The State Of Email Marketing In Binary Options
Published 14th November 2015
In April and Mayof 2015, we registered on 44 binary options brands’ platforms and ranked their email marketing based on the following criteria:
- Email content
- Email style/graphics
- Email frequency
The very first thing we looked at was whether or not any form of email marketing was being used by the brands. A commendable 41 (93%) of brands had some form of email marketing in place, either automated or user-generated (manual), with 40 (91%) using automated email messages. It was clear from this that the major binary options operators companies were all aware that, for consistent and cost-effective marketing, an automated email campaign is a must.
Are you asking me out?
The first email a new sign-up will ever receive needs to be a very special “first date” message. This is where they are being asked to start a relationship with the brand, so it is vital that the email content is welcoming, compelling and makes the prospect feel like they are the only person the brand has eyes for. Out of the 44 brands, 38 (86%) followed up after a new registration with a welcome message. However, after being asked on a “first date” with their welcome email, only 29 brands (66%) followed up with a “second date”, with either promotion or educationdriven marketing messages.
To promote or to educate?
A “second date” is vital so that your leads can learn more about the brand, educate themselves on what you have to offer them and find out why you are the best brand out there to trade with. Out of the 44 brands, only 12 (27%) continued with educational marketing messages, despite educational content having been proven to drastically impact conversions. In order to create a wow factor on your “second date”, you need to give. Everyone loves receiving gifts, and this is no exception when it comes to your prospective traders. Give them a gift such as a strategy ebook, a risk free trade, a training video, an incredible can’t-refuse offer; something that will promote your binary options brand, and make your potential trader feel like you have taken the initiative to do something special for them without asking for anything in return. Providing content of high perceived value (for free) at this stage is the name of the game in order to help build engagement and loyalty with your leads. Nevertheless, during our research we discovered that 23 (52%) of operators followed up with their leads with promotional messages, whereas only 10 out of the 44 brands followed up with a combination of both promotional and educational content. You wouldn’t want to tie the knot on your second date, would you? Only providing your leads with promotional material so early on in the relationship is like asking someone to tie the knot on the second date.
Looks do matter
Moving on to style, while the saying goes that we should never judge a book by its cover, in email marketing we all do this, and rightly so. The look of your email plays a huge part in who will start trading with your brand and who will simply delete your email and move on to finding their next “date”. The difference between a text and graphic (HTML) email, and the inclusion of social media links, could mean the difference between your business gaining a new trader or losing him out to the competition. Who would you chose? Someone who has just rolled out of bed for their date, or someone who has put effort into looking good, just for you? Out of the 41 brands reviewed that were using email marketing, 36 (82%) of brands chose the attractive route with HTML emails. An unfortunate looking 5 (11%) brands decided to take the lazy route of text only emails... boring!According to HubSpot, 88% of recipients prefer HTML email vs. 12% who prefer plain text. Just like with speed dating, putting in the extra effort to look good tends to pay off in the end. Figure 1 shows two example emails analysed as part of the SEMA 2015 research report. In Email A, there is no Call to Action (CTA) above the fold; there is redundant content and the links included do not motivate the reader to click on them.
With regards to the graphics, the green links and CTAs are difficult to see against the black background. Additionally, the content of this newsletter lacks any special offers, incentives or valuable content. There is nothing here to distinguish this brand from the average binary options brand. To put it simply, it’s lacklustre. Now, let’s take a look at contrasting Email B. From first instance it can be seen how attractive this newsletter is with its simple colour scheme, professional appearance and clear layout. There is a bold, eye-catching CTA above the fold, which is repeated at the bottom of the email. There is clear recognisable branding across the email and the header image highlights one of the key differentiating factors of the brand (multiplatform trading). This email contains strong motivational content; giving the reader the opportunity to be elevated to professional investor status. And lastly, the reader can choose their preferred mailing frequency or newsletter type. This is more important than it first appears. By allowing your reader to decide how often they wish to receive your emails, they are effectively participating in the email marketing process and, as such, are much less likely to unsubscribe from your mailing list.
