Strategies for Building an Email List of Prospects (1)
Financial advisers know how important it is to have a successful email list of prospects for their services. The purpose of creating an email list is to build relationships and increase the size of the advising business. Five strategies can help advisers create a successful email list: creating a digital newsletter, creating a set of "lead magnets", segmenting the email list as it's built, choosing a clear goal for each email, and using an email service provider to allow tracking.
Create a Digital Newsletter
- A financial adviser can use a digital newsletter to reach prospects and existing customers with advice, information, statistics, forecasts, and stories about investors who used the adviser's services and achieved success. Some financial advisers design their newsletters themselves. But if the adviser lacks writing or design skills, he or she can hire a writer to draft content for the newsletter and a designer to suggest a layout for the newsletter. Best practices for newsletters are listed here:
- Choose a frequency--monthly, biweekly, etc-- and maintain it.
- Create a theme and structure for the newsletter, so each one will have a similar layout and appearance.
- Indicate how to opt out, in case someone doesn't want to receive the newsletter.
- Create a readable newsletter with content that is curated from various sources.
Create a Set of "Lead Magnets" for Prospects and Clients
- A lead magnet can be a report, white paper, or checklist that the financial adviser develops and offers to people who read his or her newsletter or email. The lead magnet is an item of value that advisers give prospective customers or existing customers for free. They are incentives to sign up for the adviser's newsletter, future event, blog, or even a consultation. Giving a free item of value like this builds trust.
- An announcement of an event that the adviser will attend or host is another lead magnet that a newsletter or email campaign can bring to prospects and customers, along with an invitation to come to the event.
- Each email campaign the financial adviser designs can have a lead magnet that will encourage email recipients to click on an offer of more information and a download. Those who click are seen as prospects for financial services.
Segment the Email List as It's Built
- "Segmenting" is the process of dividing an email list into smaller divisions or parts so that targeted, personalized emails can be sent to prospects or clients.
- By segmenting his or her email list, the financial adviser can choose recipients based on specific criteria, such as people who purchased one of the adviser's services, people who read the adviser's blog in the last two weeks, or people who signed up to attend a free presentation the adviser plans to give. Email marketers agree that the smaller the segment, the more effective the message is. The goal is to target the needs of the readers.
- The major advantage of segmenting the email list is to assure the financial adviser that recipients are getting emails that they want with information they care about. Dividing the list based on criteria such as behavior (attending an event the adviser suggested), life cycle stage (prospect, subscriber, client, etc.), net worth, prospect or client location, age (retiree, pre-retiree, Gen X, Millennial, etc.), allows the financial adviser to tailor and personalize the reader's experience and make the adviser stand out as a professional who knows the reader's situation.
- Considerable work is involved in segmenting an email list, but the adviser can learn the methods of segmenting as he or she progresses in creating the list.
Choose a Goal for Each Email
- The financial adviser must know what he or she wants to achieve with each email sent. Is it just to get someone to read the email, or something else? Discussing ideas with a colleague can help a financial adviser focus each new email effectively. Reading other financial advisers' newsletters is also a good source of ideas and methods for narrowing an email's focus.
- According to HubSpot, 99% of people check their email daily, or even more often. So the adviser who sends an email knows that there is a good chance that the prospect or client will see the message when it arrives.
- Examples of email goals include signing up for a blog or newsletter subscription, getting a social media follow, getting a content download for one of the lead magnets, registering for a webinar, getting a phone call for a consultation, or opening an account with the adviser. These goals are also referred to as "calls to action" or CTAs. They answer the question, "What do I want the email recipient to do after reading this email?"
- Financial advisers who know the goal of each email segment are confident that what they send out to clients and prospects will have a positive result.
Use an Email Service Provider to Track Email Success
- The three most popular email service providers are: AWeber, Constant Contact, and MailChimp. Each one is different and has different advantages. The financial adviser should read about each one and ask colleagues which they use. Basic services that each provider must offer include automation, smooth operation across all platforms, tracking ability, and ability to use templates.
- Using an email service provider allows the financial adviser to track the success of each email segment. Email service providers allow users to see how their email campaigns are working. For each campaign, the financial adviser can get a report showing the number of opens, clicks, and forwards each email produced. Setting a budget for email services is important, to make sure that the financial adviser gets the services that he or she wants, and no more.
- These data are a significant help in building a financial advising business. The adviser can follow these numbers over time to learn which topics each audience responds to, and use that data for future campaigns.