Do Financial Advisors Know How to Leverage Email in Their Marketing Plans?

Do Financial Advisors Know How to Leverage Email in Their Marketing Plans?How can financial advisors break through the noise, get noticed ahead of competitors, and cost-effectively generate and nurture sales leads from their marketing tactics? One solution may be email marketing.

Email marketing is a growing and effective trend among financial advisors who want to increase their revenue by taking advantage of the time people spend online. It is a simple and cost-effective way to contact prospects and clients and engage them with useful, timely information.

We are checking email just about anywhere/ anytime. According to ExactTarget.com, 91 percent of consumers check their email daily, with mobile users reaching for their phone approximately 150 times per day, according to Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’ 2013 annual Internet Trends report.

With returns of more than $40 for each dollar invested, email marketing is not only the most lucrative form of online marketing but the most profitable – on or off the web. Email marketing, however, is so much more than just sending your clients email each week. It is about building relationships.

The most successful kind of email marketing is the consistent kind. Keeping your name and face in front of your clients and prospects means they never forget about you or your practice.

Lesson: Don’t underestimate the power of email marketing.  

A well-planned e-marketing program can be very effective for financial advisors as more clients move online for their financial service needs. Email marketing allows you to control the message, when it goes out, and who receives it.

Launching an effective email marketing strategy starts with a plan. It is important that you define your goals while structuring your plan. Are you looking to build more leads? Do you want to inform/educate? Do you want to enhance your brand?

You will also need to build your database or email list, and you’ll need to work consistently on the list to maintain and grow it. There are a number of ways to grow your list: organically, paid tools, call-to-action messaging and paid advertising.

Getting people to read your emails is not complicated. The keys to successful email marketing content are personalization and providing your readers with valuable content. Research consistently shows that highly personalized emails get better results. Pull content from your experience. Use case studies, surveys, industry reports, webinars, and articles and package them into valuable collateral. Pay attention to the subject line. A generic subject line like “Market Update” will most likely not generate a lot of opens, but a subject line, that says “Outlook 2015: Solid Steps to Start the New Year”, will.

Another critical aspect of effective email marketing involves the way you drive traffic back to your website, social media platforms, and blog page. The whole point of email marketing is not simply to engage readers for a few minutes but to get them to click through and generate leads on your site. Be sure that every email, you send, has a strong call to action (CTA), ideally positioned at the top, bottom, and middle of your content. A good CTA includes specific language: sign up now, book a free portfolio review, download your free report, etc. Use boldface type and color on CTAs.

Don’t hit the send button too quickly! There is a method as to when to send emails. 2012 Experian email marketing benchmark study across all industries found that recipients are surprisingly active late at night. Unique open rates averaged 21.7 percent from 8 to 11:59 PM and 17.6 percent for midnight to 4 AM. Moreover, this late night group was more likely to click through, with open rates of 4.2 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively. These night owls also had the highest click-through rates for all times of day. Revenue per email was also the highest in the 8 to 11:59 PM group. As for which day of the week performed best, emails sent on Mondays had the highest ROI, but emails sent on Friday had a higher click-through rate. Ironically, Saturday and Sunday had the lowest volume rates, but the highest open and click-through rates in the study. So even though the weekend was not the most popular time to send emails, those who opened were much more likely to engage with it and click through or purchase.

As for sending frequency, more is not always better. There’s a delicate balance between infrequent email communications and bombarding your list with messages to the point that they opt out. Best advice: Ask your clients [and prospects] how frequently they want to hear from you by email. Then, subscribe them to the appropriate schedule – weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually.

If you do not have an email marketing program in place, it may be time to consider one. Advisors who consistently work their email marketing campaigns can generate quality introductions and position themselves ahead of the pack.

*Advisors – please check with your firms’ Compliance Department before starting an email marketing campaign.

For more information on Summit Brokerage Services, visit www.joinsummit.com or contact us at (800) 354-5528.

Summit Brokerage Services is a member of Cetera Financial Group, RCS Capital Corporation’s (NYSE: RCAP) retail investment advice platform.

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