ESPs Help Banks

How Hybrid ESPs Can Help Banks Evolve

Every marketer has faced challenges when creating what they hope to be successful email programs. For those working in highly regulated industries such as banking, those challenges can often seem like mission impossible.

The many and changing regulations that govern banks apply fully to their marketing departments. And while email marketers have been able to work around those regulations to create amazing work, many still struggle with getting the data they need and using it to send highly personalized marketing messages.

But banks have a lot going for them when it comes to marketing. They have a LOT of first-party data on their customers. Moreover, new technology is emerging that could give banks the connection they seek, while maintaining the highest level of security.

What’s Needed?

One element slowing banks’ marketing innovation and personalization efforts are their dependence on legacy email marketing platforms. Many organizations rely on SaaS platforms that, while comprehensive and secure, can have a significant delay (days) when it comes to updating customer data. Moreover, restrictions on what types of data financial institutions can (or are willing to) send to their cloud provider may prevent email marketers from having the information they need to be effective.

In a recent study from The Relevancy Group (commissioned by MessageGears), “Improving Enterprise Email: How Hybrid ESPs Unify On-Site Data with Cloud Capabilities,” enterprise marketers discussed some of the shortcomings of traditional SaaS email marketing platforms. Their top three challenges were getting new data into their email marketing applications, the amount of time it takes to get the data in and out of the application, and limitations in the amount of data they could use.

A solution for these common issues exists. Hybrid email service platforms (ESPs) place the email marketing tools where the company’s data lives (whether that’s behind an internal firewall or in a private cloud), but still leverages the cloud for message assembly and sending. This infrastructure allows marketers to access more data sources in less time with the highest level of security.

In fact, 23 percent of financial service organizations have already shifted to a hybrid model for email marketing and are already seeing benefits. Those who have switched to a hybrid set-up reported monthly revenues that were 27 percent higher than those using SaaS/Cloud ESPs. This equated to more than $1.8 million a month in additional revenue for companies using a hybrid solution ESP.

Cyber security as innovation.

Cyber security is a requirement for a bank’s long-term success. Customers won’t use a bank they don’t trust, period.

Marketers, as noted in The Relevancy Group’s report, are also very concerned about cyber security. Of the seven items listed as answers to the question, “What is preventing you from using all of your relevant customer data in your email marketing program?” the top two answers cited security concerns. Marketers were worried about sending data to the vendor and exposing it to the Internet. Or they couldn’t send certain data because of privacy policies. Or they had to involve their IT department or vendor for support, which prolonged and complicated the process.

However, with a hybrid ESP, cyber security is increased exponentially by the very design of its infrastructure. The email marketer can access all their data safely behind the corporate firewall and decide what is exposed to the cloud when the messages are sent. Since the data is not replicated, there is no need to worry about whether or not it is safe sitting in a partner’s cloud infrastructure.

Marketing departments in heavily regulated industries face many challenges when rolling out new initiatives or campaigns. Accessing and leveraging rich customer data doesn’t have to add an additional burden. Hybrid ESPs can finally give these marketers the tools they need to fully realize their ideas.

Will Devlin

A 14-year veteran of the email marketing industry, Will has been focused on leading marketing strategy and execution for MessageGears since 2014. He has extensive experience on both the retail customer and service side of email marketing, and he’s interested in helping businesses better understand how they can make the most of the work they put into their email campaigns.