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A Community Bank’s Guide to Email Marketing | Community Bank Marketing

Are you in your customers’ inboxes? If not, you probably should be. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, email marketing is 40x more effective than social media marketing. In addition, 59% of marketers report that email campaigns are their biggest source of ROI. So how can you and your community bank team harness the power of email marketing? Here’s a step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Build & Segment Your Email List

As your customers’ community bank, you likely already have their email address on file. The next step is to divide your long list of customer emails into segments. You can use demographic data, psychographic insights, or other information to categorize your list. Then you can determine what products or services they may need. For example, customers aged 20-35 may be a segment interested in your mortgage and auto loan products. If you haven’t already, invest in a customer relationship management system (CRM) so you can keep track of this information.

Step 2: Create a Calendar

Once you have compiled a list of customer email addresses, begin creating a calendar of when you will communicate with them. Your calendar should outline a few things:

  • Frequency: How often would you like each audience segment to hear from you?
  • Topics: What subjects are applicable to each audience segment?
  • Products and Solutions: What banking services do you want to highlight that solves a problem for your audience?
  • Call-to-Action/Landing Page: What do you want your audience to do after reading the email? Where on your website can they go to learn more about what you have told them?

Step 3: Design Your Email

Next, it’s time to design the email your customer will receive. Make sure these elements are present: Subject Line: This is the first thing your customer will see—make sure it grabs their attention and accurately conveys the value you’re about to show them. If you have the option to personalize the subject line with their first name, that’s even better. Greeting: Address the customer in a manner that fits your brand. Community banking is all about relationships, so a greeting with some level of familiarity may be in order. Body Copy: This is where you communicate value! Don’t make your message overly-sales-y; make the message about your customer, not your products and services. Call to Action: All your efforts will be lost if your customer has no idea what to do with the information you’ve shared. Tell them what you want them to do, whether that’s visit a webpage for more information, contact you, or open an account online. Permission: According to the CAN-SPAM act, marketing emails must give the recipient the option to unsubscribe. Make sure your email features a visible unsubscribe link or button (we suggest putting it in the footer).

Step 4: Send and Watch

The process doesn’t end once you hit send. Once your email reaches the customer, you need to keep an eye on a few key metrics:

  • Open Rate: the percentage of recipients who opened the email once it hit their inbox.
  • Clickthrough Rate (CTR): The percentage of recipients who clicked a link within the email.
  • Conversion Rate: The percentage of recipients who took a desired action (can coincide with CTR, depending on the goal of the campaign).

Over time, these metrics will paint a picture of what content resonates with your audience, and will help you optimize future email campaigns. Effective email marketing takes some planning, strategizing, and trial-and-error. At times, seeing it through can even be overwhelming. But all data points to huge returns on your investment of time, resources, and effort. Choose a correspondent banking partner with staying power. ICBB is the only locally owned bankers’ bank left in the region, and we’re nearly 35 years strong. We serve community banks in Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana. Contact us at solutions@icbb.bank and see the power of a lasting partnership.

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