EP #30 Effective Email Marketing Tactics For The Banking Industry: A Heritage Bank Story

EP #30 Effective Email Marketing Tactics For The Banking Industry: A Heritage Bank Story

About this Podcast

In today’s special episode of the “For The Love Of Emails” podcast, we welcome Oluwanifesimi Obisesan, The Team Lead, Customer Insight, and Business Support for Heritage Bank, Nigeria. Together with our host, Onuoha Glory, Client Success Manager at Netcore Cloud. Listen to some eye-opening/unheard tips for your email marketing strategies. Our email experts unravel proven email campaign examples that work wonders for the banking industry.

Quick Snapshots
In this podcast, they discussed
What does an effective emailing strategy constitute?
Why is it important to have an effective email marketing strategy?
How does Heritage Bank create an effective email marketing strategy?
How has the use of Send Time Optimization benefitted Heritage Bank?
What are the best tactics to build lists?
How to create effective email segments?
What are the processes required to implement an effective emailing strategy?
Episode Transcripts


You’re listening to the “For The Love Of Emails” podcast, powered by Netcore, a weekly show dedicated to helping email marketers, marketing enthusiasts, and professionals of all walks, engage, grow, and retain customers through reliable, smart, and effective email communication and engagement. Discover actionable ways to increase ROI and deliver value through email innovations, personalization, optimization, email deliverability, and email campaigns.No fluff tune in to hear best practices and tactical solutions from the best thought leaders and practitioners. Master your email communication now.


Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of the Netcore cloud podcast coming to you from Lagos, Nigeria. Today, we’ll be discussing effective emailing tactics. Now it’s important to know that weak emailing tactics or marketing strategies are bound to fail and thus, to not deliver the right amount of returning investments that we want. So it’s not just about having your message and sending all your clients it’s about knowing the right kind of message send the right kind of people, when to send it, you know, having like a strategized procedure, a step by step procedure of how to send out your email campaigns, so you can get the right tone of investments and get right engagements. Today we have a very special guest in the house to give us a breakdown explanation and detailed information on what we need to know about effective emailing tactics. So I’m gonna let you take over now. The floor is yours, go ahead.


Thank you very much. Good afternoon, everyone. I trust everyone who is listening right now is having an amazing day. My name is OLUWANIFESIMI OBISESAN. At the moment I work with heritage bank and I am the team lead customer insight and business support for heritage bank PRC. So that’s just a brief introduction about myself. Thank you very much Glory for this opportunity.


Thank you so much for coming on this podcast on such short notice, but thank you. I’m so happy to have you here. So I’m going to dive right into it, you know, and ask you a few questions. I’ll need you to tell me, you know when we speak effectively. What do we mean? What does it mean?


Thank you very much. So you know, I think even before you asked this question when you did your brief introduction, you said the major thing about effective email tactics or effective email strategies, and what is it that you need to know about effective email strategy or tactics first and foremost, you need to understand what is meant by email marketing. Now, when you say email marketing it is the act of sending commercial messages, using the email in its broadcast sense. Every email sent to anyone could be considered email marketing. That’s what we need to know first and foremost, How do you communicate to your customers? You communicate to your customers or your clients, their email, irrespective of the email, your email may be information, It may be promotional. It may be security-wise you know, irrespective of what you say to your customers via email, it is all counted as email marketing, but at the time, you’re now going to try to understand what you mean by effective email tactics. You are looking at how best do you want to control your email?


Okay. How do you want to understand your clients? How do you want to understand what the clients want when you are doing email marketing? Are you sending the right email to the right set of people or you’re sending the right email to the wrong set of people? So I’m going to give a very brief example. You have your age analysis after you have gotten your data, and then you are sending an email that is catchy to the Gen Z generation. You’re sending it to old age. You have missed it. So it,


It is important to Understand what’s catchy and how you can make use of it. OLUWANIFESIMI OBISESAN (05:26):

Yes, I get you.

New Speaker (05:27):

Exactly. So it’s like, you know, let me just make a very brief example. I’m very sure, you know, the new essence remix song by wizkid and then you are sending a notification to people within the age of 70 and above. How would you expect them to understand that kind of marketing? No. So, in that scenario, you are not using the right tactics for your email marketing. So it’s just very simple and straightforward. When you speak on effective email strategy, you need to know exactly what you are doing. You need to speak to the right audience, you need to know things the way they’re supposed to be. So that’s just what it is.


