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By Jaidyn Crookston | October 05, 2021 | 9 Minute Read

Bank and Credit Union Email Newsletters: 7 Ways to Spice Them Up

Bank email newsletter
‌Most banks and credit unions have some type of email newsletter. But just having a newsletter isn’t the same as having an effective newsletter strategy. 
Newsletters are a great way to connect with your audience and build interest around the awesome things your bank or credit union is doing. But if your newsletter isn’t interesting, relevant, or exciting, people won’t read it. They might not even open it if the headline doesn’t grab their attention right off the bat! 
If your newsletter has low open rates and little engagement, it may be time to spice them up—and we’ve got a few tips that can help. 

1. Know Your Audience

You’ve probably heard how important it is to know your audience. This is still true when talking about email newsletters. Because newsletters are a way to reach your audience and build a relationship with them, it’s important to plan your content based on who you’re trying to reach. 
This may mean creating several newsletters that focus on different audiences. Maybe you have one newsletter aimed at older couples preparing for retirement and a slightly different newsletter aimed at newlyweds. This list can go on, but it’s up to you to decide how much you want to segment your audience. By marketing to different audiences, you’ll be able to provide them with the most valuable information and answers to their questions. This will strengthen your relationship and lead to more business for your bank or credit union. 
Knowing your audience comes by doing research, as well as trial and error. Try something out, and if it doesn’t seem to be working, try something new. That’s one of the best parts of being on the marketing team. You can do lots of different things until you find the one that works!

2. Look at Your Subject Lines

When you send an email, the first thing the recipient sees is the subject line. If it doesn’t grab their attention right away, there’s a good chance they won’t bother opening it. Believe it or not, 47% of recipients open an email based on the subject line. Even worse, 69% of recipients report an email as spam based on the subject line alone. 
Don’t be afraid to get creative. Try a pun, tell a story, or pose an interesting question. Keep it brief and make sure it’s relevant to the topic of your newsletter. You’ll also want to avoid spammy language like “act now” or using all caps. Even if the subject line gets around a spam filter, your recipients may mark it as such and never open it. 

3. Add More Than Text

Your newsletter is meant to share valuable information with your bank or credit union’s customers/members—and this means using more than just words. Include visual content like videos or images to break up blocks of text. This will make your newsletter easier to read and will be more visually appealing. And the more visually appealing a piece of content is, the more likely your audience is to engage with and remember it. 
(For some more tips on how to make your newsletter visually appealing, check out this Forbes article!)
Creating visual content is especially important when sharing complicated data. If you plan to share your bank or credit union’s community impact data (like we recommend doing), you’re going to want to make sure these numbers are easy to understand. And for many banks and credit unions, that means creating fun graphs, charts, and visuals. 
You can also create helpful videos like tutorials or guides that show customers detailed topics such as applying for a loan, tax filing strategies, or various ways to raise capital for a business. As suggested above, tailor these videos and guides to your target audience. 

4. Try a Different Tone

Bank and credit union marketers often feel like their marketing materials need to be formal and educational. That is, after all, the nature of a financial institution. However, this isn’t always true. Newsletters are a great place to drop a bit of formality and show your customers/members that you care and can be relatable. 
Instead of being super formal in your newsletters, try using a second-person point of view (saying “you” instead of “they”). Also, don’t be afraid to use some colloquial language to better relate with your audience. Speak to your email recipients on a more personal level. Be friendly and make it fun. Taking on a less formal tone can help your audience feel more connected to you, which can lead to them opening your emails as soon as they see them in their inboxes.

5. Share Relevant Information

Deciding what to put in your email newsletters can be the most challenging part. There are lots of options, but it’s up to you to decide what’ll be most beneficial to your customers/members. A good rule of thumb is to simply give your readers what they want. 
The key here is to build a consistent brand. Your newsletters shouldn’t be so drastically different each month that your reader is thrown for a loop. If you want to share your community impact data, make sure to include this data on a consistent basis (every month, every other month, etc.), not just whenever you feel like it. 
Here are some ideas for what to include in your bank or credit union newsletter:‌

  • Tips on how to save money
  • Stats on student loan debt or retirement funds
  • Educational blog content you’ve written
  • Customer/Member success stories
  • A poll or survey (don’t forget to share the results in your next newsletter!)
  • Nonprofit organizations or causes your financial institution is supporting (along with ways your audience can get involved)
  • Data showing your community impact (charts, graphs, visuals, etc.) 

6. Focus on a Single Call to Action

Every newsletter should have a call to action (CTA). Even if the only goal of your newsletter is to update your customers/members, you should still include some kind of CTA. This CTA can be as simple as an invitation to visit your website, support a cause, make a donation, or learn more. 
But you need to be careful not to overwhelm your readers with multiple CTAs. Too many calls to action make for a confusing message and lower conversion rates. Instead, focus on giving one solid CTA per newsletter. Build your message around this CTA so your readers know exactly what you want them to do. 
This doesn’t mean your newsletter can’t have multiple sections and topics. In fact, your newsletter should have more than one topic. The purpose, after all, is to update your customers/members on all the awesome things your institution is doing. Just make sure your newsletter has a consistent tone and purpose throughout rather than lots of different sections that don’t blend well together. 
Here’s another way to make your newsletter more visually appealing: use clear buttons for your CTA rather than plain old hyperlinks. 

7. Optimize for Mobile

Mobile optimization is becoming more and more important as more people use their mobile devices for common tasks like checking email. Just as you’ve (hopefully) optimized your website for mobile, you should make sure your emails are mobile-friendly, too. 
Having a mobile-friendly newsletter will likely increase open rates and engagement. The easier your newsletter is to read on any device, the happier your customers/members will be. Some ways to optimize your email newsletters for mobile include:
  • Simplify the newsletter sign-up process
  • Pay attention to image load times and ALT text
  • Have a responsive design
  • Pay attention to font size and text placement

Create More Effective Newsletters 

An email newsletter is a great, cost-effective way to build connections with your customers/members and keep them up-to-date on your financial institution’s story. But the last thing you want to do is send a dry, boring message. If you focus on the tips above, you’re likely to see higher open rates and stronger engagement. 
A strong piece of your email newsletter is sharing your community impact data. But tracking this data is frustrating and time-consuming. Let Kadince help. We make it easy to track, manage, and share your community impact data. Sharing this data will make your newsletters shine, as your customers/members love to see what you’re doing in their community. Schedule a personalized demo to learn more! 
Now that you have some ideas, check out these 5 tips for growing your newsletter.

None of Kadince, Inc., its affiliates, or its respective employees, directors, officers, and agents (collectively, “Kadince”) are responsible or liable for any content or information incorporated herein. Read full disclosure.

Jaidyn Crookston | Content Manager, Kadince

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