When we hear from banks it rarely feels nice – an increase in fees, a warning about security or at best being sold a credit card.

It’s fair to say banks and financial institutions aren’t known for their small talk. And we get it, we really do – it’s a serious industry talking about important things.

But today, thanks to internet banking and apps, we’re far less likely to build a relationship with our bank through a bank manager than we are online.

So financial organisations such as retail banks and insurers have had to change – to warm-up and nurture their customers. This means they’re quickly developing a few tricks of the trade to evolve their communications strategy.

We take a look at just a few examples of good email and content strategies to see what their efforts are really adding up to.

Be informative and useful

Don’t just send operational emails – try and spark interest by presenting topics which you think would be of interest to your consumers. Credit Suisse do a great job of this with the bank’s digital magazine ‘The Financialist’, offering breaking financial news, insight, analysis and ideas. It’s informative and useful making it essential reading and reinforcing Credit Suisse’s reputation as an authority within the financial arena.


Spread the word via your customers

In a heavily regulated industry it can be hard to reach new customers without them opting-in to your marketing. The retail banks have gotten over this by getting their customers to contact new customers on their behalf. Chase Bank in the US launched an email campaign promoting the reciprocal value to introducing friends to the bank. Chase gave $100 dollars cashback to their friends and the refer got $50 cashback for each friend making everyone happy.



Give them perks

Signing-up to receive emails from your bank may not be on the top of your priority list. Banks and other financial organisations know this which is exactly why they incentivise subscribers to opt-in to receiving further emails. Visa won an award for best financial email for incentivising customers with a chance to win a trip to the Super Bowl in San Francisco. Visa knew that there had to be something ‘in it’ for customers to sign-up.

Make it easy

American Express know that people read their content on the go which is exactly the reason they’ve opted for strong visual cues. It takes people time and concentration to read text. People are reading financial emails or websites because they want something – often they need to contact or speak to someone quickly. With clear icons American Express have made their emails and website easy to browse – they know that frustrated customers are bad for business.

We’ve shown you just a few examples of how many organisations in the financial sector are increasing their reach, engaging customers and building loyal relationships.

Take a look at your own industry and think laterally – there may be ways in which you can use some of these tactics to develop your own strategy.