2 Rules of Email Marketing That Most Advisors Aren't Following

If you were planning to run a marathon, how would you prepare?

Chances are you’d spend months eating right and training to prepare your body for this extreme endeavor. You train so you can perform your best ­– you’re not just doing this for your health (okay, maybe you are – although maybe you shouldn’t ).

Your preparation is the difference between running through the tape or eating the pavement around mile eighteen, and it’s an all or nothing effort. You can’t just lie on the couch eating chips for months and months and expect to run a marathon tomorrow.

Just like a couch potato won’t wake up tomorrow and run twenty-plus miles, you shouldn’t expect your business to grow overnight. That requires two things: time and effort. Growing your business may not require as much physical exertion as running a marathon, but much like preparing to perform your best, you have to put in the work to grow a successful business. After all, what you put in is what you get out.

That’s where email comes in.

Emailing a list of people who opted in to receive info from you is by far the most effective form of marketing. By reaching out to your clients, you’ll improve client satisfaction and increase awareness of the services you offer.

Your investment of time and money into digital marketing – specifically email marketing – is far more cost-effective and has a higher return than traditional marketing methods. Email marketing produces an average 4,300 percent return on investment , according to the Direct Marketing Association.

The problem is, most advisors who use email marketing are using canned content that’s not original, relevant, or personal. This strategy will only result in a disengaged subscriber list and fewer new subscribers (and prospects).

If you’re ready to start creating meaningful, effective emails, here are a couple cardinal rules:

1. Make it Personal, Make it Relevant, Make it Unique.

You love numbers. That’s why you work in finance. But when it comes to writing content, maybe you’re unsure what to say or how to say it. Here’s the thing: no one expects Pulitzer Prize-winning content ­– but if you make it personal, relevant, and unique, you can’t lose.

Personalizing emails helps foster relationships with your clients and prospective clients. By familiarizing subscribers with you and your firm, you’ll build trust. When subscribers trust you, they’ll value your insights and expertise, and look to you for advice when it comes time to retire or pay for their children’s college.

Instead of sending mass emails with no direction, think about your subscribers – what are their interests ? More importantly, what do you know that they don’t? That’s where you can help. There should always be a benefit to the reader. Use your knowledge and experience to communicate ideas that offer unique perspectives.

Finally, you should always create unique content. Why would someone choose to read your email when they can find the exact same information elsewhere? A simple way of doing this is to take a pre-existing blog post or article you find, and use it to spur an idea for something new that fits your needs and your clients.

So maybe you’re not the next Hemingway – that’s okay. You can create compelling content by making a personal connection with your audience.

Related: Why Leverage Investor Curiosity in Advisor Marketing

2. Build a List

You wouldn’t spend your time generating great content if there was no one to read said content. That’s why you need to build a targeted list of subscribers.

Focus your email marketing efforts on your COIs, clients, and prospective clients. You can grow that list several ways. Maybe it’s encouraging sign-ups by adding a call to action button on your website, gathering emails when providing a resource or service, promoting the benefits of subscribing in blog posts, or sharing info from your emails on social media.

By being proactive, over time you’ll grow a larger, more targeted email distribution list.

Pro tip: We always caution advisors against buying email lists. Unsolicited emails are digital descendants of telemarketers, and nobody likes them. Most of your emails will end up in spam folders, and you’ll just be frustrated with the meager returns.

Email is here to stay, and it’s time to start making it work for your business, not against it. Utilizing email marketing is the most effective way to build awareness and trust, ultimately growing your business. By putting in the preparation, you’ll certainly see the payout.