19 Financial Advisor Email Marketing Tips
The financial services industry is a relationship business.
Email is a great way to build and cultivate relationships. Thus, you should be taking advantage of email marketing.
The internet has completely transformed the way that the world does business; email is preferred form of communication when dealing with the internet. Email marketing is low-cost, easy to use, and quick. I can reach thousands of people with an email newsletter and get responses within minutes.
The Direct Marketing Association found that email marketing delivers a return of 4,300% - I personally believe this is due to the fact that email marketing is so inexpensive. I like it because it allows you to build a relationship with your audience with content that keeps you top of mind and encourages referrals.
If you do your email marketing correctly, it can be the most powerful marketing channel you use. But how can financial advisors take advantage of email marketing?
Interested in something specific? Jump ahead to:
You're Probably Not Emailing Enough...
A recent Morningstar study asked how frequently clients prefer to be emailed. This is what they found:
Do you know the best solution? Just ask. Ask your clients how often they would like to be emailed, if at all. If you have an email provider like Drip, you can segment your clients into different lists. You can have a “weekly” list, a “monthly” list, and so on. This is a small step but it goes a long way with client satisfaction.
Plan Your Emails In Advance
You can plan your email schedule with any basic email marketing software. This is great because it lets you plan the types of content you want to send, so you’re ready when the time comes.
One of the biggest benefits of email is you can completely automate it, so it works for you 24/7.
All it takes is a few hours every month to sit down and plan your emails. I tell my private coaching clients to plan their email marketing at night or on the weekends to maximize their productive time.
You can write four emails for your weekly clients and one email for your monthly clients, then schedule them to send any time throughout the month. It’s never been easier (or more efficient!) to stay in touch with clients.
Personalize Your Emails
I don’t mean saying, “Hi [First Name]” at the beginning of every message. This feels forced, and your clients will see right through it — the name alone doesn’t cut it.
Personalization means you segment your email list and have different funnels based on a client’s situation and financial picture. Tailor content to address each segment’s big issues, which leads to higher open rates and engagement.
If you specialize in serving physicians, you can take all the physicians in your database and put them into a separate email list, then send content that’s relevant to that list. Do this for almost any occupation to show clients you understand and care about them.
Don’t feel bad about sending links to other people’s content, too. It’s much easier than writing your own article from scratch — just make sure you give the author credit. Your clients will appreciate that you sent them a helpful article, plus they’ll be happy you’re spending your time managing their money, not writing.
For example, if I had a list of clients with kids in college, I’d send them an email like this:
Subject Line: Top 10 Money Mistakes College Students Make
I hope you’re staying warm. I know that the fall semester is coming to a close, but I wanted to make sure I shared this article with you:
“Top 10 Money Mistakes College Students Make”
If you think this article could help someone you know, feel free to forward it!
John @ XYZ Financial
My Financial Advisor Email Marketing Tips
I get a ton of questions from financial advisors about email marketing every week, and it seems as if I always give the same tips. That’s why I have compiled this little list. Here are my tips for awesome email marketing
1. Make Sure Your List Is Permission-Based
Don’t buy a list or just send people your newsletter without permission. The best way to make sure your list is permission-based is to offer a way to join your email list on your website, like I do at the bottom of this page. 😊
ALSO READ: Why Buying Leads Is Like Burning Money
2. Have A Lead Capture Form On Your Website
Ideally, you’ll give something of value in exchange for contact information. This can be a video, a newsletter, a free seminar or a white paper. Right now, I offer a free e-book, which tends to work pretty well.
3. Segment Your List (Yes, It's That Important)
How else will you send your clients relevant content that’s personal to them?
One of my favorite ways to segment is ironically by not segmenting the actual email list at all. I base my approach on filtering and qualifying upon sign up. That means the only people who should sign up to your email list are people who are in your niche.
For example, if you work specifically with doctors, you should offer them a lead magnet. Assuming that only doctors will join your email list, there's no need to segment the list itself.
