Email Signatures and Email Banners For Financial Services Companies

September 1, 2020

Financial services companies thrive on one-to-one interaction. Not surprisingly, email is among the most reliable and best channels for engaging prospects. Most financial services companies send out large volumes of marketing emails. What they may not know is that every outbound email can become a marketing campaign with rich email signatures and email banners.

Intrigued? Keep reading this blog to see our favorite examples and be sure to tune into our on-demand webinar to learn more, The Most Overlooked Marketing Channel in Banking.

Since 2014, open rates and click and click-through rates (CTRs) have increased each year according to a 2019 report by IBM Acoustic (the company’s marketing technology unit). Acoustic attributes part of this improvement to better message relevance. Messages that have transactional content - specific offers, for example - drove exceptionally high average open rates of 44%. What’s more, recipients are opening emails more than once. Acoustic found that for financial services, recipients were opening emails an average of 1.6 times. For insurance emails, the reopen rate was even higher. 


Clearly, financial services emails are holding the attention of recipients - and that’s just for marketing emails! We assume that recipients of emails from people they are in email convos with at financial institutions probably are paying even closer attention. This is why financial services companies want to make sure they use every email impression that they receive wisely. 

Email Signatures and Email Banners - A New Owned Media Channel 

An innovative way to get more value out of your existing email sends is with customized email signatures and email banners. Email signatures that are designed to reflect your brand, carry your logo and convey offers drive higher engagement and catch the eye of readers. Email banners are small display banners placed under, next to, or on top of your email signature block. These banners behave like interactive display ads on the Internet.

Even better, they are finely targeted (by the humans who are sending them) and do not fight for attention with other ads on a page. There are also no ad blockers in email so the banners are unlikely to be blocked like they might be in a browser. CTRs on email banners range from 5% to 10%, and are often higher for financial services companies that put transactional messages in banners. There are lots of great ways that financial services firms are using email signatures. Here are a few examples with some comments and explanation of what makes them work. (Note - we used generic signature data and “Jane Doe” to anonymize our examples)

Email Signatures With Social Proof  Drive Trust and Engagement

Grow Financial is one of the  largest credit unions in the state of Florida. Their email signatures include their clean logo with their brand colors as well as links to their four major channels. But the biggest eye-catcher is the logos of some popular publications which highlight awards that Grow has won. An email signature is a phenomenal place to build customer trust and these logos add massively in that department. With the logos, anything you say in the email kicks up a notch in credibility. Hubspot writes constantly about Social Proof on their blog as one of the keys to winning customer credibility and sales. Grow Financial gets it and does it right. 

Email Signatures That Make It Easier To Act And Relate

Connexus Credit Union is headquartered in Wausau, Wisconsin with branches in three states. It serves over 78,000 members, across all 50 states of the U.S. Like many credit unions, Connexus offers mortgage banking services for real estate buyers. For credit unions, home loans are a crucial source of revenue that is still driven by relationships more than comparison shopping. It’s an area where customer service allows credit unions to shine. Connexus adds two simple features to their email signatures with an outsized impact - a scheduling link to book a call and a headshot. By putting a scheduling link in the signature, a recipient can easily find the link and the offer is more clearly called out.

Have you ever scanned through a signature  chain looking for a link? I have and it's not fun. This is the solution - and it results in higher rates of scheduled calls. Because this is in an ongoing email thread, it’s just another service option but one that makes customers happier and increases velocity of transactions. Adding the headshot personalizes what might be an impersonal transaction. It reminds recipients they are dealing with a person and that they are receiving personal service - that they are not a number. This also taps into basic psychology. As detailed by ChangingMinds, eye contact is the first step to persuasion. A photo that has eyes looking out at the recipient walks down that same path.

Email Signatures That Ask Users For Reviews (And Also Builds Even More Trust)

This email signature is simple and clean and it has one ask for the reader; please review and rate our service. The signature lists seven places online to leave reviews. This ask, at the same time, drives recipients to check out the ratings and reputations of OnDeck, which is a small business lending platform. That’s a highly competitive space and OnDeck is smart; reviews give OnDeck more  credibility and potential borrowers will want to check out OnDeck’s ratings before they sign on the dotted line.

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Email Banners That Inform Prospects And Drive Engagement

We have seen how financial services companies are leveraging their email signatures to reach prospects and improve interactions with customers. Email banners provide an even broader and richer canvas for communication. Banners are interactive display ads that sit below or next to the email signature. Some companies have static images that sit under their email signatures. Full-fledged email banners can be automatically placed and rotated to deliver fresh content and calls-to-action with each email. Banners are fully interactive and customizable; they can contain animations, polls, video links, images, and polls. Banners can also be styled to resize for any display, just like regular interactive ads running on the Internet. 

We’ve already heard how transactional emails (with specific offers or deals) from financial services companies outperform and drive high open rates and CTRs. In our experience, email banners can elevate the transactional CTAs and improve engagement and response even above well-optimized email messages. Why is obvious: the banners can convey visual messages that attract and hold our attention. So an email banner can reinforce a subject line about record low mortgage rates or special promotions to open an savings or checking account, or get a quote for an insurance policy. 

Getting Started With Email Signatures And Banners

There are a number of ways to apply signatures and banners to your outbound emails (Here’s a deep dive). Similarly, there are a number of considerations that must go into designing email signatures and email banners. The good news is that it's easy to experiment with email signatures and to make banners for your own account to test the impact. For regulated enterprises in financial services, centralized control of signatures is necessary to maintain security. It is also far easier to manage email signatures and email banners for hundreds or thousands of employees from one centralized system where you can apply changes globally and run campaigns and targeted display banners. Above all, email signatures are fun and engaging. Your employees will love them. Your management team see how they put your best brand forward and can increase engagement.

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