Over the years, E*Trade has been consistently innovative in both product development and marketing, two areas that provide natural synergies. The company didn’t disappoint with its latest missive to existing customers.
An email arrived yesterday afternoon (Thurs., 11 June 2009) and immediately grabbed my attention with its clever and timely subject line:
Re-plan Your Retirement with E*TRADE and Get Up to $500
One thing I’ve heard consistently from my friends, no matter how secure their jobs, is that they will “be working forever” now that the Great Recession has slammed their net worth with the double whammy of a bear market and home-price declines.
So this is a great time to get in front of customers with new efforts to help them re-plan retirement with new investment ideas, asset rebalancing and just a general reboot of their portfolio. And it’s also an excellent time to discuss 401(k) rollovers, as E*Trade did in this message, with an “up to $500” (see note 1) incentive to roll over a retirement account to the company (see landing page, third screenshot below). As Americans change jobs by necessity, there will be millions of retirement accounts in play.
Security features in email
E*Trade also demonstrates another best practice to improve trust in customer emails: personalization. The company includes customer name and last four digits of their account number to help distinguish the message from fraudulent phishing attempts. E*Trade draws attention to the feature with a Security Enhanced icon on the top-right (see first screenshot below).
Clicking on the Learn More link drops readers to the bottom of the email message where product URLs provide direct-navigation alternatives to paranoid readers (see second screenshot below). I hadn’t seen that before, a nice touch.
E*Trade email promoting 401(k) rollovers (received 11 June, 3 PM Pacific)
Security “fine print” at bottom of above message
Landing page for email offer (link)
- $500 for rollovers of $250,000 or more
- $250 for $100,000 to $250,000
- $100 for $50,000 to $100,000
- $50 for $25,000 to $50,000