a fully loaded customer database, and you can easily use that customer data to contact clients in one of many ways. Outside of traditional direct mail and telephone contact, banks can now build a customer relationship through mobile apps and SMS.

So, where do transactional emails fall within your marketing strategy?

Financial Institutions Can Use Email Marketing Anywhere!


The answer is…


That massive customer database forms the basis for most communication between clients and their respective financial service companies. And in email marketing, it’s the perfect fodder for fully customized and resplendently effective customer experiences!

Unlike other marketing strategies (looking at you, social media), email marketing is an innately intimate experience. It’s the perfect way to mold a customer relationship to your liking, boosting factors such as…

  • Consistent Communication: Security alerts, balance updates, and financial planning information are just some examples of the essential information banks must deliver to customers. Fortunately, email marketing is a direct line to your clients. Thus, financial firms can use triggered email campaigns to deliver time-sensitive information as needed.
  • Customer Engagement: Thanks to modern technology, email marketing is fully interactive. Today, even the most basic email marketing software can handle personalized emails. These campaigns provide valuable information about clients while delivering educational content to new and existing customers.
  • Customer Retention: Well-served customers are unlikely to leave. It’s that simple.
  • Financial Literacy: Outside of transactional emails, keeping customers engaged means promoting financial literacy. That educational marketing content improves the fiscal security of both your financial institution and its interested prospects.
  • Onboarding: Welcome emails can easily double as onboarding for your financial service. This is more effective than direct mail and more accessible than in-person activation. Just be sure to use two-factor authentication!

But that’s not the end of it.

The financial services industry is fully embracing this modern digital marketing tactic, eagerly incorporating it into pre-existing dynasties of marketing strategies. Why?

Email Marketing Is Remarkably Accessible

Like SMS marketing, email marketing benefits from its unprecedented accessibility.

In the dark ages, you’d rely on direct mail or phone calls from your financial services provider. A scammer could snap up your info and spend thousands by the time your mailman dropped off a letter, or you had time to check your voicemail. Fortunately, financial services now have a much faster way to promote fiscal safety and awareness.

Indeed, financial email marketing is one of the most popular ways to encourage customers to take a hands-on approach to their financial well-being. Today, almost 75% of Americans own a smartphone with email access. Mobile commerce is booming; experts expect its overall impact to reach a whopping $7 trillion (yes, with a ‘T’) by 2025!

It’s also readily available for the financial services provider. In other words, email marketing is one of the financially efficient marketing strategies, earning an average ROI of 4,200%! That’s a lot of new customers and satisfied clients!

With those numbers in mind, it’s no wonder that financial service providers have snapped up the chance to conquer the world of marketing emails.

Email Marketing Tools Make Personalization Easy

Of course, I can’t overlook the influence of technology. Everyone benefits from modern advances, not just financial services. However, their vast pools of customer data make it remarkably simple for businesses in the banking industry to establish an individualized email marketing strategy.

Think about the data your company stores. Outside of the critical personal information used to craft informative financial email campaigns, you also have plenty of individual info. As a financial service, you know who you’re serving better than anyone! So, use that information to your advantage.

Personalized email marketing content is one of the best ways for a financial service to improve its digital footprint. These campaigns serve many purposes, including…

  • Improve the Customer Journey: Your customer journey gets a huge boost from a well-planned email strategy. Aside from the obvious perks, email marketing software offers access to multi-tiered automated flows and truly unique experiences.
  • Consistent Communication: Again, think about the accessibility of this digital marketing channel. Use that to your advantage! Develop and deliver consistent, relevant content with every email campaign.
  • Sales: Boost your sales and revenue by investing in your client data. Use your information strategically to deliver content when it’s most needed.
  • Onboarding: Both standard welcome emails and custom-made flows can promote customer retention and boost customer satisfaction.

What to Know About Financial Services Email Marketing

A modern point-of-sale system. “Considerations: What Makes or Breaks Your Email Campaigns.”

Of course, everything comes with a price. The monetary investment may be low, but genuinely innovative and effective email marketing is rare. It takes a special person to deliver consistent, relevant email campaigns. And — unfortunately — being one of the world’s many financial services companies only complicates the matter.

Unlike retail or commercial ventures, businesses in the banking industry must adhere to many more laws and regulations. It’s not enough to understand the simple CAN-SPAM Act. You must also know how to handle and control sensitive client data! So, we’re already starting with a huge hurdle. (And failing to protect that data can have dire and costly consequences.)

It’s All About Trust

Having all the data doesn’t mean you must use it.

While studies of customer behavior show that personalization creates more trustworthy campaigns, we also know that using intimate details increases unease among consumers. The paradoxical relationship between client data and consumer privacy is further amplified by the inherently invasive nature of financial services. (Which is not to say it’s wrong. You certainly need that data to make everything work!)

Summarily, banks are caught in a delicate balancing act between knowing about a client and using that client’s data. Failing to use any personalization increases a campaign’s likelihood of failure; however, using too much information goes against modern customer preferences.

That said, financial companies have a bit more wiggle room than other ventures. Banking has the lowest average unsubscribe rate of any industry, though this is partially due to the time-sensitive nature of financial marketing interactions.

Focus on Delivery and the Customer Experience

Banks must also invest plenty of energy into the overall process.

High customer engagement means nothing if your customers constantly complain about confusing interactions! So, take time to polish that landing page. Make sure every interaction is intuitive for every age group. And I really do mean everything, even your unsubscribe link!

Again, as banking providers, your business is held to a higher standard. Every step of the customer journey must be perfect — from the first welcome email to the heart-stopping alerts everyone fears!

Note, too, how you speak. While many within the financial services field are accustomed to sesquipedalian tendencies, the marketing for financial services must be simple. Even the most interested prospects may not understand the engrained lingo of the financial industry. Trim out the technical details and use widely understood language.

But Don’t Spam Your Customers!

That’s not the end of the line!

You must still consider the frequency of your email marketing. Yes, you want high customer engagement and consistent communication, but you don’t want to spam your customers. Doing so will likely crash your email strategy, turning an otherwise sound investment into a profound waste of money.

Skip the Hassle

Overlapping leaves. “Let Us Help! We’ll Master Your Email Marketing.”

That’s a lot to think about.

Financial service email marketing — for all its perks — remains an elusive and enigmatic strategy for many. But it doesn’t have to be this way! You can take advantage of email marketing for financial services by investing in a trusted email marketing partner, like The Email Marketers.

My team of seasoned marketing pros will handle your campaigns, planning, and content. They’ll tackle everything — from your marketing strategy to your landing page — guaranteeing top-notch experiences for everyone. At The Email Marketers, we know why email marketing remains one of the top-earning channels, and we’ll make those numbers work for you.

Ready to see the difference a fantastic email marketing strategy can make? Schedule a free strategy session and learn about the power of this customer communication tool. I’ll show you the ins and outs of marketing automation, walking you through the process your team will use to craft messages that connect you to your customer base.

You can also find more information, news, tips, and tricks on email marketing on my blog!