4. Include A Way For People To Unsubscribe
Yes, it sucks when someone unsubscribes, but this is required of all email marketing. There will always be freeloaders out there who just want your lead magnet, so include the option to opt out in all of your email campaigns.
5. See What Other People Are Doing
Take the time to sign up for some newsletters from your competition. You can draw inspiration from them, then do yours better.
More often than not, the emails you get from other financial advisors will serve as examples of what not to do.
For example, many financial advisors send out boring “stock market commentary” emails, but nobody cares about that. In fact, most prospects want to hire a financial advisor so they don’t have to think about that stuff.
If they wanted to learn about the stock market, they’d head over to a stock market website or watch any of the million videos out there.
6. Pay Attention To Emails You Receive
While you study your competition, figure out what makes you open some emails and delete others without reading. Do they have any similarities? Use that knowledge to your advantage.
Short subject lines usually have a higher open rate than long ones, for example. One of the best emails I’ve ever sent has the subject line “Trust,” and that’s it.
7. Keep Your Emails Short (If Emailing Frequently)
As a rule of thumb, the more frequently you send emails, the shorter they should be. I base my philosophy around sending emails every single day, so my emails are much shorter than the norm. They typically tell a quick story and get straight to the call-to-action (CTA).
8. Make Sure The Emails Come From YOU
Pro-tip: people respond best to emails written by one person they can get to know over time. Don't make the mistake of having your “from” line be your company name. After all, which email would you rather open, one from XYZ Investments or one from Joe Smith?
9. Keep Your Messages Personal And Casual
People like to see humanity, not robotic corporate-speak.
One of the many “secrets” I reveal in this webinar about email marketing is casual emails work way better than formal ones. People crave entertainment now more than ever. That means they don't want a lecture; they want to hear a story.
10. Don't Use Deceptive Subject Lines
Make sure your subject line accurately reflects what’s inside. If you mess this up, you’ll lower your open rate for future emails. In other words, your subscribers won’t trust you.
Perhaps the worst offender is the “re:” subject line, which tries to get you to think the sender is replying to something you've previously sent — it's a jerk move; don't do it.
11. Include Bullet Points And White Space
If you send plain text emails, consider this: not only are blocks of text difficult to read, but they're darn near impossible on mobile phones with some email platforms. It also helps if you use a large, bold font.
12. Pay Attention To Your Metrics
This includes your unsubscribe and open rate. If your unsubscribe rate is more than 1%, you’re probably doing something wrong. If your open rate is 30% or higher, you’re doing great!
I tell financial advisors that while they shouldn't obsess over open rates, they should understand the only way for a prospect to set an appointment via email is to open the email itself.
However, I've had emails with lower open rates consistently set more appointments than those with higher open rates. So, beware of any “experts” or “gurus” out there who boast about their open rates.
13. Point Out Some Common Mistakes
Like my college student article example from above, people love reading about mistakes and how to avoid them. Nobody wants to be perceived as silly, so “common mistakes” posts are almost always good content for emails.
One of my most successful emails is “7 Critical Mistakes New Financial Advisors Make.” I encourage advisors to swap out this subject line for their own niche, so if you target nurses, you can send out “7 Critical Mistakes Nurses Make.”
14. Don't Get Too Bogged Down In The Statistics
Yes, knowing an optimal subject line length can help, but no “average” reader exists. Concern yourself with building a genuine relationship with your clients and staying top-of-mind.
15. Don't Forget Your Out-Of-Office Reply
One time, I accidentally added an email to one of my autoresponder campaigns that started off with “Merry Christmas!” It wasn’t until later that I started to get responses telling me Christmas had been over for a month. Whoops!
16. Ask Questions
This is one of the best ways to create engagement. I ask readers to respond at the bottom of my welcome email. I enjoy hearing from people, plus they're most likely to engage right after they've received that initial email.
17. If You Insert Links, Include A Few
All links that lead to the same page, of course. It increases your chances of people actually clicking the link.