Thank you so much for this detailed explanation, with the examples. I mean, the examples where we wonder for anybody that even if you don’t understand what email marketing is with this example, you have given anybody at all with you don’t have an insight of what we are talking about.

New Speaker (06:42):



So let’s move on to the next, which is why it is important for us to have an effective marketing tactic now you’ve told us what it is told us, you know, you’ve given us very good examples of what email marketing, effective email marketing tactic. It’s not just about sending out your communication about having a structure, structure them and procedure and how to do it. Yeah. But why is it important to, you know, have a set down detailed and structured procedure and how to send your email communication?


Thank you very much for that question. You need to understand how effective it is. Because when you understand your email strategy, then you are most likely going to boost your business. The clientele base is going to be the right set. The importance of an effective email strategy is the fact that you are making the right choice every time you send out your email, it is very, very, very important. And then when you are doing this, you know, you are selling to the people that are going to benefit from what you are sending out. It’s very fit forward. There’s no magic about it. When you’re saying, how important is my effective email strategy? How important would it be again, if not for you to be speaking to the right set of people? So when, when you speak to the right side of people, the importance is you are passing that message that will make them see your business as a business that understands what email marketing is




Like that’s, that’s just the simplest way. I can explain that. The very simplest way I can explain that.


Yeah. Thank you so much. Okay. So, you know, as your brand is the heritage bank, I know that you guys do a lot of email marketing to your customers. I want to understand how you, your brand, create your marketing strategy?


Okay. Thank you very much. So at heritage bank you know, our email marketing we have, we, we group, we group our email marketing. We have some emails that go out to all customers, irrespective of your age. The email is for everybody. Now, at some point in time, we have some email marketing that goes to females only. We also have some email campaigns or marketing that goes to male-only. And then we have email campaigns that go to the parents of children who have accounts in Heritage Bank. So I’m just going to give you some very brief examples. Some months ago we concluded international women’s day. And I can tell you that the Heritage Bank successfully conducted that event for one whole week. And what did we do here with our email marketing? Now, it is very important for us to speak to our customers, irrespective of gender, this time to say happy international women’s day. But then at the point where we now have to bring in our guest speakers to speak on different days, we now target our emails to people within the age of 18 years to 60, because these are the very vibrant set of people at the moment.


That means you had, you had to set an email marketing goal.


Yes. We had to say exactly. Thank you very much. We had to set an email marketing goal, which is speaking because our guest speakers they’re seasoned people. So we had a lot of seasoned female speakers that came on board to speak with our customers. So, immediately we were able to set our goals. We got the target we wanted and you know, it was a big success. Yeah. I remember the most interesting day was the day we had a health talk. And, you know, that was, we just noticed that people kept joining people, you know, even when we got an analysis, we still saw that people who even did not have an account with Heritage Bank still joined the seminar on that fiscal day.


And, you know, and how, how were we able to do that? Because we were able to set our marketing goals the best way we can. Another example was on children’s day. Now we sent emails because you know, the parents of these children that are under 18 are the signature of their accounts with the bank. So, what we did was, oh, happy children’s day to everyone. But then one of them, the promotional offers we did was strict to that particular set of kids. And, you know, eventually, we had a giveaway session, you know, where children had to come up with their talents. You know, we just, we were able to set our goal towards the kids. And what did this also give us? It gave us an account opened.


Oh, nice.


Number two. It gave us a reasonable number of followers on our social media platforms. Yeah. So when we have set our email marketing correctly, tell me why a business will not go well.




So that’s, that’s just what it is.


Okay. So I loved the way you have broken this down with different examples, you know, setting, giving us real life, you know, scenarios and now it’s also important that we know and use the right marketing, the right email marketing tool too, you know, send out your communication is fantastic. That sets your marketing goal. So how do you go about picking the right email marketing tool? I know you use a Heritage Bank as one of our customers and the use of a plan from Netcore cloud sends out your marketing campaign. So the necessary email marketing tools. Can you through like, just give us like a brief,


Okay. So for you to get the right email marketing tools, the first thing you need to consider is the effectiveness, the strength of this marketing tool. Is it a marketing tool you need to look for reviews? People who will give you a review on the marketing tool you’re making use of, okay, how effective is this marketing tool? Does this marketing tool often have a delay, do this marketing tool, will it give you what you want at the end of it all. Another thing is you need to understand and have a proper insight into your email marketing and the tool you want to purchase. Is it giving you that insight?


