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With consumers' email inboxes filled to an all-time high, and multiple brands vying for their attention, it’s critical for brands to craft communications that stand out. Picture: 123RF/marchmeena
With consumers' email inboxes filled to an all-time high, and multiple brands vying for their attention, it’s critical for brands to craft communications that stand out. Picture: 123RF/marchmeena

Email marketing continues to be a popular communication channel in SA — particularly in the financial services space. This is due, in part, to its ability to reach a wide audience, while incorporating personalised content. 

According to the most recent email marketing benchmarks from Everlytic, the country’s largest digital messaging platform, email engagement rates are higher than ever. 

According to Everylic’s data, mailers sent by companies in the financial industry during 2020 showed average click-through and click-to-open rates of 5% and 21% respectively. In addition, unsubscribe rates went down by 28%, and complaint rates by 100%, from 2019 to 2020.

The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic also saw desktop computer use dropping substantially, while mobile and web became more popular options — this illustrates how flexible email is as a medium through responsive layouts that can tailor and display content for any device size.

Tips to steal from the best in financial services marketing

That said, with consumer’s email in boxes filled to an all-time high, and multiple brands vying for their attention, it’s critical for brands to craft communications that stand out. These need to grab attention and engage an audience to achieve a successful call to action — which is where a behavioural communication approach proves useful.

This is highlighted by a recent research report by Everlytic and behavioural communications firm, BreadCrumbs Linguistics, which looked at how language influences action.

In direct mailer marketing, the action wanted is for mailer recipients to a) open the mailer and b) engage with the communication by clicking at least one link in the mailer.

BreadCrumbs Linguistics analysed the top 50 mailers sent by nine of SA’s financial services providers using the Everlytic platform in 2020 to identify language trends across the successful sends.

Here are the key findings:

  • Financial services companies that use connection-based language (like your, you, we and our) establish a better connection with their reader, resulting in boosted levels of engagement. 
  • The most successful emails were sent on Wednesdays, towards the end of the working day. 
  • Engagement levels increase based on personalisation elements. Most of the top 50 emails personalised at least one data field, including name, product type, and personalised attachments. 
  • Simple, easy-to-understand content is directly linked to more persuasive communication and is more likely to result in the call to action being followed. 
  • Visual language, through imagery and colour psychology, plays a key part in ongoing engagement with communication. 
  • Mailers that use navigation “breadcrumbs” like bullet points, infographics, text colour and subheadings receive better engagement rates. 
  • Linguistic tools such as alliteration, rhyme and metaphors make brand writing more interesting and attractive. This helps to boost engagement and results in more persuasive copy. 

The link between language, decision-making, and behaviour is powerful. Once a brand starts thinking about direct marketing communication in ways that are intrinsically linked to how people think and act, they will be far more likely to create content that engages and persuades.

Everlytic and BreadCrumbs Linguistics's report is titled “Top language tips for better emails: The Best in Financial Services Marketing". Get your copy here.

This article was paid for by Everlytic.

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