Guide to Email Marketing For Financial Advisors
Plenty of financial advisors and other professionals understandably overlook the importance of email marketing, assuming other inbound marketing channels such as SEO, social media, and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising will suffice. However, email marketing is a very valuable bridge between financial advisory firms and potential clients, directly connecting the two and ultimately proving mutually beneficial. Let’s take a look at the basics and some of the nuances of email marketing for financial advisors to help you make the most of this essential component of your inbound marketing strategy.
Email marketing is an inbound marketing channel that connects financial advisors to current and prospective clients. Financial email marketing begins with current or potential clients signing up to receive emails. Such email signup forms are typically on financial advisory firm “Contact” pages or landing pages with specific offers. Most of the time, these email signup forms include some form of positive reinforcement such as a discount, whitepaper, eBook, or another free offer that encourages visitors to sign up to receive emails.
Once a name and email address are added to your financial advisor email list, that individual receives email messages at the discretion of your firm. In general, email messages, typically in the form of a newsletter or updates about the firm’s offerings, are sent on a weekly or monthly basis.
Email marketing is an important means of connecting a financial advisory firm with prospects and maintaining connections with current clients. The purpose of sending email messages is to remind the recipient of the financial advisory firm’s value offering and maintain an open channel of communication. However, some email marketing messages merely serve as industry updates, providing insight into innovations related to financial services. These messages keep customers “in the loop”, ensuring they are aware of the financial advisory firm’s offerings, stay up-to-date on how the financial industry is evolving and encourage them to reach out to the firm to schedule an appointment.
The bottom line is some people are more receptive to email messages than conventional outbound advertisements, PPC ads, social media posts, and blog posts that are optimized for search engines. Furthermore, email marketing provides an opportunity to flex your intellectual muscle. Use this platform as a means of communicating your expertise to your target audience through carefully crafted messages. Transmit those messages with regularity and recipients will not only remember your financial advisory firm but also seriously consider paying for your services.
Email marketing can take shape in whatever form that works best for you. Perhaps you would like to send a monthly newsletter to your email subscribers. Maybe you would like to provide monthly updates about your financial advisory firm’s offerings. Others will choose to use email marketing as a platform to provide updates pertaining to the financial industry and the economy as a whole. In fact, some financial advisory services even cover some local matters in their email messages, reinforcing bonds with locals in need of assistance with their financial well-being.
Above all, the emails you send should contain high-value information your target audience is likely to be interested in. If you are not confident in your ability to write compelling text, do not hesitate to outsource the writing component to a digital marketing agency. When information is presented in email messages in a truly creative manner, it nurtures relationships with both potential and current clients, ultimately moving them through the sales funnel that much faster.
What matters most is that you present information in a compelling manner, offer insightful comments, and establish your expertise with your target audiences. Succeed in forging such meaningful connections through email messages and your audience will remember your firm long after reading them, ultimately improving your chances of converting them into future clients.
The content you present to current and potential clients in email messages must provide some sort of value to the readers. Provide valuable information, reinforce the importance of your services, offer insight regarding financial challenges, and your content will have a more lasting impact on your readers. Continue to provide value in your email messages and recipients will be that much more likely to open them as time progresses. Furthermore, high-quality email messages reinforce your financial advisory firm’s value, setting the stage for prospects to move from the top of the funnel to the bottom when they become revenue-producing clients. However, getting the reader’s attention and keeping it is easier said than done.
The quest to capture the audience’s attention is that much easier when a strong headline is used. Make an impact with your email subject line as well as the email headline and recipients really will be inclined to open and read all of your content. Be sure to provide useful information throughout the entirety of the message so readers are inclined to read all of the article and not leave early in the process before they reach the Call-to-Action. The content of email marketing messages should contain everything from infographics to insightful editorials, updates regarding your financial advisory firm services, and even localized information to strengthen your firm’s connection with locals.
There is no sense in writing email messages that lack a call-to-action. After all, the last thing you want is to provide valuable information and insight in email messages and have readers select another financial firm to advise them. It certainly helps to inform your audience, but your primary goal is to convince those prospects to become revenue-producing clients. Include a call-to-action somewhere within each of your email marketing messages. In fact, it even makes sense to hyperlink specific words and phrases within the body of your email messages to redirect the readers to your website, blog, social media and other components of your firm’s online footprint.
The purpose of including a call-to-action is to convince the recipients of your email messages to contact your firm by email or filling out a contact form on your website to obtain more information about your business. In short, this is your opportunity to convert prospects into paying clients. Suggest the action you would like your readers to take, nudge them in that direction by presenting your firm’s contact information and/or a hyperlink to facilitate contact and you will have succeeded in moving prospects from the top of the sales funnel toward the bottom where they ultimately convert into paying clients.
Even if you simply add a hyperlink that redirects readers to your financial advisory firm’s contact page or provide a link to download content from your website, your conversions will gradually increase. Keep in mind, this is a golden opportunity to make it easy for email recipients to get in touch with your financial advisory firm. Do not transmit your email messages from a no-reply email address. If a subscriber to your financial advisor email list were to hit “reply” to the email message sent from a no-reply address, that reply would be lost. Send the messages from an actual email address at your financial advisory firm so that senders can personally reply to responses or forward them to a member of your marketing team for nurturing.
