With all of the advancements in technology, digital communications, and social media it can be easy to overlook one of the most tried and true methods of online communication—email.While it may not be as flashy or trendy as the newer communication methods, there is a reason email is one of the most popular and reliable forms of financial advisor marketing. Email marketing, when done right, is a great way for financial advisors and RIAs to maintain communication with current and prospective investors and clients.
Read on for email best practices for financial advisor marketing and RIA marketing:
Build Your List Organically and Thoughtfully
While it may be tempting to build your email contact list through purchasing or renting a list from a vendor, that’s not recommended as an email best practice for any marketing plan, especially for financial advisor marketing.
In addition to compromising your online reputation with email service providers, it can also violate regulations such as the CAN-SPAM Act. By growing your list organically through lead generation, referrals and through other digital and offline channels, you can ensure you’re building an audience that wants to receive your communications and is less likely to report your emails as spam.
Additionally, having an engaged audience can improve your overall email deliverability (how many of your emails make it to the intended inbox) and open rate (how many of your emails actually get opened.)
The main purpose of your emails is to provide useful and actionable content to your audience. Your readers will be able to sniff out a sales pitch very easily, so it’s best to avoid a hard sell at all costs. Your financial advisor marketing emails can be a vehicle for distributing industry news and trends, blog topics, event announcements, and just about anything else you deem newsworthy for your audience.
You can even share third-party content as long as you have properly cited the original source. Your audience will appreciate being kept in the loop about important financial news, especially if you include your unique perspective and breakdown of what, for some, can be complicated financial topics.
It can be tricky to determine how often you should reach out to your email audience. Too frequent and your audience may get irritated and unsubscribe. Too infrequent and your audience may not be as engaged. One way to mitigate the risk of losing email subscribers is to segment your audience in a way that makes sense for financial advisor marketing. Consider segmenting by assets, industry or even retirement status.
By targeting your audience, you’re not sending a general “email blast” to all of your audience when the message may only apply to some of the people. That way when you have a message to convey that’s relevant to the entire audience, you don’t have audience burnout and can reduce attrition.
Optimize and Tag Images
While using images in your emails can make them more visually appealing, images with a large file size can bog down email load times and even affect deliverability. When an image is used in a web or online format, it doesn’t need to be nearly as large as a file that is being printed in a magazine or newspaper.
For example, if you’re featuring a photo of your office staff, that file can be optimized (i.e. reduced file size) to appear in an email and load quickly once a user opens it. Making this step a common practice with all of your emails is a best practice for any successful marketing plan.
Another way to make your images more user-friendly and compliant is to include ALT text for all images in your emails. This description is used to help the visually impaired understand the images used online.
Don’t Forget the Call to Action (CTA)
Have you ever received an email and been very engaged with the content and wanted more information, only to be left confused as to what to do next? That’s what happens when an email marketing message doesn’t have a Call to Action (CTA).
Simply put, a CTA tells the reader where to go for more information on the content you presented in the email. For example, if you shared an excerpt from one of your blog articles, a call to action would be a “read more” button that links to the entire post on your website.
If your email included your commentary on the state of the financial markets, a relevant call to action would be a “ask me more” button with a link to your email address or a contact form on your website to set up a meeting. Regardless of the specific action, the reader should be given a chance to act.
Get Your Emails Opened
Just because you sent your email to 1,000 people, that doesn’t mean all 1,000 of those people opened it. Your subscribers are likely getting dozens, if not hundreds of emails daily. If you want your email to get opened and read, you have to break through the clutter.
Some ways to achieve this are catchy subject lines, optimizing the days and times of your email delivery, and measuring your results to learn for future email sends. If you’re using an email service provider (such as HubSpot), you have access to statistics about your sent emails, including open rates, click rates, hard and soft bounces, unsubscribes and much more.
With some platforms, you can even look at the times of the day where your emails were opened and can schedule your next email based on that timeline. Sometimes it pays to send an email at 4:00 AM, sometimes it doesn’t. That all depends on what the data tells you about your audience! The key is to constantly be measuring and analyzing your results to get to the most optimal delivery preferences for your audience.
To test subject lines, you can perform an A/B split test of your audience by sending one email with subject line A to 50% of your audience and another email with subject line B to the remaining 50%. You can then look at the open rates and see which email performed better and take that knowledge into the next campaign.