Warm Nurture Email Campaigns: Best Practices, Part 1
Financial institutions in the US are expected to actively adapt their warm nurture email campaigns to marketing industry best practices. Emails are one of the most effective means for nurturing leads, especially for Business-to-Business (B2B) relationship building. Educational content, customized content via personalized email subscription, and the combination of emails and videos are three international best practices for financial service providers, such as banks.
Best Practice 1: Educational Contents That Market Products, Services And/Or Organizations
- Educational email content are known as the best means for leads nurturing, which demonstrate the value of products or services that a financial institution offers to its clients. It is important to ensure this content not be sales-driven but offer clients, such as small businesses, a channel to learn through links to white papers, blog articles, and videos. This content generally meets clients' requirements, for example, the need for online banking and credit against financial distress during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
- In addition to general educational content, financial institutions could take the opportunity to announce new products. Product-specific emails should neither be too frequent nor boring, which connects product-oriented emails with emails sent earlier in the lead-nurturing series.
- Financial service providers, such as banks, should personalize email marketing content for specific clients or potential prospects who are interested in banking products or services. Financial institutions are expected to nurture their clients with interesting content and inform them of new and existing products to generate sales. This could be achieved through value-added marketing and service communication that warm-up email subscribers.
Best Practice 2: Personalized Email Access to Customized Contents
- Clients expect to receive customized emails, which create a personalized experience. For example, a marketing campaign automation software with built-in client segmentation features sends a specific client a link in the email to access customized content. If the client does not click the link, the campaign organizer could send the client a follow-up email. In comparison, if the client clicks the link, the client would receive a different email or a phone call from a salesperson in the bank.
- To attract more client visits by clicking the access link, banks are expected to provide an introduction to a variety of content, such as articles, case studies, webinars, videos, and infographics, among others. This content should be customized for small businesses, ranging from new start-ups to businesses being acquired. For example, facing the challenge of national lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, new banking offerings are launched for small businesses.
- To access content that is specifically designed for small businesses, clients are often informed through emails, with links to the advertised content on banks' websites, and they are required to subscribe for the periodic update on new releases via email. A good example is Wells Fargo Works for Small Business, which is a portal aiming to enhance user experience.
Best Practice 3: Combining Email With Video Marketing
- According to research findings by marketing consultancy First Five Eight, the combination of email and video marketing was one of the most efficient and effective B2B leads nurturing strategies in 2019. Such a combination provides videos created by the Wistia and Vidyard applications, which are high quality and easier for leads to digest.
- Companies, such as financial institutions, could integrate email and video marketing campaigns with marketing automation and CRM software, track the time leads have spent on watching the video, and build in triggers to notify sales teams of the most nurtured leads.
- Another form of video marketing is webinars, which pre-qualify audiences, regarding their interests and expectations over the company's products or services. Their email addresses used for registering the webinar could be used to launch a follow-up email nurturing campaign.
- Research findings by Growth Hackers, a digital marketing agency, reveal that 45.1% of respondents agree that it is ideal to send nurturing emails only once a week. Content should be relevant and interesting to targeted leads.
Our research began by reviewing a variety of international web portals that focus on email marketing and lead nurturing campaigns. We found some best practices recommended for financial service providers, such as banks, regarding warm nurture email campaigns to business customers, which are supplemented by best practices designed for building B2B relationships. However, there is limited information on how financial institutions have responded to the COVID-19 phenomenon in regard warm nurture email campaigns. We take the COVID-19 outbreak as an example of how financial institutions could apply generic marketing best practices where it is possible and appropriate. Lastly, the marketing industry‘s best practices are international and applicable to the US.