It even makes sense to include links to your financial advisory firm’s social media, blog and website. Such buttons encourage recipients to learn more about your firm on social media and other parts of the web. In fact, some email marketing messages even include language that encourages recipients to relay the message to colleagues, friends, family and others in their social and professional services. If the email marketing message content is truly insightful, some recipients just might heed the call to action and pass on the messages to others, helping your financial advisory firm expand its reach all the more.
Email marketing starts with an intriguing subject line. The subject line should contain language that intrigues readers to the point that they are inspired to click the message to learn more. This is your opportunity to highlight the most interesting or valuable information presented in the email message in an effort to convince recipients to click on the message and read through the text or at the very least, skim through it.
Think of your email subject line as an opportunity to make a valuable first impression. If this impression succeeds, a significant percentage of those who receive the message will click it, read the text and seriously consider heeding your call-to-action. Consider personalizing the email subject line. Even simply adding the recipient’s name to the email subject line hikes the chances of the recipient clicking it and engaging with the text of the message. However, it is important to create a subject line that aligns with the content of the email newsletter as opposed to choosing one that is sensationalistic.
So don’t rush through the process of brainstorming the subject line. Invest some time reviewing the content of your email messages, jot down several potential subject lines and gradually whittle them down one by one until you pinpoint the most intriguing string of words that is relevant to the content within the message. If you were to select a sensational subject line that does not jive within the content in the actual email message, recipients would view your financial advisory firm as insincere, misleading and untrustworthy. This is the exact opposite of your goal to use email marketing as a means to prove your firm’s legitimacy and develop a rapport with your target audience.
Timing is particularly important in the context of email marketing. Connect with your audience at the optimal time and you will maximize the potential of your email marketing campaign. As an example, it does not make sense to send email marketing messages on the weekends when people are out and about, enjoying life as opposed to investing time reading email marketing messages. Research your audience, determine when they are most likely to be receptive to your messages and transmit those messages at those exact times. In general, it is prudent to send email messages on weekdays in the morning or afternoon as these are the times when recipients are most likely to be checking and reading email messages.
The next challenge of email marketing for financial advisors is to provide the right content to the right audience. Target your messages and email signup marketing effort toward those who are most inclined to pay for your services. Zero in on your defined target audience, transmit email messages with content likely to appeal to them and send those messages at a frequency that will keep them engaged. Financial advisor drip marketing is centered on connecting with clients at specific points in time in a repeated fashion, gradually building a rapport that leads to the target following through with a call, email or other form of communication with your financial advisory firm.
Continue to strategically “drip” on your audience with a sequence of messages spaced out just right and it really will boost your conversion rate from leads to prospects and prospects to clients. Steer online visitors, who have made their way to your financial advisory firm’s website, blog and social media to your email signup form. Enhance all aspects of your firm’s online footprint with content optimized for search engines so those who actually need or desire financial advisory services will find your firm on the web and proceed to sign up for your financial advisor email list.
Collecting email addresses and sending messages with regularity is only half the battle. Managing the list is the other half. Your financial advisor email list should be segmented in a way that produces the opportunity to transmit personalized and relevant messages to particular contacts on your lists. Continue to monitor engagement after the initial email message is sent. Alter your subsequent messages as necessary. Consider altering the content and also the call-to-action of your messages for each segment of your audience.
Email marketing will prove that much easier if it is automated. Take advantage of email marketing automation tools and you will be able to transmit messages in an automated manner at specific times of the day or night. This software transmits messages at your scheduled times to the entirety of your audience or segments of your audiences at the exact time specified to maximize the impact of the message.
However, it is a mistake to automate the subject line and greeting of the email message. Carefully alter the subject line and greeting based on the time of the year as well as the content transmitted in the message to make the intended impact. Don’t forget to add an opt in/opt out option so those who no longer want to receive your messages no longer have to see them in their email inbox.
The look of your email messages is of the utmost importance. It is a mistake to provide recipients with a large wall of text. Walls of text strain the eyes and greatly reduce the chances of prospects converting into paying clients. Furthermore, merely dividing the text into distinct paragraphs will not suffice. Consider implementing images and graphics between paragraphs to make the message that much more visually intriguing. Include some hyperlinks to your website, blog, social media and other components of your financial advisory firm’s online footprint. Such hyperlinks increase traffic to your website and also make the text that much easier on the eyes.
Above all, the message should be reviewed for in terms of its presentation on mobile devices ranging from smartphones to tablets and beyond. After all, people are now using such web-connected mobile devices to access email and the internet. If your email messages are not presented in an easy-to-read manner on mobile devices, a considerable percentage of your audience will stop clicking your messages or completely opt out of those messages.
It is awfully tempting to send the same email message to all of your financial advisor email list. However, sending the same email message to all of your email subscribers is not the best strategy. Even if you simply personalize the email subject line and greeting, it will have a meaningful impact on your conversion rate. However, merely adding the recipient’s first name to the beginning of the message will not suffice. Personalizing email marketing messages involves segmenting messages as described above.
It even makes sense to establish unique funnels based on client situations and financial pictures. This is your opportunity to directly address financial challenges faced by specific groups within your main audiences. Personalizing emails in such a manner makes it clear you genuinely care about your current and prospective clients. Though personalizing messages requires time and effort, it is worth it as the customization greatly increases the chances of the recipient converting into a paying client or at least considering your financial advisory firm’s value offering in the days and weeks following the transmission of that message.