Despite the advent of numerous new marketing channels and opportunities, email marketing is often still a preferred method of communication for most business relationships. Consumers prefer email because it is typically less intrusive than a phone call and the dialog can be controlled fairly easily through an email client. In addition, email is flexible, customizable, and won’t be lost or go away, as opposed to the immediacy of the phone call.
From a financial advisor’s perspective, email is highly cost effective, as compared to other types of direct mail or similar one-to-one correspondence. Whether you send your emails through your own email system, or you’re using an email provider, it’s hard to beat the cost of email.
Another benefit of email is that it’s easily trackable. Using an email provider, or even an analytics program such as Google Analytics, you can track numerous essential email marketing metrics. How many people are opening your email? How many of your emails bounced or were not received? How many people have forwarded your email? How many people have clicked on your email? These are examples of important metrics for you to track and to gauge the response of your email marketing.
With these metrics comes the ability to test email marketing with an efficiency unlike any other one-to-one marketing correspondence. If you’re sending direct snail mail, testing requires time. The steps required include: create and send a direct mail piece, wait days for the results, and then adjust the creative. With email marketing, you receive campaign results instantly, allowing you to make decisions and adjustments on the fly and without the need for additional resources.
The key driver to success using email marketing is relevancy, which means providing the right message to the audience that’s looking for it. Your goal when sending email is to target either a person, or a persona, and give them information that they’ve requested or could use. This will help eliminate unnecessary emails, and improve your overall relationship with your clients and potential clients. It will also help you monitor the overall compliance of your messaging.
One major positive aspect for email and the response it generates has been the CAN-SPAM Act. The CAN-SPAM Act was signed into law in December of 2003 and established the United States’ first national standards for the sending of commercial email. Its primary goal was to help consumers protect their privacy and create an element of trust that was missing at the time between the email senders and receivers. Consumers can now be much more confident that if they want to remove themselves from an email list they can do so quickly and easily.
Despite advances in confidence and relevancy of messaging, in quarter two of 2013, the percentage of spam in total email increased by 4.2 percent over the first quarter and came to 70.7 percent. Allowing your email to have the best opportunity to reach your audience means it must go above and beyond ordinary means to overcome the negative effects that spam creates.
Email marketing for financial advisors ultimate goal is to build your relationship with your client or potential client. Your initial marketing emails should be created in such a way that they provide valuable, relatable content so the reader can identify immediate value, and they know you. As they continue to receive these emails that help them and assist in their needs, your relationship will advance. String together enough solid communications and provide enough good assistance for your clients and you have a shot at reaching the pinnacle, which is a trusting relationship that leads to referrals.
Types of Emails
When creating emails, there are two primary targets. You have emails for either an individual person or one of your marketing personas. A marketing persona is a representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. A detailed marketing persona will help you attract the most valuable visitors, leads, and clients to your business.
The most popular type of email campaign is identified as a direct response email, which is created for an individual person. A direct response email is helpful when you have some basic information about a person with whom you’ve been in contact previously and now can provide a much more directed response message.
A lead nurturing email is part of a series of emails or workflow that is crafted to build a trusting relationship. Lead nurturing emails are highly strategic in nature and consist of multiple emails that replicate real-world relationships through the use of automated email marketing.
For example, say a potential client provides you their email address after downloading a whitepaper report on your website You’ll probably want to include this person in a lead nurturing email campaign that immediately starts by providing valuable information surrounding the product that they’ve shown interest in and gives them additional information based on your expertise. As you continue to send lead nurturing emails over a period of time, you’ll advance the relationship, working to earn trust with your potential customer.
One of the great components of lead nurturing through automated email campaigns is the ability to enhance relationships without the need for extra time or resources. If you do your job right, you’ll be able to provide your team with warm leads who know, like, and trust you, your company, and your products.
A final type of email is a broadcast email, which typically would be considered something like an email newsletter. Although these may be more generalized in nature, your newsletter should still be sent to a segmented portion of your email list depending upon their interests. It’s in your best interest to send highly targeted campaigns with a focused message to the most relevant portions of your email list. One size does not fit all in the world of email marketing, because a message that does not resonate won’t be opened and read; or even worse, it might be considered spam.