18. Have A Clear Call-To-Action
Tell your subscribers exactly what you want them to do, if anything. Also, tell them why it’s in their best interest to follow your direction. In most financial advisor emails, for instance, the CTA invites the prospect to set an appointment via a calendar link.
19. Have A P.S.
A lot of studies show that people go for the headline and the P.S. first. You might as well include something important (like a link to your website!) there.
What I've Learned From Sending MILLIONS of Emails
Over the years I've had the good fortune of being able to send and test millions (yes, millions) of emails. In fact, I've yet to see a financial advisory business I couldn't help with email marketing.
Email marketing is one of the most underutilized marketing tools in the financial services space right now, and the advisors who take advantage of it now will reap the rewards later.
Whenever I work with financial advisors to improve their email marketing, I ask the following questions...
ALSO READ: What I've Learned From Sending 3.2 Million Financial Advisor Emails
🔑 What are your goals?
Typically, an email's goal is to get a prospect to set an appointment. Yet, most financial advisors forget that. Instead, they send out emails to “build goodwill” or “educate” their prospects.
There’s a time and a place for that, but when you send an email, you've got their attention while they read — make sure you take advantage of it.
🔑 How often do you email?
I can’t say it enough: most financial advisors don’t email frequently enough. The ideal scenario is to set up an autoresponder sequence that emails for you regularly or to create an “email library,” from which you can pick and choose.
In my email marketing, I start my subscribers off with daily emails. Then, based on their interest (or non-interest), I adjust the send frequency.
For example, if someone isn't engaging or interacting, I bump them down to less frequent emails. If they go through dozens of emails without taking action, I delete them. There's no point having them on my email list if they won’t do anything.
🔑 Is your content unique?
One of the worst things financial advisors can do when it comes to email marketing is using a content marketing service that uses the same content for multiple advisors. It looks cheesy, contrived and thoughtless, and prospects can see right through it.
It's incredibly refreshing for a prospect to receive email messages from a financial advisor whose content is unique from all the rest.
In fact, when I work with financial advisors one-on-one, I teach them a “secret formula” to dramatically increase the likelihood of a prospect setting an appointment through email. It's so effective it's downright scary... and one of the major keys is to have unique content. 😉
🔑 What are you testing?
Another quick win I've been able to deliver for financial advisors is to go into their business and start testing everything.
I've seen countless tests over the years, so I know what works and what doesn't. And when I say test everything, I mean it. You should test your:
And more. The cool thing is one or two tests can add an enormous amount to your bottom line. For example, if you double your email's open rate from 15% to 30%, you can increase your revenue from email marketing.
Throw a few more tests in there, and the results compound.
How Financial Advisors Can Get Clients With Email...
One of my favorite episodes of the "Financial Advisor Marketing" podcast is titled, "How Financial Advisors Can Get Clients With Email". You can listen to the episode by using the player below.
Show highlights include:
Before we dive into the episode’s key takeaways, know this: nothing is ever truly passive. Many people want passive income, but sadly, that’s just a grand illusion.
Even though setting appointments on autopilot is a mostly hands-off strategy, your clients won’t just magically appear on your calendar. You have to do the work in the beginning to set up a passive process and get it running.
Even then, your work isn’t done — you also have to maintain it. There are ways to make your business run smoothly by booking appointments with minimal amounts of effort, but none where you take your foot off the gas entirely.
Because if you do, you’re basically kicking the door wide open for more competitive financial advisors to take your clients and crush your business.
The first key to getting appointments on autopilot is to heed this warning: Don’t let this idea of appointments on autopilot distract you from your other prospecting efforts — they’re just icing on the cake.
Here are three steps to making them happen...
1. Build Something You Can Own (Your Email List)
Can you reach 1,000 people in a few minutes with a cold call? Nope, but you can with emails.
On top of that, how much does it cost to mail a few thousand pieces of direct mail? It depends on your goals, but if you send a letter versus a postcard, it could be a couple of hundred bucks to a couple of thousand bucks. Email is significantly cheaper.
