New Rules for Growing Your Book of Business: Reach Clients and Prospects Through Their In-Boxes

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions.  The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

E-mail marketing is no longer a new marketing channel, but if used effectively it can become a powerful marketing and relationship building tool for financial advisors. E-mail marketing offers a number of compelling benefits:

• Extreme personalization: Advisors can customize almost any element of an e-mail message, making each prospect and client touch-point more relevant.

• Rapid turnaround: E-mails can be developed and deployed within hours, allowing advisors to get in front of clients with important news quickly and efficiently

  • Total measurability: Every aspect of en e-mail can be tracked. Are your clients and prospects opening your e-mails? Clicking on links? Forwarding your e-mails to others—even potential prospects? These elements and more can be effectively measured using standard e-mail solutions
  • Cost-effective and response-effective: Developing and deploying e-mails will cost a fraction of sending a traditional direct mailer.
  • Easy integration with other marketing efforts: When combined with offline communications, e-mail adds only an incremental cost and can provide a significant step-up in response rates! What’s more, e-mail can be used to supplement other e-channels, including blogs and social networks, allowing advisors to further build their reputations/identities online.

The following tips will enable financial advisors to get the most from an e-mail marketing program:

The e-mail list – The most powerful asset

In developing your e-mail strategy, one of your first considerations should be list segmentation. Start by dividing your list into two groups - existing clients and prospective clients:

Existing clients: Capture the e-mail addresses of your clients at every possible opportunity - starting with acquisition and orientation. Over time, you can ask your

clients what kind of information they would like to receive through e-mail so that you can make your e-mails even more relevant.

Prospective clients: Divide your e-mail prospecting efforts into several tasks. First, be sure to capture e-mail addresses of prospects on your website or blog. Explore renting e-mail addresses for prospecting efforts. Consider sending your blog articles/perspectives to a list of prospects in your area (e.g. business owners, physicians) sold by companies like InfoUSA.com. These e-mail lists may not perform as well as the e-mail addresses you collect through your website or blog, but they will allow you to get your firm and your name in front of prospective clients. Consider advertising on highly targeted newsletters that are likely to be read by your prospective clients (e.g., alumni associations, local non-profit organizations, etc.)

E-mail tip #1:  Set a weekly goal for the number of e-mail addresses (clients and prospects) you or someone in your firm should collect. Every new e-mail address represents an opportunity to win new business (directly or through referrals).