I signed up for a daily email newsletter the other day from Runner’s World. As if I was not infatuated enough with my running habit, or did not read enough running news and reviews around the internet on a daily basis, I felt that I needed to have a daily dose of running-related email material delivered to my inbox. After signing up, I let a few days pass before I realized I hadn’t yet read a single newsletter. What was going on?

At this point, I will share that I habitually clean my inbox from junk mail. I keep all personal messages, notes of relevance that I need to take action on, and maybe even a stray promotional offer or two if I feel like I might circle back on it and take advantage. But the junk mail? That gets purged four or five times per day.

What I caught the next morning as I was scrolling through emails was that the newsletter that I had signed up for was actually being delivered. Only, I hadn’t noticed it, because the subject line of the Runner’s World email gave me no reason to keep it around.

“Quote of the Day” is the subject line they send their daily newsletter out with. It might as well just get sent straight to junk mail.

This got me thinking – and as a financial marketer, you should too – about presenting relevant messages to our consumers at all times. It’s time to stop sending Email. Start sending Memail.

The problem, in my mind, is that our long-used model of message interruption to grab attention is not working as well as it used to. Sure, there are the times when mind-bogglingly low loan rates, absurdly high deposit rates or great offers will stop people in their tracks and get them to look at what you’re communicating. But, more or less, if the offer doesn’t have particular relevance to someone, you’ve just wasted marketing dollars, an email send (or risked an unsubscribe) to put something out there that was meant to interrupt.

During a TED Talk he gave (which I’ve referenced on this blog before), Seth Godin explains the dynamic with interruption versus relevance beautifully:

“I go to the deli; I’m sick; I need to buy some medicine. The brand manager for that blue product (on the shelf) spent 100 million dollars trying to interrupt me in one year. 100 million dollars interrupting me with TV commercials and magazine ads and SPAM and coupons and shelving allowances and spiff – all so I could ignore every single message. And I ignored every single message because I don’t have a pain reliever problem. I buy the stuff in the yellow box because I always have. And I’m not going to invest a minute of my time to solve her problem, because I don’t care.”

Personally, the best auto loan rate in the world won’t get me to take action on an email, banner ad, billboard or radio commercial, because I don’t have an auto loan problem. And the reality of this is that many of your customers and members feel (in italics) The. Exact. Same. Way.

Starting with email marketing is one of the easiest ways to begin solving the messaging relevance issue that your bank or credit union is having. The whole concept of Memail means that your FI needs to find a really good way to segment your marketing.

Auto loans are a great example. Do you market your auto loans to all customers or members that don’t have an auto loan with you? Or do you add more layers of segmentation to place a more relevant message in front of the right people?

In a world where Google finishes populating your internet searches and Amazon is recommending the next best product for you to buy based on what you’ve been browsing, consumers are looking for their financial partners to meet them in the middle, too. Relevant messaging is key. Memail is the means to get there.

In addition to being a strategic consultant for community banks and credit unions, MarketMatch also has nationally and internationally requested speakers. Contact us to bring our marketing ideas to your institution or next conference.

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