By Josh Rutigliano
Poor communication is widely recognized as the number one reason a client fires an advisor. Meanwhile, data show that high-earning advisors reach out to their top 20 clients an average of 28 times a year.
The best way to attract and retain clients is to deliver a consistently outstanding experience, so getting the most out of organized efforts like a customer relationship management (CRM) system can serve you well. A key element of CRM systems is the automated email campaign, which increases your touch points with clients and is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach prospects.
Email marketing has become the tool of choice and remains one of the strongest ways for advisors to keep in touch with their customers and ensure that they stay in the forefront of their clients’ minds. To get the most out of your email campaigns, follow these simple rules:
Keep subject lines short. The key to subject lines is not creativity but more about being short and sweet. Shorter subject lines generally have higher open rates. While there’s no magic number of characters, keep them under 50 so they aren’t cut off by readers' Internet service providers.
Keep your messages simple. Studies show that the human eye scans data in an "F" pattern. Use this to your advantage: Build your relationship and brand by prominently positioning your logo at the top of your email, including the key call-to-action or primary takeaway. This way, your customers instantly recognize that every communication they receive from you is, indeed, from you. Other tips to keep things simple:
- Leave out the excessive images. Because 60 percent of email servers block images by default, it's imperative to design without images in mind.
- Never use “no-reply” email addresses as they lead to spam complaints and research shows that they make you look arrogant.
Customize content. Other ways to increase touch points via an automated email campaign are to develop targeted marketing campaigns based on customer profiles and purchase history, or by sending out time-sensitive promotions.
While some aspects will be applicable to all your clients, be careful when mass emailing your entire client base, as this is not a “one size fits all” proposition. Create customized group lists to increase open rates and maximize participation.
Don't overload inboxes. How often to send these emails is one of the key challenges that comes with the territory. While some people have had success with daily email campaigns, open rates drop dramatically when you send emails too frequently. Research also has shown that sending emails once per week versus two or more times per week increases opens by 80 percent and, most importantly, results in higher sales. As such, most experts agree on a maximum of one email per week.
Track conversations. The benefits go beyond higher sales when you keep track of your email interactions. If you have created your email campaign within a broader CRM system, every email conversation your team has ever had with a particular client — including contract information and relevant marketing material — will be accessible and can help you better serve clients the next time you speak to them.
Imagine you receive a phone call. While many financial professionals would have to switch between each of their programs to first figure out whether the caller is a current or prospective client – or remember when they spoke to them last – you would be able to use the results of your email campaign.
Having a contact management program in this scenario would enable you to easily pull up any client account and track every phone call, meeting or email conversation your team has ever had with this individual. It could even point out whether a document is awaiting a signature or whether something needs follow-up.
As an advisor, you can see the benefits of organizing your efforts in other areas of your practice, so be sure to bring the same attention to your email campaigns. Organized and well-executed email marketing campaigns can help you build better relationships and, as a result, help provide each client with the ultimate client experience.
Joshua Rutigliano is the director of sales technology for Prudential Annuities. Josh’s core focus is helping advisors to leverage and integrate digital technology in to their practice. Josh may be contacted at Joshua.firstname.lastname@example.org.