That’s why, according to an old marketing saying, “the money is in the list.”
Here’s why your email list is major: Most people visit your website and leave without ever coming back, so capturing their email address is a smart way to get their information to follow up later.
Simple, right? That’s because it is.
Besides lead capture forms, be sure you also have an appealing opt-in form to help build your email list — and it’s not the least bit complicated. I use OptinMonster, and it helped me increase my Facebook ads conversions by 3x.
💡 Wanna learn how I grew conversions by 300%? Check out the case study OptinMonster did on my results!
If you take advantage of this simple marketing tactic ASAP, you could have an opt-in form on your website building an email list for you by tonight.
Otherwise, you risk the chance of losing all your contacts if LinkedIn, Facebook and other social platforms suddenly yank your account at their discretion. But your email list? On your website? 100% yours.
The money is in the list, yes, but remember it’s also in the relationship with the list. It’s awesome to grow a huge email list, but it’s equally important to build a bond with those prospects.
2. Optimize Your Website
Many financial advisors underestimate how powerful their websites are as a marketing tool. Not only does it give you control over the impression you leave on prospects, but it’s also super reliable. It’ll never call out sick or give you any hassle about working late.
The biggest key to making your website work is to create niche-specific content. You can’t transform your business and set appointments on autopilot without demonstrating value through targeted content.
At the very least, include on your website who you work with and explain how you help your clients.
3. Lead Them To The Appointment
The last secret to scoring appointments on autopilot?
Include a link to your online scheduler — i.e. the CTA I mentioned previously.
If you send marketing emails, always ask for the appointment in your communications, and include links to your calendar to guide prospects to complete the next step.
Believe it or not, a simple “Book a call,” or “Visit this link,” is all you need to entice them.
You might think this is common sense, but too many financial advisors forget this crucial step.
For example, my Inner Circle newsletter members subscribe to my emails, and I sometimes return the favor to check out their marketing sequences and websites. Many personalize their emails with childhood stories and background information about their lives… but I’ve noticed they often leave out a CTA.
What happens to the prospects who open these emails yet aren’t immediately ready to do business with you?
With no links to lead them back to your website — where it’s more likely they’ll schedule an appointment — they’ll forget about you forever. Worse yet, they might set an appointment with a financial advisor who knows how to take advantage of email marketing.
There’s no gray area here. You know you need a solid online presence. You know you should offer niche-specific content to your target audience via your website. And finally, you understand why lead magnets and opt-in forms are key to the success of setting appointments passively.
Here’s the next step: Use an email autoresponder campaign to automatically follow up with your email list. Whether you’re asleep, on vacation or hard at work, these emails get sent whenever a new prospect signs up.
And, because they’ll include your online calendar so your prospect can set an appointment, don’t be surprised when the appointments start to set themselves.
Plus, the best part of this strategy is every appointment you set will be with a warm lead. Why? Because they expressed interest in your offerings! They know your website, they’ve become familiar with your content and, most importantly, they opted into your email list.
Email Is A Filtering Tool For Financial Advisors
If you research the origins of the word “prospecting”, you’ll see that it’s about exploring an area for gold. And the way people search for gold is by filtering everything else out.
Which means one of the best ways to improve your business is to add some type of “filtration” process so you don’t even talk to the people who don’t see the value you provide.
One of the best ways to do this is with email.
Think about it…
If someone reads an email from you and you have your calendar link at the bottom, do you think an uninterested prospect will schedule an appointment?
Of course not!
Which means that - by definition - the only people who set appointments with you are the ones are interested in some way.
That's why email is one of the best marketing strategies any financial advisor can employ. Because email helps financial advisors add that filtration process to their businesses, freeing up their time to work on bigger and better things.
So there you have it. Those are my tips to help you improve your email marketing campaigns. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me! I am here to help.
P.S. If you're a financial advisor who wants to get more clients from LinkedIn, make sure you check out How to Get Clients With LinkedIn: How Financial Advisors Can Set Appointments and Convert Prospects With LinkedIn