Email marketing continues to be the most important marketing channel for financial advisors. For the advisors I work with, 70% of leads come from email campaigns. This past Monday, the email marketing giant Constant Contact was acquired for $1.1 billion, which gives some insight into the permanence of email marketing. McKinsey has found that email conversion rates are three times higher than social media conversion, with a 17% higher value per lead.
But most advisors aren’t sending regular, thoughtful email marketing campaigns. Advisors frequently ask me, what is the best way to do email marketing? And how often?
Here are my top tips for a successful email marketing plan:
1. Use An Email Marketing Engine.
Some advisors I work with are still sending their marketing emails through Outlook as text-only emails. We’ve all received emails that appear broken and formatted poorly, which can happen depending on the recipient’s email client. A bigger problem is that the email likely will not display properly on a mobile device, where up to 50% of emails are opened today. When you use an email marketing service (I use Benchmark Email), your clients get professional looking emails that feature your logo and graphics that look great on every device.
2. Schedule Your Emails For Success.
The best time to send an email depends on your particular network. I always get a kick out of seeing the peak days and times for different industries. For divorce lawyers, most website activity happens at 11 pm on Thursday nights (after a long week and a fight, presumably). Nanny providers have the most searches at 11 am Monday morning (when the kids finally go down for a nap after a long weekend.) For the advisors I work with, I run a report using Google Analytics to determine when their particular network is most active, then we schedule their marketing emails at this time.
3. Offer Varying Calls To Action.
You’ll notice at the end of my emails and blog posts, I give the reader a few options to take the next step towards working with me:
Want to bring your email marketing up to speed? Visit my website to learn more about what I do or schedule a virtual meeting to discuss your business. Not ready to double your leads with email marketing? Stay in touch by connecting with me on LinkedIn and signing up for my marketing newsletter .
I recommend offering the reader several steps to take, depending on how engaged they are. Examples include: read more about this topic, watch a related video, ask a question, join our newsletter, register for a webinar, sign up for an event, schedule an appointment, and call our office. This way, readers at different engagement levels can find an appropriate next step to take with your firm.
4. Segment Your List.
It’s important to segment your contact list so the information you send to each group is relevant. For advisors, I recommend segmenting into age groups of 35-59 and 60+ at the very least. I also recommend segmenting by birthday month so you can deliver one message to clients with birthdays each month. Using a CRM system like RedTail makes this a snap. While some content will be relevant for many groups, you should attempt to craft your marketing to be specific enough for one group at a time.
5. Send Regular Emails.
This may be obvious, but it takes more than one email to build a relationship with a prospect. Sending marketing emails with valuable information on a regular basis builds your relationship and keeps you on the top of their mind. It’s important to send emails at a regular cadence to establish consistency. Research shows that “unsubscribe” rates go up when emails are increased to once per month, but do not increase again until they are sent more than once per week. For this reason, I recommend sending emails at least twice a month, and ideally once a week.
6. Track Your Success.
Email marketing engines allow you to easily track how your campaigns are working. For each campaign, I run a report to see how many opens, clicks, and forwards each email produced. Then, I track these numbers over time so we can make a note of the topics that each audience enjoys and keep tabs on overall progress.
If you were to commit to one marketing activity to increase your leads, I recommend bi-weekly email marketing. While email marketing is incredibly effective, it can be time-consuming. Constant Contact’s recent survey of small business owners estimated that getting an extra hour in their day back from doing their own email marketing is worth $273 per hour. By working with a marketing consultant to automate the process, you can set a schedule for consistent email marketing that pays off over time.
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