Writing a perfect (or nearly so) email

Like a good memo or haiku, internal and external emails should have a specific style and rhythm.

First, start with a meaningful subject. If you want the recipient to open the email and take action on it, make it clear from the subject line what the email is about and what needs to be done. A meaningful subject also makes it easier for the recipient to find the message by a quick search or scan of their messages. 

Recycling is good for things like paper and cans, not emails. Don’t keep recycling an old thread by clicking reply or reply all. When you have a new topic, create a new email with a new subject line. This ensures that there is no unrelated information in the email, which can confuse recipients and waste their time (“better read this, must be something important in here…why else would I get it”).

Make your request or call to action clear within the body of the email. What do you want the recipient to do and how should they do it? If there is more than one point (or request), start out with introductory sentence that explains this in email, something like “The four items below need to be completed by Wednesday on the Fenton project:”.

If you send an email with a request to six people, be sure to make it clear who should do what. This avoids the “oh, I thought someone else was supposed to be doing it” excuse or duplicated efforts. It also helps to use the cc: section for people you want to keep up to date, but who aren’t directly responsible for any action needed in the email.

And finally, look before responding to all. Does your response really need to go to everyone?

Reinventing Loyalty

Findings from EMI’s National Study

Customers may be satisfied with their banking relationships, but that satisfaction doesn’t always translate into more revenue or deeper relationships. And in today’s economy, acquiring new relationships while growing current ones is becoming an increasingly high-stakes game.

In EMI’s national consumer study, we uncover the role that loyalty programs play in acquisition and retention. What we found is that banks still have a long way to go towards turning loyalty into deep and profitable relationships:

  • Only 9% of consumers stated that loyalty is the most important reason for remaining with their primary bank or credit union
  • 69% of consumers have a primary credit card issued by a financial institution other than their primary bank, and they cite a better rewards program as the most important reason for looking elsewhere
  • Of the minority who have credit cards issued bt their primary bank, a high percentage of consumers chose the card simply out of convenience

Growing bank deposits

As banks reduce budgets for consumer lending, growing deposits has become ever more important, both to gather assets and to drive effective acquisition.  We’ve just released an in-depth benchmarking and analysis of the leading deposit generation programs in banking today to help banks assess competitive marketing messaging, media, and content, understand best practices and monitor deposit industry financials to learn who’s winning, and why.  

Specifically, the report includes two volumes:

  • 50 pages of trends and analysis including market share of the top banks, perspectives on how well each is doing in growing deposits (based on their deposit performance through 3Q08), categories of deposit programs – online and offline, marketing trends, with leading features and innovations recently seen.
  • A deep dive into the marketing programs of 20 banks — from the national leaders to regional innovators to the aggressive online banks (100+ pages of analysis). 

If you are interested in learning more about this report, please email Alicia at arecupero@emiboston.com.