Email Marketing

Finance companies: Boost word-of-mouth marketing with acquisition email

Think about the first time you opened a checking account. How did you decide which bank to go through? Did you automatically pick your parent’s bank? Or maybe a trusted friend or guardian’s recommendation? 43% of people say that they heard about a new financial service provider from a friend or family member. We know that hearing about someone else’s positive experience makes it more likely for a potential customer to convert to that product, service or brand.

Acquisition email provides relevant messaging for prospective customers. Imagine if a customer got your email for a new investment app. They’re interested, but unsure. They ask their roommate if they’ve heard of your company and the roommate says, “oh, yeah, I use them all the time. They’re great.” Immediately, your brand has much more credibility in the eyes of your potential customer than you could have created just from ad placements and messaging.

Acquisition email, backed by clean, compliant data, can create organic experiences like that for your potential customers.

Start by analyzing your current customers

Let’s start with who your current customers are. You have a lot of ways of finding out about them. Zero-party data, or data that relies on information your customer offers about themselves, can come in the form of surveys, preference centers, and social media polls. First-party data, or data collected by tracking your customer’s activity online, gives you a really great starting point to decide what your current customer wants, needs, and does. Collecting this kind of information can help you craft better experiences for your current customers, but it also can help you understand how their wants and needs connect to their actions.

If you find out that your current customers want to know more about high yield savings accounts, for instance, you can not only provide that information to them, but you can also match the customers who need that information with potential new customers. When customers assessed marketing efforts of financial companies that they weren’t currently using, 52% of them said that relevance of messaging was the most important factor for them. Using zero-party and first-party data about your current customers will give you a great springboard to understand potential customers.

Using third-party data, like the data that Data Axle provides, rounds out your information nicely. We can connect what you know about your customer preferences and actions with more information about their income, hobbies, buying and browsing habits as well as the big events coming up in their lives like graduation, buying a house, having children or retirement. Where they live and work also can help you ground your understanding of your current customers, and help you create a situation where a family member, friend or coworker can give your brand a good review to a potential customer on your list.

Statista reports that 90% of U.S. consumers find marketing personalization somewhat or very appealing.1 Finding and using as much data as you can means you can better personalize your messaging, products, and strategies.

Segment your audiences

Now that you know who your current customers are, you can find new ones. Data Axle uses predictive and look-alike profiles to match key characteristics from your current audience to find new ones. AI systems can hold a vast amount of very complex data, and sort through it quickly. This allows marketers to hone in on the best products, messaging, channel and time of day to reach their target consumer.

Second-party data can get you even further. When your institution partners with another company or organization, you can utilize the information on their customers to offer products, services and messaging that is especially relevant. For instance, ICICI Bank in India partnered with Ferrari to offer a co-branded credit card. The bank was thus able to reach and find luxury car enthusiasts, who otherwise would be difficult to find. This high-net worth audience segment has another perk: creating a stage for people in a small knit community to endorse you to each other.

Currently, financial services emails have an average open rate of 23.3%2 when they are targeting their existing customers. If you want to exceed that, you’ll need to develop those niche customer audiences so that your messaging can be as accurate and relevant as possible. For example, if you know based on third-party data that a consumer has recently had a child, your first point of contact shouldn’t be a standard offer for opening a checking account. Instead, you should highlight financial planning options that include long term savings for college, child care and more.

It’s all about trust

Financial services, maybe more than many other industries, run on trust – and acquisition email is no different. If you send acquisition emails to random people who only signed up to receive emails by accident, you’re not going to see the elevated, interested response that you are looking for, and your potential customer will see you as only a nuisance.

That’s where subscriber preference centers can help provide transparency. If you know what kind of information your potential customer is most interested in, and if they tell you how often and how they want to receive that information, your open and click rates will go up, and so will your ROI.

And when you’re trying to use third-party data to use look-alike profiling, you want to make sure the data you use is safe and secure. Data Axle’s data is GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, DMA, ISO and SISA compliant – and we are always on top of the latest regulations, proposed bills and industry guidelines. Data Axle helps ensure uncompromised security and privacy across your email prospecting campaigns so you can reach your audience safely and securely.

Part of a healthy omnichannel strategy

Acquisition Email is just one part of your overall acquisition campaign, and can be a significant extension of your brand’s broader program that encompasses digital and traditional channels. According to a Data Axle survey, 77% of marketers believe acquisition email drives higher ROI in larger acquisition campaigns. And yet, a surprising 39% of marketers who are using acquisition email use it in isolation, rather than an integrated piece of a larger campaign that includes display, social media, paid search and other channels. In fact, when email is combined with other channels, such as display or social, we see an average 20% increase in engagement rates.

The emails you send your customers should mirror the messaging in the social media ads they see, and the retargeted ads they come across while browsing. Data Axle can also do what we call “match and deploy,” where we take your targeted prospect list for direct mail, and send emails to those people as well. So if you don’t have a holistic approach to how email fits into your omnichannel strategy, take a step back and see how you could integrate it.

What are you waiting for?

With the right data and the right help, your acquisition email can start conversations that otherwise wouldn’t happen. By knowing who your customer is and by targeting potential customers who are similar and run in similar circles, you can boost your chances of organic word of mouth endorsements.

In the last twenty years, Data Axle has worked with over 2,000 brands to deliver acquisition email campaigns that are compliant and engaging. With our deep and wide sets of up-to-date, high quality data, we can help your next campaign succeed. Contact us to learn more.


Natasia Langfelder
Content Marketing Manager

As Content Marketing Manager, Natasia is responsible for helping strategize, produce and execute Data Axle's content. With a passion for writing and an enthusiasm for data management and technology, Natasia creates content that is designed to deliver nuggets of wisdom to help brands and individuals elevate their data governance policies. A native New Yorker, when Natasia is not at work she can be found enjoying New York’s food scene, at one of NYC’s many museums, or at one of the city’s many parks with her two teacup yorkies.