“I wish email would die.”
Those five words are perhaps the most surprising (and ridiculous) I’ve ever heard come from a marketing expert. And yet they did. I was even more surprised a few minutes later when the same person went on to sing the praises of drip email campaigns. So, despite his personal disdain for the medium, as a professional, he couldn’t deny the marketing value of email. With more than 269 billion emails sent on a daily basis, his conflicted stance is understandable.
As inboxes become more inundated, email marketing efforts need to become more focused and more relevant in order to stand out. Unfortunately, there’s no magic bullet for a successful email campaign, but using the following tips could very well save your messages from getting lost in the wash.
Most, if not all, email services allow you to break your contact lists into different segments. This is a great way to make sure you’re getting the right message out to the right people. Compared to emails that go out to non-segmented lists, segmented emails result in nearly 15% more opens and 100% more clicks (Mailchimp).
Demographic segmentation – age, gender, geographic location, income, etc. – is one of the most commonly seen uses of this practice. However, advisors and agents should consider digging a little deeper and segment their lists according to the needs and interests of their prospects. For example, create a “Life Insurance” segment that includes only those who have expressed interest in that specific topic. This will keep non-relevant content out of their inbox and decrease the number of people who click “unsubscribe.”
The subject line you use can make or break the email within the first few seconds of delivery. A strong and concise subject is the best way to pique the reader’s interest and get them to open the message. A good subject line will tease the content of your email, but avoid coming across as spam-y or sales-y. Subject lines that ask an open-ended question, focus on something of value, or speak to a specific need or curiosity will typically generate more opens than others. For example:
- When You Can Actually Retire Vs. When You Want To Retire
- Saving Versus Spending: Why You Might Be Doing Both Wrong
- What You Need To Know About Retirement
- Why Planning Your Legacy Now Is Important
- How You Can Save Even With Debt
- How Your Retirement May Change Next Year
- One Big Thing Missing From Your Retirement Plan
Avoid using spam filter language (loan, free, mortgage, etc.), deceptive subject lines, exclamation points, and NEVER USE ALL CAPS!!!
More than half of all emails are opened on mobile devices, and the majority of those who do open their messages on a smart device will delete emails that aren’t mobile friendly. So, if your email is not optimized for mobile, it might not be worth sending in the first place.
Most email platforms offer a variety of mobile-ready and responsive templates that will make sure yours is designed with smart devices in mind. Use them. You also want to make sure you preview and test your email on as many different devices as possible (computer, smart phone, tablet) to make sure it displays properly on all of them,
If there’s one point that cannot be overstressed, it’s this – content is king. The copy you write from the body of your email should be clear-cut, well-crafted, and plainly outline your value proposition. Obviously, grammar is of the upmost importance, so make sure your proofread at least a few times. Ideally, you’ll want a fresh set of eyes to go over your content at least once or twice as well.
Aim for a good balance of text and images. Too much of the former can come across as bland and unappealing, while an image-heavy email can take longer to load, increasing the chances they’ll delete or ignore your message. You also want to direct their attention to your call-to-action and provide multiple, clickable links to the site you want your readers to land on.
Personalized emails can increase both your click-through-rates and conversions. And like the aforementioned tips, your email platform likely has a feature that will automatically include the reader’s first name in both the subject line and greeting. This sort of personal touch will not only catch the reader’s eye, but it could also increase the sense of relevancy and emotional appeal.
Measure Your Results and Act Accordingly
Spend some time looking over the results of your previous email campaigns. Try to determine what it was about your “hits” that made them more successful than your “misses.” Was it the subject line? The time and day you sent the email? Even the design and placement of your links can affect how well your email campaign performs. By carefully going over the different variables at play, you can easily incorporate those things that worked into future campaigns.
The Informed Advisor
A few weeks ago we published a post entitled “25 Marketing Stats Every Advisor Needs to Know.” This was a collection of eye-opening marketing statistics culled from recent research to give advisors struggling with marketing and prospecting some real-world insight. Many of our readers let us know they found the post helpful, but wanted more information on how they could effectively use these stats in their marketing.
This is why we created our latest complimentary sales kit. LFP’s “The Informed Advisor” provides you with more powerful statistics, as well as short action guides tying all the information together. Learn practical information about email marketing, direct mail, social media, mobile, web design, video and more. Below is a sample of the information you will find in this kit.
Learn why email marketing is still a valuable marketing solution and how you can optimize your email efforts.
Organizations using email to nurture leads result in 50% sales-ready prospects. (Forrester Research via Hubspot)
According to an Experian study, personalized messages received 29% higher open rates and 41% more unique clicks.
Action: Create a lead nurturing drip system with as much personalization as possible. Many email clients make this an easy, built-in function.
Is direct mail dead? Hardly. While direct mail can be more expensive than some other solutions, the return is greater.
According to the Direct Marketing Association, Direct mail is nearly seven times more effective than email, mobile, social media, internet display, and paid search—combined.
(Direct Marketing Association Response Rate Report 2015, DMA via PremierIMS)
Action: Develop mail pieces that can also function as prestige pieces as well to maximize your cost
You’ve probably heard quite a bit about how video is the next tool for marketing. Video can be a powerful tool to reach consumers and give your prospects a clean, modern experience. Using short videos can enhance your website and keep prospects on your website.
For instance, according to the Merchant Marketing Group, consumers spend an extra two minutes on websites with video, versus sites that don’t.
Merchant Marketing Group
Action: Use short videos throughout your website, especially on your home page. While it can seem that producing high-quality video is difficult and time-intensive, there are many inexpensive options that give you acceptable quality.
For more about email marketing, direct mail, social media, mobile, website design and more in your practice, request your free guide now.
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