When I work with advisors to build their email lists, I’m often asked whether they should add friends and family. While I never advocate “selling” via our relatives and social acquaintances, there are two solid reasons to add your personal contacts to your email list today.
1. Help Prospects Find You When They Need You Most
The type of content marketing strategy I run for advisors is not designed to sell, but to help people find you when they need you most. If your network doesn’t understand what you do and who you help, they can’t refer business to you. I coach advisors to make their niche so clear that even those who don’t buy can still refer.
Family, friends, neighbors and acquaintances are great referral sources if they understand what your niche is. By sharing your newsletter with them, they’ll better understand what you do and how you can help. In turn, they are able to help people find you when they need you most.
Your referral pipeline is strengthened when conversations with family or neighbors go from “I think Tom is in finance” to “Tom helps divorcing spouses get a fair and equitable settlement” or “My brother-in-law helps baby boomers who own a business catch up on their retirement savings in a hurry.”
2. Improve Deliverability Of Your Emails
Take a look at this quick case study I did to analyze the difference in email behavior of friends and family vs. business contacts. I uploaded business contacts and personal contacts for one of my advisors and did a simple A/B Test. The open rate for business contacts was 21.7%, which isn’t too shabby.
However, the open rate for friends and family was 48%, which is phenomenal. By combining the two lists, we increase the averages for the overall list.
This is important because it affects how well your emails get delivered. Deliverability depends both on open rate and click through rate. For this reason, we want to send to folks who know our name, so they will open our emails. Then, we want to include one clear call to action for them to click on.
Many advisors put the whole blog post or article in the body of an email, but that doesn’t drive traffic to their website for conversion, or get click throughs. If you have a low click through rate, your emails are more likely to be seen as spam, and less likely to be delivered by mail delivery systems.
You may be wary of adding friends and family to your email list, but I promise people who care about you want to know what you’re up to (Hi, Mom!). If you’re offering truly original, helpful, and interesting content, they’ll appreciate your emails even more.
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