Over one-third of global marketing decision-makers focus on improving their use of data and analytics, according to Forrester’s 2018 Global Marketing Survey. What does a data and analytics focus look like for financial services executives? What financial services marketing creative best practices can drive growth?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) provides a rich data set and best practice insights that empower financial services marketers to optimize the most important and engaging words in their creative, based on fact, not fiction. This data-driven approach delivers better ROI on creative investments and more revenue from campaigns.
At the 2019 Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit, Persado Vice Presidents of Strategic Accounts Marisol Leffler and Alyssa Gaines presented key takeaways from a Persado analysis of financial services campaigns that marketing leaders can use to boost ROI from their creative.
Marketers often resort to using words focused on Urgency, such as, “These deals won’t last!” Persado ran hundreds of experiments and found that the Urgency emotion on its own is the least successful emotion for financial services marketing creative performance.
Urgency + Exclusivity outperform Urgency alone
Persado’s data shows that adding Exclusivity-oriented words to the Urgency phrase “limited-time” can deliver significant performance improvements. When a Persado client replaced the phrase “Limited Time: Don’t wait for this balance offer” with the AI-powered message of “You’re eligible for a limited-time balance transfer offer,” the client saw a 24% increase in conversion rate and a 17% increase in clicks. These data-driven results and insights empower marketing leaders to have a principled discussion about how to scale the success of the winning message as opposed to engaging in a frustrating debate about whether the control message is better.
The common practice of highlighting an offer or benefit (which Persado defines as Descriptive Language) frequently leaves money on the table. Offer/ benefit language only accounts for 14% of message impact. This isn’t to say offer language should be eliminated altogether. Instead, layer the right emotional language onto the offer/ benefit descriptive copy to deliver more impact. In an experiment for a financial services brand, Persado ran experimental design analysis to transform an emotionless message into two compelling alternatives that delivered higher performance.
Layer emotional language onto the offer/benefit descriptive copy to deliver more impact.
“You can earn 5X more with a <brand> savings account” became “Presenting your opportunity to earn 5X more with a <brand> savings account.” The analysis determined that “Presenting your opportunity” evokes Fascination by stimulating enthusiasm/ interest related specifically to a value/financial gain. The message saw a 16% uptick in engagement. To take the analysis one step further, a message that harnessed Exclusivity delivered even more engagement. “You’re invited to get 5X more with a <brand> savings account” delivered 48% more engagement than the control message with no emotion.
Calls to Action (CTAs) play a critical role in the performance of marketing creative, standing as the gatekeepers to conversions and progression along the buying journey. They are a cornerstone of many online testing programs. Yet many marketers in financial services still follow conventional wisdom and use “Apply Now” as their default CTA in their hurry to get the conversion. The application may actually be two to three clicks away. In fact, “Apply Now” is one of the lowest-performing CTAs across financial services. A more effective approach is to better align to the customer journey and experience and use phrases such as “Begin here,” “Go to application,” or “Click to apply.“
One financial services brand that focused on the immediate user experience saw a 17% lift in click rate and a 10% increase in conversion rate.
Takeaway: A few data-informed adjustments to the words and phrases used in financial services creative can make a significant difference in the business impact of digital marketing creative. Given the large investments many financial service firms make in marketing creative and messaging, it’s absolutely critical to be mathematically certain that the creative performs at its peak.