Effective Email Marketing: Lessons from TradeKing

The following is a great example of how to develop an effective email marketing strategy to acquire new users. The company, TradeKing, is an online stock brokerage that I was considering investing with. They didn’t get my business because I already signed up with another company, however, I have been so impressed with their email marketing that 18 months later I still can’t get myself to hit the unsubscribe button.

I’m only going to post the emails I received during the first few months to give you an idea of the content strategy and scheduling they have in place.

Day 1“TradeKing – Account Application Approved”
A simple confirmation email letting me know that they appreciate my business and look forward to providing me with service.

Day 14 “Don’t let your new TradeKing account sit idle”
First reminder email that I haven’t deposited any funds into my account and how quick and easy funding is.

Day 21“Your New TradeKing Account”
Thanks me again for opening a new account recently and asks if I would answer a short, five-question survey.

Day 26 “TradeKing Webinars: Steve Nison, Dan Sheridan, and more!”
Lets me know about a webinar on High volatility trading, fundamental analysis, and more…

Day 45 “If your TradeKing account had feelings, it’d be missing you”
Very clever, my favorite reminder email. This gets my attention and reconfirms there are four easy ways to fund my account.

Day 48“TradeKing’s Upcoming Webinars: Register Now”
Information on upcoming webinars, dates and topics.

Day 63 “TradeKing Webinars: Regsiter Now”
Reminder about Understanding the VIX, Automated Technical Analysis, Option Strategies, Trading Gold, and Bond Basics webinar.

Day 90 “TradeKing ups the ante to $50 when you fund your account”
Incentives! Here they let me know that they are going to up the ante with a signing bonus of $50 if I open an account.

Day 93“TradeKing – Refer a Friend and Earn 50 Dollars”
More incentives! If I refer a friend that opens an account and places a trade, TradeKing will pay me 50 bones. Not bad.

Creating a successful email drip system is not easy. In fact, it’s very difficult. Setting the right delivery schedule and developing an effective content strategy takes a lot of thought, testing and analysis. TradeKing has one of the best email marketing programs I’ve seen and there’s a lot to learn from them.

Few key take-aways:

1) Mix up the content. The soft sell can be a lot more effective than sending cookie-cutter reminders and notifications. Education and incentives are a great addition to the content mix.

2) Use engaging subject titles. Just like you should mix up the content, think about changing the subject titles that can capture interest. Call-to-actions work well and if you’re really clever try to add a touch of humor (“If your TradeKing account had feelings, it’d be missing you”).

3) Don’t give up. Most drip systems give up after 6 months or become stale with repetitive content and reminders. I still receive an email 1-2 times a month from TradeKing about webinars, online trainings and new incentives they have in place… a year and a half later!


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