Email's Impact On Customer Loyalty

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Relevance is the mantra for today’s email marketers. But it shouldn’t be the only consideration.

The emotional level of the interaction or transaction that an email message pertains to is an important factor in understanding how an email message will impact a customer’s relationship with a product, brand, or company.

Irrelevant email about things a customer doesn’t care about might not impact their loyalty. Example: The emails from credit card providers to “transfer my balances.” I don’t have any balances to transfer, so I don’t really care. Although some might find this annoying, it’s unlikely that few will actually stop using the card or go searching for another as a result.

But irrelevant emails in high-emotion situations can be detrimental. Example: A couple waiting to hear back from their bank about their short term loan application (for the money they need to travel to China to adopt a baby that’s waiting for them) gets an email from the bank with a home equity loan offer. Doesn’t exactly leave them feeling positive about the bank.

Relevant emails (especially pro-active, unexecpected ones) in high-emotion situations are the holy grail. The trick isn’t figuring out the email message — it’s recognizing that a customer is in a highly emotional situation.

How will you identify these situations? By developing a sense-and-respond marketing capability.

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