Email marketing: should we bin it, or is it still the best direct marketing channel in financial services communications?

With each passing day, it seems there is yet another new and exciting online communications tool launched, designed – we are told – to help financial services marketers reach an ever-wider audience more easily.

Social media is the big growth area at the moment, with new platforms launching regularly and old ones, like Facebook, facing decline and eventual – probable – oblivion.

The plain fact that to achieve any amount – no matter how small – of pull marketing activity in the financial sector is seen as the pinnacle in nearly every marketing campaign, makes social media platforms look a little out of context in the online financial marketing landscape.

Social media campaigns are pull marketing. But wouldn’t financial services campaigns be twice as powerful if they utilised both push and pull marketing dynamics?

So what about email? And email newsletters?

Email marketing through newsletter communications is – when positioned strategically – exactly that powerful marketing platform, as it combines both push and pull marketing.

You don’t need to go looking for it because it has a push dynamic and it will come to you, and when it does, it has a strong pull dynamic because the communication will require you to process it.

That might mean simply deleting it as part of daily inbox management – but we will come to that.

Clearly then, email combines two very powerful financial marketing elements: push and pull. The push dynamic is quite easy to implement (through your client database), but can create annoyance simply by delivering inappropriate or irrelevant communications to your recipients.

In that instance you still only have a push dynamic. And an annoying one.

To create truly effective push/pull email communications; you need your recipients to want to read your financial services marketing communications.

And in the financial services sector, where wealthy, time-poor recipients will skip any inbox communication that is anything other than thought provoking, wealth-critical or wealth-enhancing, highly focused email marketing content is key.

Therefore, working a long-term marketing content strategy, designed to ensure recipients actively open and read your email newsletter, closes the push/pull loop – and delivers loyal readers, keen to learn about your financial services and your products.