Now, let me speak on how we use our heritage bank, which is the Netcore platform. This is an amazing platform. You know, what am I looking for that I would not get on Netcore is in my bounce rate? My unsubscribe rate, the number of clients that opened my email, the number of clients that stayed long on the email, which shows, yes, they didn’t just open. They opened and read it. I don’t know if you get what I’m saying, right? They, you know, get, get a marketing tool that will give you an insight into what you need. Get a tool that immediately you press the send button your customers have gotten your notification, get a reliable tool, reliability is one of the key things when you are sending out communications to your client space.


So your hard bounces, is your platform going to tell you why this email bounced? These are things you need to look at because it’s going to help your analysis. It’s going to help your analysis. So what am I saying? Picking the necessary email marketing tools. Number one, you need to consider reliability. Number two, you need to consider the analysis aspect of your email marketing which is super duper important. Number three, you need to consider the reach of that email marketing platform. So is it a platform that can only send things to people within the shores of Nigeria, or it can go outside. Because some platforms have been restricted. So you need to, you need to let me use the language that I used when I was a customer service agent, you need to deep dive into reviews of different email marketing platforms. So don’t make a mistake because once you get it wrong by using your email marketing then your email marketing strategy is dead, that’s it from me.


Yeah. Thank you so much. Thank you for really jotting things down as you were giving us, explaining and giving us, you know, the things we need to look out for when picking our tools. Yeah. Lovely. Thank you. Right. Another thing we need to also look at is picking out your target audience. You’ve always already given us, you know, an explanation for picking out your target audience. Like you gave an example with the international women’s day and the children’s day program, you know, you guys have to, are we targeting children above 18 or children under 18? You know, having in mind that, okay, signatures to these accounts are their appearance. Yes. So what, how should we send them messages? What should we do to draw their attention? So push-ins, giveaways, and putting it in our email body that this will happen.


And so hard. Then, I was able to bring, you know, a good return rate, you had good accounts open and you had, you know, a good number of people attend your seminar. So that’s about the right audience. And I think, talk about nice, you know, identify the appropriate list building back. So can you throw light on that to identify the appropriate list, building tactics, I’d say, you know, what, on the platform, you have to put in your contact based on different lists? Yes. For people with a personal account, I’m just giving a very brief example. This list is for people with personal account opens or corporate accounts opens. And so how do you identify the appropriate list? Building tactics? How do you go about that?


Okay. So when you, when you try to identify your list there are different things that you need to put into consideration, number one, what demographic are you trying to speak to? What is the interest of the people you want to speak to with your email marketing? What is their interest now? Even if you don’t want to build a list and you want to maintain your whole database, what are you pushing out to them now for you to identify the appropriate list-building tactics? As I said, you need to know what, what is the content of your marketing? Creative. When you have proper knowledge of that, then you will know how best you will build your list. OK. Like I said, demography under demography. You’ll be looking at the age location.


When you say location, well, you understand the age part. Location. Are you speaking to people in Lagos? let me just say Southwest. Okay. Now, are you sending out a creative or content in your language, does it make sense for you to send content in your language, to a list that has your house of customers no sense? So when you know what it is and what it is in your content, you, your demo will speak to it. And then another thing under the demo is a job title. So I want to advertise a product that is supposed to be for doctors.


All I need to do is go to my mail, build out everything that has a doctor in front. Now, not all doctors are medical doctors, but another smart way, I will be able to fix that is, you know, I can check some other determinant factors in their details to tell me if they are medical doctors or book doctors. So, or I have, I have an account that speaks to only lawyers. It is easy for me. I just need to build my list of lawyers and send my communication to them. Yeah. Now, when it comes to interest, what you want to send, is it going to interest this list you have built, will they have interest in this? You know, like I earlier said, you are sending a communication on whiz kid terms and Justin Bieber’s essence remix to an age grade of 70 and above, what do you think it’ll be to them? I say it’s a culture


Shot, right? I know this is another weird face segmentation that comes in. Yes. You considered your list. You also need to, you know segmentation is a huge part. Exactly. You’re you have a list of people that are staying in the, let’s say are the, for example, yes. Like, let’s say using the language barrier that you give an example. OK. I had that saying the best, but I know that if I am going towards people that are bad, there are a lot of other people that would not understand or read English. How about a proper segmentation dividing if okay. You know, OLUWANIFESIMI, if I don’t send this to people in Europe, I send these people in English.