It’s time to socialise
In this day and age, we all know the power of social media. It integrates all forms of promotion into one and serves as a platform where millions of users can interact. But surprisingly, only 15 of the tested brands (34%) included social media links in their email messages, despite GetResponse claiming that, “emails that contain social sharing buttons receive 158% higher clickthrough rates”. Social media will give your prospect the chance to get to know your brand better. Your social media presence further authenticates your brand by providing social proof and giving your potential trader the chance to really see that your brand is legitimate, that you have followers, and that other people out there like your services.
Am I talking too much?
An important question businesses often ask is, “How often should I email my leads?” This however has no definitive answer. It all comes down to whether your content is worth your potential traders’ time. Think about it this way; when you are on a date, you wouldn’t want to just sit in silence the whole time. But, neither would you want to sit all night listening to someone talking a load of nonsense that you couldn’t care less about. This also applies to your emails. If you have ever had the kind of conversation with a friend, loved one or even a stranger that truly gripped you, that made you talk for hours on end, and left you feeling like you really connected with that person, this is how you want your emails to be read. As long as your email contains news, offers, education etc. that your readership are passionate about, how often you send these messages (your send frequency) will no longer be an issue. In fact, when it comes to people’s passions, the more information you can send them the better, as long as the content stays compelling and relevant. After analysing how many emails were sent in the first 30 days after sign-up, we found that an astonishing 40 brands (91%) communicated with their new leads less than once a week (median), despite the average email frequency being once a week. With the majority of brands missing out on connecting with their leads at the very start of the relationship, they are also missing out on keeping front of mind and building brand awareness with their potential traders. How will your readers know that you are the perfect brand to sign up with, deposit more money, and start trading with? You need to make sure that you are keeping a connection with them – frequently. Not surprisingly, the more established names in the space were also the most frequent mailers, which illustrates how email marketing certainly does play a role in getting your brand out there and in recruiting new clients; increased frequency means increased revenue.
Who won the battle in 2015?
After reviewing the most important elements to look out for when it comes to using email marketing as a magnet for new traders, who were the victors? Unsurprisingly, the leaders in email marketing are also among the leaders in the market. The (clear) winner was... Option Fair. With 19 points, Option Fair ticked almost all of the boxes; email automation, welcome email and educational emails – all in graphic format, including effective social media assets. They were followed in second place by 24 Option (15 points), in third place came Opteck (14 points), closely followed by Any Option (13 points), and Win Options (12 points); all of whom sent emails frequently, with an engaging mix of promotional and educational content. So who didn’t get it quite right? For Ez Trader, Market Punter, and Super Options’ (3 points) email marketing consisted of mainly automated welcome emails with no further follow up, thus they stood near the lower end of the scoring table. Trailing them were Trader XP, Option XP, and First Binary Option (2 points) who all sent a system generated, textbased welcome email, but no follow up messages afterwards. At the lowest end of the scale were BetOnMarkets, Start Options, Capital Option and RBinary (0-1 points each) with no apparent email marketing taking place at all.
Getting it right from the start
According to the American Association of Sales Professionals, 81% of conversions take place after the fifth marketing contact. If you are not following up your leads right after registration and in the following days and weeks, say goodbye to maximising your conversion rates and lifetime trader value. It’s essential to have a consistent series of emails to keep your prospects interested in order to achieve the TOMA (Top Of Mind Always) effect, so that when the time does come for them to start trading, your brand will be the first they go to. To conclude, email marketing is a hugely effective way to gain new sign ups and increase the volume of real-money traders, but only when done correctly. So, when it comes to following up with your leads and clients, will you win next year’s battle?
The full results of DVFX’s State of Email Marketing 2015 research report are available for free at http://dvfx.com/sema2015.