With the heavy emphasis on social media marketing, many have said that email marketing, and sending email newsletters in particular, is outdated. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Why do I know that? Because the financial advisory business is a relationship business and there’s no better method for cultivating relationships in a digital environment than email marketing. Why? Because it’s inexpensive, easy to manage, gets quicker than most results, and it reaches your clients and prospects where they spend a lot of their time—in their inbox.
It’s also effective. According to Litmus, on average, for every dollar you invest in email marketing, you receive $42 in return. Can you think of anything else you could do to acquire more clients that generates a better return?
Of course, that also assumes that you are doing email marketing right, employing all the best practices to ensure optimal results. Executing an effective email marketing campaign is not rocket science, but it does require adherence to some proven techniques that involve some effort and resources.
Here are six critical elements of effective email newsletters and other email marketing campaigns.
#1. Strong subject lines
The subject line—what the email recipient sees when looking through their inbox—is a critical determinate in whether your email gets opened or trashed, so it’s essential to optimize it for your audience. Some ideas for writing a solid subject line include:
- Keep it short. No more than five to seven words—the shorter, the better.
- Ask a question. Questions are a great way to pique curiosity.
- Give a call to action. Some people respond to suggested actions (i.e., Join us for a free webinar)
- Offer a solution. If you know your audience, offer a solution to concerns you know they have.
- Be different. Share something your audience isn’t used to hearing—an obscure fact or an astonishing statistic—to pique their interest.
Always give your subject line serious thought because your open rate depends on it. Do A/B tests when you can – it will only help you get to know your target audience better based on the subject lines that get them to open your email newsletters.
#2. Right timing
To increase your open rate, know the best times to reach your niche audience. You can turn to several studies on this, but here’s one from Goldmine that curated the data from 14 different studies.
Best Days (in order): Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday
Bet Times (in order): 10 am, 8 pm, 2 pm, 6 am
You can zero in on the best combination of times specific to your contact list through testing your campaigns.
#3. Use of email service provider
A good email service provider can provide a streamlined platform that can simplify your inbound marketing process. On the high end, a provider will help you with your content, setting up campaigns, and link content to your social media.
On the lower end, providers such as Constant Contact and MailChimp provide everything you need to launch automated campaigns – email newsletters or other type of campaigns – by just setting it and forgetting it. With such a provider, you can easily plan and organize your campaigns ahead of time, freeing you to conduct your business. And if you have the budget for it, you can even outsource part of this to a marketing specialist.
#4. Unique, compelling and relevant content
Content is the reason why people open emails. They want to be informed or even dazzled. They certainly don’t want to waste their time. Prospects know if you’re using recycled content, and they’ll dismiss it right away.
If you know your audience, you know their concerns and interests. Your content should be thoughtful, engaging, concise, and relatable. It’s your opportunity to present yourself as an authority, a thought leader.
It’s okay to send along some content from another writer from time to time if it is incredibly compelling and relevant. Try to throw in an infographic or video link now and then.
By segmenting your list, you can set up different funnels based on your niche markets’ unique circumstances, needs, and interests. That enables you to tailor your content to address each segment’s significant issues, leading to more engagement. Your email service provider or marketing automation software has all the tools to make segmenting your lists a breeze.
#6. A clear call-to-action
Many people look for “the next step” in emails. How do you know a client or prospect won’t take action if you don’t offer the opportunity? All your emails should include a clear call-to-action, inviting your audience to schedule an appointment, or subscribe to your email newsletter, or register for a webinar. Many advisors are using an online scheduler app with a simple call-to-action of “Book a call.” You should also direct your audience to another resource—an article, ebook, whitepaper, or video—with a “Visit this link” call-to-action.
This is how you build an opt-in email list, drive traffic to your website, and start prospects on their journey into your funnel.
The objective of an effective email marketing campaign, be it an email newsletter or another type, is to cultivate relationships and nudge your prospects towards engaging with you and, ultimately, reaching out to you to contact them. Through an organized and persistent effort, your campaign will help to build the credibility and authority your prospects are looking for in a financial advisor.