Written by Mike Ross on December 3, 2015
in Email Marketing

Contextual Email Marketing is one of the hottest new technologies available to Financial Services marketers. The technology loads email content at the time it’s opened (instead of at the time it’s sent) and can leverage many different types of data, such as the device you’re opening the email on, the current location where the email open occurs and even the weather of that location. The technology is secure, allows for new ways to personalize emails for your customers, and has been proven to increase email KPIs and provide a positive ROI. However, many marketers struggle with the question that accompanies any new marketing technology: Sure, this is cool, but how do I use it?

Here are six examples of how Financial Services marketers can use contextual emails in their campaigns:

  1. Live rates: Contextual emails use APIs to pull in live data from a Web service at the time it’s opened. A particularly useful application is to show live interest rates to ensure that you never have a customer looking at dated information. Whether the rates are for borrowing (mortgage, line of credit, credit cards, etc.) or for saving (Guaranteed Investment Certificates, Tax Free Savings Accounts, etc.), you can rest assured that your customers will always see the most up-to-date rate, regardless of when they check their email.
  2. Live portfolios: Contextual emails are also hugely powerful in the Wealth Management space. Emails can show clients up-to-the-minute stock prices and real-time portfolio values to encourage trading and engagement.
  3. Show them the way: For Financial Services marketers that are looking to drive customers to branches, contextual emails allow for personalized maps and directions based on the IP address of the email opener. The API can determine the opener’s location and display a map to their nearest branch, making it easier than ever for customers to know where to go to access in-branch services.
  4. Personalized card art: For credit card marketers, this feature allows emails to populate personalized credit card images with its recipients’ name. Personalized emails have been proven to deliver superior performance when compared with non-personalized emails, and dynamic credit card art delivers 29% higher open rates and 41% higher click rates than generic card art emails (Source: Movable Ink).
  5. Getting the right app: Are you having difficulties getting your customers to download your app? By using contextual emails, you can make it easier than ever for them to download your app on the operating system (OS) they are using. Contextual emails can detect a customer’s device at the time they’re opened and display the download link that drives them to their particular OS’s app marketplace.
  6. Real-time loyalty: For financial institutions that offer loyalty programs, contextual emails can showcase personalized loyalty data that reflects the customer’s balance in real-time. These emails can also encourage loyalty spending by displaying inspirational data: items or redemption packages that are only slightly out of the customer’s reach based on their real-time points balance.

Mike Ross is the Senior Manager, Digital Messaging at Ariad Communications.

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