Yes, please. Yes. You’re very right. You’re very, very correct. You’re very, very correct. So that’s just about it.


Thank you. Thank you very much. And I think what we need to talk about now is sending communication in real-time, you know, scheduling your email communication, you know, using on the Netcore platform, you use the future called the same time optimization, but can you speak about that?


Sorry. Can you come again? I didn’t get that.


Sending your communication out in real-time, sending your communication to your people at their preferred time. Yes. The feature on the platform that’s called send-time optimization. Can you speak briefly about that


Okay. So one thing that Netcore gives me is it gives me the best time my customers open their emails. Mm. You know, this takes me back to picking the necessary email marketing tool. Now, if I had picked an email marketing tool that would not give me a proper analysis of the best time my customers check their emails, I wouldn’t know the best time to send out an email. If for example, there is a new communication, you know, brought up by the regulatory body, which is CBN, you know, so I’m gonna use a recent example. CBN has said they have withdrawn the licenses of you know, foreign exchange from change and, you know, solely giving this license to commercial banks at the moment. So you want to get some business travel allowance, you know, personal travel allowance or your FX to you, carry them out with heritage back now, looking at the trend of the time, my customers used to open their email. I see that the best time they open their emails is between 11 to 1:00 PM. So automatically what is the best time for me to send that email? That’s the best time for me to send the email. So, you know, scheduling my emails solely needs me to understand the analysis of when customers do open their emails. That’s just it


Using the send time optimization feature now helps you. So once you have adopted that feature and you have decided to send out your emails using that feature, what email does this help your email get to your clients at a preferred time? Yes, the preferred time is by 1:00 PM. 


Exactly, exactly.


Help do your analysis and give you real-time information about your clients.


Yes. So let me also add to it, you know just, just as you have said, there are some times that you know we do some promos on our cards. So for example, our card promo, heritage bank will last with some lounge on the island that’s in VI. Okay. So tell me, when is the best time for me to send communication to people that I want them to visit a lounge and have fun? It doesn’t make any sense if I send a communication on a Monday evening. Yeah. It doesn’t make any sense if I send it on a Tuesday evening, the best time for me, you know, using the same time optimization is I should do such an email for Thursday evening, get prepared. I need to go to this lounge and get a 10% discount off when you make use of your Verified card. So when they’re seeing this mail, you know, I share those emails from like 4:00 PM when it is always close to.




Exactly. So those emails will go out Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, because these are the best times that people do go out to just, you know, relax, you know, the stress of the whole week. Let me just go somewhere and just relax. So I just say, let me also give that example to purchase the point. Yes.


Thank you so much. One last thing, we also, I’m going to like you to give us your knowledge on is your subject line. Now we know that the subject line plays a huge role in whether your clients will open your email or




And using the split test helps us to do a survey. And then you use a subject line, this set of people. I use a different subject line that says the same. It carries the same information but just changes words for different sets of people. Now, the people that give me the highest open platform will send that one to the rest of the people. So that’s why I use the word survey. So tell now, heritage bank has adopted and is using currently at the moment. So give us an insight into how you strategize your subject line. How do you pick out, you know, the perfect subject line to send to people? Because I mean, if your subject line is work, sorry to use both works, it determines your operates and your


Yes. All right. Thank you very much. The subject line, as you have said is extremely important when you are doing your email marketing, as I’m speaking with you now, there are some emails that once I see the subject line via my more about the phone, interested in reading,


Because I already feel this thing does not appeal to me. It’s not, it’s not appealing to me, but you know when I see something from the Heritage Bank and it’s like, shine your eye I’m like, okay, why are banks sending me to shine your eye, your eye and then I will open it. What I’m going to see is someone who is wearing a hoodie, you know, presenting himself as a scam, and then asking me for my mobile phone number, my BVN, that kind of message. Heritage bank is letting me know that, Hey, you need to be very careful of scammers or I see an email that searches for an email. So what am I trying to say here? Your email subject is extremely important. You know, I don’t make the final decision on the email subject.


