The ever-evolving Internet has done it again!
In this case we can blame the need for another significant change on Apple’s recent iOS15 update that launched new privacy options for blocking financial advisors and others from tracking the performance of their email marketing campaigns. This update will have a major impact on the email marketing practices of financial advisors who use this strategy to build credibility and produce leads for their businesses. For example, they will no longer be able to accurately measure the open rates of their drip emails.
For every action there is a reaction. What will your response to this new Apple initiative be?
What is a hyper-personalized email marketing strategy for financial advisors?
To combat this most recent technical obstacle, increasing numbers of financial advisors are moving towards hyper-personalized emails. The core of this strategy is tying the content and recommendations of their emails to investors’ behaviors or life factors such as age, profession, or work status.
Behaviors have more applicability. For example, investors base their email marketing strategies on the behavior of investors on their websites: what pages they visited, what videos they watched, what eBook they downloaded, how long they spent on particular pages, etc.
A simple example is an investor who downloads an eBook that provides information about pre-retirement planning. The assumption is the investor is getting close to retirement and is seeking information. Since they are on the website of a financial advisor they don’t know, it is safe to assume they may not know any financial advisors they are comfortable with.
In this example, the investor’s assets could be inside a company 401k plan, but they will be rolling it into an IRA when they retire. They want to know more about retirement planning, but eventually they will need to interview financial advisors who provide retirement planning and manage assets in the IRA accounts.
How can automation undermine the achievement of financial advisor goals?
Automation can be great for the productivity and the profitability of businesses, but it can also lead to reduced personalization. And, that can negatively impact the relationships that financial advisors are trying to build with investors. This was less of an issue in the past when more communications were conducted on the telephone and in face-to-face meetings.
There is a consequence to automation and the Internet. Investors are becoming more and more immune to email marketing, in particular the emails that come across as generic spam. Investors can’t unsubscribe fast enough when they think they are receiving spam.
Why are investors a tough market to reach using email marketing?
Financial advisors want to reach investors on the Internet who fall into two broad categories. One category is the first time user. That would be the investor who is rolling assets from a 401k to an IRA and this is the first time they have selected a financial advisor. Or, the investor is a Do-It-Yourselfer who no longer wants to manage his or her own assets.
The other major category is investors who are replacing their current financial advisors. This happens more frequently when the securities markets are more volatile and investors are more inclined to terminate their current financial advisors. You might say these investors have had bad experiences with their previous financial advisors.
It makes sense that investors are more cautious when they select replacements or their first advisors. The source of the caution is their fear of making a mistake – selecting the wrong financial advisor versus the best financial advisor. A mistake can mean less money for retirement and financial insecurity late in life when they need it the most.
This need for caution is an excellent topic for email marketing.
What are the top 7 hyper-personalized email marketing tips for financial advisors?
These tips on digital marketing for financial advisors are the foundation for an effective email marketing system that produces results.
- It pays to have a clear set of goals. What exactly are financial advisors trying to accomplish with their marketing emails? Their drip systems already have the investors’ contact information, so that is not their goal. They want to create credibility and rapport so investors select their firms for interviews.
- Financial advisors should segment their email lists to ensure that each message being sent has some relevance to that recipient. There is nothing worse than a frequent series of emails that have nothing to do with the financial interests of the recipients. Segmentation could be behavior, work status, profession, age or some other variable that impacts the financial interests of the email recipients.
- Personalize your email content so the recipients have a more engaging experience. Whenever possible, personalize the content of your email with the recipient's first name. Impersonal emails are also referred to as spam.
- Use testing, when you can, to determine which subject lines get the best results – for example, their open rates. You may find the best subject lines are financial pain points that impact a particular segment of the market.
- Do not come across as too promotional. Your best strategy is to provide information that helps investors solve financial problems and make better financial decisions. Promotion is risky because investors on email marketing lists are not necessarily looking to buy anything.
- The best financial advisors make it easy for readers to unsubscribe from their mailing lists. All of the advisors’ credibility goes out the window when the unsubscribe process is more difficult than it has to be.
- Financial advisors have a unique opportunity to use intuitive subject lines that capture the attention of investors. Think of it as the headline for an online news service. Investors respond to the subject matter or they don’t. The decision to open or delete the email is made in three seconds or less.
How can financial advisors make email marketing more productive?
The solution for financial advisors is hyper-personalized emails.
Then advisors can segment investors using the data they received directly from their clients and tailor their email marketing campaigns accordingly. However, depending on the number of clients, this could be a momentous task.
This is where the use of automation, AI, and third-party applications, can help financial advisors develop more effective email marketing systems. But, you have to be sure the automation has no adverse consequences. Ask us about getting digital marketing evaluation, to see where there's room for improvement.