An industry publication recently asked us to provide answers to some common email marketing questions. We thought you might like to see our responses.
Q: In your experience as a provider of marketing content to financial advisors, what types of content (letters, articles, market commentary, etc.) have you seen be most effective in communicating with clients via email? Does this change among targeted demographics, such as women, seniors, small business owners, etc.? Please provide some examples.
A: Ultimately, we believe the most successful kind of email marketing is the consistent kind. By keeping your name and face in front of your clients and prospects, this ensures they never forget about you. This is one key to increasing referral business. In addition, we also give great attention to subject line creation. A subject line like “Market Update” will get substantially less opens than something like “Important Fiscal Cliff Considerations”. Another critical aspect of effective email marketing involves the way you drive traffic back to your website. Clickable links to watch videos or download research reports keep readers engaged. Including other non-financial content in your emails can also boost readership. Things like recipes, golf tips, and the like will often motivate readers to forward your email to a friend or family member. And yes, when targeting specific demographics, always customize the content as much as possible!
Q: Is there a best time for advisors to send emails? Day of week and time of day?
A: Statistically speaking, Tuesday mornings around 10AM is the best, although there are no hard and fast rule in this regard. As mentioned earlier, sending emails consistently, at the same time each week, is best.
Q: Is there an optimum number of emails/pieces to send weekly? Monthly? Is there a “too few” or “too many” number to avoid?
A: According to a 2011 Morningstar survey of study of 980 affluent investors, 30.4% prefer weekly emails from their advisor, 36.6% prefer them monthly, 19.9% prefer them quarterly, and 9.4% prefer them annually. Ultimately, this means you need to prepare an email each week if you want to cater to the communication preferences of everyone. To avoid sending too many emails to the clients who don’t want them, we recommend creating four separate lists in your contact management tool (Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Annually) and asking clients and prospects how frequently they want to hear from you by email. Then, all you have to do is subscribe them to the appropriate list. In this way, you provide world-class service to everyone based on their individual preferences.
Q: What suggestions do you have in regards to use of graphics in email marketing?
A: Each email should have the right balance of pictures and text to avoid being flagged as spam. In addition, by utilizing eye-catching graphics and calls-to-action, you can increase your click-thru rate, thus driving traffic to your website.
Q: What is the most effective way to get a response to an email marketing piece? How can advisors use a call-to-action to get a response?
A: To get the highest response rate, follow steps 1-4 above. If you’d like a complimentary assessment of your current email marketing techniques, please feel free to reach out to us by visiting www.platinumstrategies.com or by calling 877-421-5593.