But because some emails need to go out and you know, my divisional head needs to approve. At that point, when my divisional head is not okay, or my group head is not okay with the subject chosen, it tends to give me something better, something more catchy. And that was why the first thing I said was, you know, shine your eyes. When I see a very catchy email. So an example is, you know, go to a lounge and get a 10% discount offer. . Now I would not put the subject as go and enjoy at Sososo lounge. No. Yeah. But you know, at that point, when I say, get a 10% discount, when you use the card, or I say, your MasterCard gives you a 10% discount, you are like, Hey, I didn’t cut the Heritage bank today. Let me look at what they’re saying safely. And then you open it and you are like, oh, so if I visit this lounge, I get 10%. Wow. I’m going now my group head used to say something. And that thing is, do not let your customers know the content of your email from the subject.


Because once they see that subject, they’re already, like, I already know what this email is saying, iunno, should I open this or should I not open it? Exactly. But you see,


I didn’t tell you where you would go and enjoy the 10 % discounts. Yeah. But you would like to open that email to see where you go and get that come from. So that kind of thing is going to give my open rates a spike. So if previously, when I’m sending my regular regulatory information to customers and I’m getting maybe 70,000 opens, if I enjoy 10% sent with, we enjoy a 10% discount with your heritage mastercard. Trust me, my open rate will go as high as a hundred thousand because where do you, where is this that you want me to use this card at? No, I must top heritage banks’ money. I need to know where the heritage bank wants me to go and use this card. I must go there and go and do it. Yeah. You know, for security messages that we send out to customers as well, you need to make it as catchy as possible. I’m saying shine your eyes. 




It is communication. I sent it out to customers and guess what? My, my, my subject was. Can you just my subject a try? Give it a guess.


I am not very good at guessing.


Okay. And my, that was your phone got lost.

New Speaker (36:07):

Really. Wow. That’s wild.


The subject line was that your phone got a lost question mark. Okay. I’m seeing that. Why are they asking me if my phone is missing?


So was that, was that email targeted to people that you have your domains customers, people that you’re not,


It was targeted at active customers.


And what was I trying to let them know? Just in case you lose your phone, just pick any other phone and dial my U S S D to block your account. That was the message. But you know, your phone doesn’t lose


And you wonder why me, I thought it was for demanding customers. You know, that would give me,


Tell me why you would not open that, that


Email. Why are they asking me this question? What is happening?


So when you open and you see your phone, don’t lose any shaking start 7, 4, 5 code NA code. Don’t block your account. I have passed my message and everybody has gotten that message. Yeah. So subjects like the line are extremely important when you are sending out your communication. Once your subject line is very, very catchy. Trust me, your open rate will be amazing.


You so much. Thank you. We first expected time here to be, but this was so insightful. Very educational. And I’m sure that anybody that listens to this podcast has, you know, will be able to jot it down step by step, you know, sit on how to, you know, grow and build effective emailing tactics. Another thing again, that we’re going to mention is to also monitor your email performance, you know? Yes. On ours, our platform. We have a dashboard where you can see your reports, your analytics like you mentioned, before hundred people have opened, how many people have clicked? How many bounces do I have? How many people subscribed to your reasons? Why do you unsubscribe? So you can also learn from them, okay, somebody just subscribes. I passed with too many emails because this email was not very, and was not important to them. Exactly. Exactly. You need to go through your email performance report, go through the analytics, and see how your operators are doing, how your, your clicks are doing, what your customers are saying. Because from those reports, listen to your contact, understand your clients, understand what they’re doing. Exactly your goals to, you know, to make them happy. Busy. Exactly.


Exactly. Exactly.


What investments get, you know, get good feedback from your clients. Yes, yes. For coming on to him. This was such a great and insightful session. Thank you very much.


Just, to quickly add before you go, I wanna say this, your email marketing should be a strategy for repeat business. It should not be something that will turn your customers into detractors.


So that’s, that’s a very wise one. Thank you. Thank you. Should be repeat business.


Yes. Your email marketing should be something that will bring repeat business, not creating detractors for your business. Yeah. So your email marketing should be a promoter of your business and then make your customers come back to come and enjoy that beautiful cycle in your business. And not you sending out an email marketing that customers will not like, please. I don’t need these people. They should go.


Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you so much. The end of this insightful podcast and yeah, against the end, the podcast here. Now you hear me. It was wonderful having you here and I hope that you’re going to come back when it sends a new invitation your way.


Definitely. I will. I was so glad to come back, you know?


Yeah. Enjoy the rest of your day. You


Too. Thank you very much.




Bye. Bye.

Outro (40:50):

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