24 June 2013
Emailing clients with your marketing message is quick and inexpensive. The challenge is in ensuring your emails don't get deleted, unread.
Using emails as an e-marketing tool is known as e-communications (e-comms). Two pillars of a successful e-comm are the content and design. Here are five tips to help you create an eye-catching e-comm that cuts through the usual inbox clutter.
Before you start writing the e-comm, put yourself in the recipient's shoes. What do they want to hear from you? (E.g. financial tips, a free consultation or news about global financial markets.) Now consider why you're contacting them (e.g. to encourage them to make an appointment or to refer your services to others). Finally, you need to determine how you can marry up both needs: what the recipient is interested in reading about, and what you want to communicate.
At all times, you want to avoid sending random emails with no clear purpose or planned message. Neither Napoleon nor Mick Malthouse would have been successful without time spent defining a clear purpose, and devising a strategy to fulfil that purpose. Even in financial services, a successful campaign has the backing of a well thought-out strategy.
Engagement - or a lack of - will impact your email open rate. Think about what type of content catapults an email from being another dull e-comm to being an engaging read. It's all about connecting with your audience by offering them something they want.
Asking questions is one way to engage. For example, if you're talking to potential clients, don't write: "40%* of Australians use a financial adviser", but say: "Are you amongst the 60% of Australians leaving their financial health to chance?".
You can also be engaging by sticking to the ‘less is more' rule, making your email clear and concise. And don't forget to personalise your e-comm; not just in terms of ensuring your content is relevant to the audience, but by addressing them by their name (‘Dear Robert' as opposed to ‘Dear client').
Presenting your content in different formats can increase reader engagement, which can lead to higher open and click-through rates. Spice up your newsletters with interesting diagrams and graphs, or video editorials and interviews. Including a relevant image can also increase the e-comm's appeal; Shutterstock and GettyImages are two sites where you can download relatively inexpensive, royalty-free images.
Think about how you can vary the actual content from one campaign to the next. For example, you could alternate an opinion piece about retirement investing with a product update. You could insert a client testimonial, and then introduce someone from your team. You could even offer links to free tools and calculators that your clients may find useful.
The branding, layout and design of your emails should convey the corporate image of your business. In other words, always make sure your logo is present, and style your emails using your own corporate visual identity (colours, fonts and any other graphics that form part of your corporate look). The e-comm will link back to your website, so consider adapting some design elements from your site.
Creating an email template to maintain consistency in style and branding will also help your email stand out in a recipient's full inbox and ensure that at a glance, the client knows the email is from you.
In our previous editorial It's a brave e-world: e-marketing tips for financial advisers, we highlighted that one of the ingredients of a successful email is having a strong call to action (CTA).
The CTA should be clear, simple and enticing to take.
In other words, decide what you want to achieve and make it very easy for your audience to take the next step. For example, provide a link or ‘hot button' to click on, which creates an automated email to register interest in a seminar, or a link to your website for further information. Providing a deadline or an incentive will also help encourage recipients to take action.
E-comms are a powerful tool. Used correctly, they can help you establish a strong channel of communication with your clients and build valuable relationships with potential new clients.
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