According to Financial Advisor Magazine, poor communication is the number one reason clients leave their financial advisor. And during times of volatility, timely and effective communication is doubly important. But that does not mean advisors should rush out to write something. Going too quickly can often result in poor quality, which can be almost just as bad as never communicating.
Luckily, by following a few copywriting golden rules, you can write an effective message while still saving yourself time. Read on to learn more about these 5 rules and how you can use them to improve your client communications.
1. Use the Right Formatting
Always think of your reader when formatting your writing. What do they want? Like most of us, they’re looking to receive the information they’re looking for as quickly as possible. The best way to do this is to ensure your message is concise. Consider headers and sentence breaks, and never write in large, blocked paragraphs – in short, make your writing skimmable.
Readers can then determine what information they deem is worth their attention and move between sections with ease. Effective formatting can also be used to help spotlight certain elements of your message as well. For example, a link in an email will stand out better if it isn’t surrounded by other text. The exact format of your message will depend on its content, but whether it’s a blog or email, the writing style will remain relatively the same.
2. Write As You Speak
Formal writing is often the standard in business, but in many cases, a lighter approach can be more effective and relatable. Readers want to feel like they’re reading something from a person, especially if that person is handling their finances. For this reason, try using conversational language in your communications when possible. Of course, how light-hearted you get will depend on your brand. So, only write conversationally when appropriate. Such an approach can benefit all forms of communication, from emails and blogs to social posts. For example, a social post that’s more relatable often garners more engagement – after all, people prefer to connect with people over brands.
3. Write for Your Customers, Not for Yourself
The main goal of copywriting is to induce action from the reader, whether that’s signing up for a newsletter, getting a quote or making a purchase. That’s why, as mentioned in point one, it’s important to write for your customers, not for your company. But beyond formatting, how can you do that? A great place to start is to look at your company’s testimonials and messages. What sort of language does your audience use? What kind of problems do they want to be solved, and how can you present yourself as a solution? For clients, this can help support a sense of timeliness, especially if your research – and your customers’ concerns – are recent. For prospects, such research helps demonstrate your expertise and awareness, improving their chances they contact you.
4. Use Imagery to Support Your Copy
Copy is a great way to get your point across, but it’s not the only medium to share messages with. Images can be used to share data, describe concepts and break apart your text, effectively improving engagement. In fact, research shows that content with images receives up to 40% more shares compared to imageless counterparts. Since humans can interpret images faster than text, images are able to instantly communicate a message without opting for a large wall of text. This helps improve the skim-ability of the article and makes it more engaging. Of course, images do not need to be only for graphs and data. They can also be used for branding purposes and add a sense of levity to a message – especially in emails and social posts.
5. Prioritize Active Voice
Beyond making your writing more engaging, using an active voice also brings clarity to your writing – both essential elements to client communication and marketing as a whole.
But what does this look like? As an example, compare these two sentences:
- Your marketing will be handled by us.
- We’ll handle your marketing.
Both say the same thing, but the second sentence is easier to read. It’s more direct, in fact, it’s even shorter. It’s also written in the active voice. That doesn’t mean a passive voice can’t work its way into your writing. Just aim for an active voice as often as possible. Next time you’re writing an email, a blog or a social post, consider these five golden rules to write faster without compromising the quality of your communications.
Related: How Much Time Should Advisors Devote To Marketing? What to Prioritize (And What to Skip)