Email Marketing 101

When it comes to email marketing, some Financial Professionals feel a little overwhelmed. Why should you do it? When should you do it? How should you do it? … SHOULD you do it?

The answer to that last question is a mostly unqualified – YES. Unless your target market as a whole does not own computers, you should already be utilizing this medium as a form of both client generation and retention.

Now for the rest of it … here are some tips, tricks and best practices to help you along the way.

 1 – Always Ask for Permission
If the recipient has NOT expressed interest in receiving communication from you, it’s SPAM. (What’s SPAM? Visit this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spam_%28electronic%29). SPAM does not work, and it is vile – jeopardizing legitimate emails every day.

 2 – Time It Well
Monday morning seems like a great time to communicate, right? Well, perhaps not. If you’re talking about communicating with clients who expect that Monday morning email from you – that’s one thing. If you’re communicating with a prospect who doesn’t know you as well, remember this … Monday morning is, for many people, the time when they go through and delete the most unwanted mail from their inbox. You could get lost in the shuffle!

3 – Introduce Yourself
If it’s been a while since you spoke to this contact, perhaps they don’t recall giving you their email address? Always try to make your first correspondence, (or the first in a long while), personal. Remind them how you met, and let them know why you want to be contacting them electronically. Make sure that your first subject line is personal and does not appear generic in any way – or they might delete you with their morning SPAM dump.

4 – Be Regular
This applies mainly to ongoing client communication (which, if you’re not already on top of, you should be). A regular weekly or monthly correspondence (financial news, tips, etc) is a great way to keep that relationship on track. Choose a time and day and try to be consistent. Monday AM is … okay. But if your clients are reading your email at the start of their work day, and even if you make it past the SPAM dump, they might not have the time to read your message. It may get pushed aside “for later” and forgotten. Perhaps Tuesday morning (between 8am – 11am) would be a better choice? Maybe a mid-week (Wednesday) update? It’s up to you. Try to get a feel for what your clients want – and don’t be afraid to ask them what (or when) that is!

5 – Automate Your Campaigns
Look, if you don’t do this, it’s really tough to remain on top of your communication. Setting up automatic campaigns not only helps you save time, it helps to keep your marketing consistent. Decide what you want to send, when, and to whom. Set it and forget it. This isn’t to say things should be impersonal and cold – not at all. You should be reaching out to clients and other contacts in a personal manner, too, as often as you can. But with regular correspondence (weekly updates, prospecting drips, financial news) … yes. Automate. An automated campaign should help you stay on track without pulling your hair out.

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