The FiComm team is back with your daily update from Inbound17, where marketers are discussing the future of marketing. A common theme, though, is the need to talk about the past – as in, what no longer works. SEO is still a thing, but not keyword SEO. Direct mail is making a comeback as individual tracking codes increase in popularity. But nothing is quite so contentious as email.
We in the marketing industry are always so eager to tackle the newest, most innovative way to engage with our audience, there’s a pretty wide margin of error in this space. More so than any other marketing pillar, email is built on trust. Your subscribers and lists have given you permission to communicate directly with them, and it’s an avenue that – when implemented correctly – can leverage a brand’s referrals.
But if you get it wrong, that trust can evaporate in an instant. Amazon’s now notorious email was a hot topic at this year’s conference. This failed effort at personalization amused some, and deeply offended others.
Communication challenges in the advisory space
As an advisor, a large part of your job is keeping in touch with your clients. You can build relationships with the best of them, but as your business grows, scaling communications can be a challenge. In fact, many of our clients reach out to us to get a better hold of their email automation.
As a digital marketer, it blows my mind that so many advisors are still sending individual email updates. The most common excuse: automated emails aren’t personal enough for a client-based industry. I want to be very clear: you shouldn’t stop sending individual emails for personal information, but using an automated email system to send your sales messages and value propositions can help you manage your pipeline.
Getting up to speed with Now
There are four major email techniques marketers currently use that are widely known to be successful:
- Responsive design
Chances are, you’re probably using one of these. If you’ve ever used an email template, it was most likely to help structure your information in a way that makes your content visually appealing and easily digestible on both desktop and mobile. You may have even used personalization tokens – a little trigger that lets your email bots know to [INSERT NAME HERE].
The most underused techniques for financial advisors are segmentation and automation, and those happen to be the ones that you may find most useful.
Automation, not automaton
Email automation isn’t about sending emails that sound like you don’t care. In fact, it often means the opposite. Automation is event-triggered, meaning that you’re sending the right email at the right time. For example, if you’re speaking at an event (like Inbound), you could put your presentation slide deck up on a landing page. In order to download the slide deck (because who wants to take notes?!), attendees need to submit a form with their email address.
As soon as your automation service receives that address, you could send a predesigned email thanking your new contact for the download, and “it was great connecting at [insert event here]. I regularly post stuff like this deck on LinkedIn, so follow me for more nuggets of wisdom!” or “just for being an awesome audience, here’s an excerpt of a book I wrote.” You get the idea.
Or maybe it’s a client’s 15-year anniversary. You can automate that too. It’s not that you don’t care, but that you are aware that timing is everything, and you’re being proactive enough to never miss a second of your clients’ lives while streamlining your time investment.
The best memory in the world? Nope, it’s segmentation
Each one responds to you and your company in a different way, but I bet that some of those ways are measurable.
What do I mean by measurable? If your company hosts an investment education session every month, do you keep track of who shows up? Reward frequent attendees with more educational information. Did you just sign a new client? Give them a quick orientation on how to read their reports.
Segmenting your audience means that you are delivering information that your contacts find useful during a time when they need it most. But more than that, it gives your clients the impression that you understand their progress better than their mom knows their favorite home-cooked dish.
Using these two simple email techniques won’t kill your marketing budget, and if you don’t try to get too personalized with either of these, you won’t execute an Amazon-level snafu. What it will do is save you time, make your clients feel like you’re giving them personalized attention, and deliver relevant information to prospects during critical decision stages to move them along your pipeline.
Which email techniques do you currently use, and which do you want to explore more? I’ll tell you a secret *aside* if you let us know, we might tell you more about it. Till tomorrow, Inbound followers!