Killer Advisory Emails that Generate Really Hot Leads

Killer Advisory Emails that Generate Really Hot Leads
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The biggest challenge that busy advisors often face is: how do you produce creative and highly responsive emails to generate hot leads?  Many advisors' days are taken up with research, investing clients’ money, answering questions, keeping customer service relationships moving and running the day-to-day business needs. 

As a financial advisor, RIA, financial planner or insurance agency, the core growth of your practice and revenue depends on a continuous and steady flow of very qualified high net-worth leads –  and the ability to convert them into clients. And, while networking and face-to-face educational/sales events may have worked in the past, the world has dramatically changed and many of the past sales practices are quickly becoming antiquated. For us and our clients, creative dedicated emails have become the most effective way of generating a steady flow of highly qualified leads with high client conversion rates.

We have created thousands of email promotions for our own businesses and clients. Below are some proven tips and tricks to do just that!  Read on!

Messaging: Piquing Their Interest

When sending promotional emails. You could lose a significant number of your intended audience quickly unless you pique their interest early on in your email. Follow these guidelines to do that:

  • Most investors (especially HNW and UHNW prospects) love hearing from an expert and get different opinions on the markets. If your views resonate with them, they will read on.  So, right at the start, share your views of today’s market conditions, and offer them your opinion on what you believe lies ahead. 
  • Don't expect to get results by sending emails with generic content. Finance and investing should not be boring; instead, strive to make it entertaining. With an interesting personal story about yourself, your economic forecasts, historical events that tie to what is happening today etc., by combining your expertise with an interesting story you can pique their curiosity and keep them reading the email. 

Pro Tip: Be a little careful about expressing your political point of view, unless you are talking to a known audience who you positively know shares your view.  

  • Don’t rush in with the sale and an offer for them to join your firm and make you their advisor – that’s a longer-term goal. Instead, offer for them to get more information by downloading a lead magnet. Describe what information they will see inside and the potential benefits that they may derive from the information offered in a lead magnet and the reason why it may be timely information, to get it now. Then point them to the easy sign-up form for the lead magnet.

Pro Tip: A lead magnet is something that they can take away to learn more about your investment philosophy, strategies, you and your firm, like a Whitepaper, PowerPoint Presentation or a Special Report.

  • Sweeten the lead magnet offer by adding that they can also participate in your upcoming webinars/live events and receive “subscriber-only” emails, market forecasts, and other reminders (especially when the market tanks) as an additional incentive for them to sign up.

Pro Tip: Do not state your call to action too early in the email.  A short letter can work very well, but even in cases where the email gets really long, the truth of the matter is that readers will scroll down to look for the offer.  By scrolling down they are still skimming the message and are able to get caught up in one section or another.  The longer they read the email the more likely a qualified lead will pop into your lap.  Quality of writing is much more important than the length of copy.  

  • Before closing, succinctly and concisely, state your call to action and underscore your value prop. You should direct them to a landing page that reinforces (perhaps in greater detail) your value-add, as well as provide more details on the goodies discussed in the email. BUT…No hard-selling (just yet!).
  • At this point, the idea is to make it worth their while to share their contact details with you. To satisfy their immediate gratification, content gifts or events work fairly well.  Once you’ve received those details, add them to your Marketing Funnel (we’ll talk more about that in future issues).

Consumer List Selection: Reaching the Right Audience

The quality and quantity of lead generation depends on the types of email lists Advisors use. And the source of those lists matters too. Here are some pro tips to consider when sourcing email lists:

  • Do not try to select your own lists without a list marketing professional – you do not know all the lists that are available, nor do you know which lists your competitors are using and which ones will bring you the most and best sales leads --it’s not worth the hassle! Instead, work with a reputed list broker.
  • Generally, do not use compiled email lists. Instead, look for lists of consumers that have responded to other offers from advisors like yourself.
  • Upon determining which lists might be best to test, the general rule of thumb is to use a managed list that’s made up of individuals that have spent money or showed interest in products or services that qualify them as your target audience.

Pro Tip: Why? The reasoning behind it (besides years of our successful testing this approach!) is that, if someone is willing to shell out their own money or actively ask for information about similar services, they are more likely to respond to your email efforts. 

  • Stay away from “static lists” containing historical (likely stale!) entries. Instead, only work with lists that are frequently updated.

Pro Tip: Why? Because, the more recent the names are, the more likely they are to have been searching for information. The older the names are, the lower the probability for a high response.  Some list brokers might have large lists, make sure that they clean them up regularly so that only subscribers who signed up are no more than 60-90 days old. 

  • Consider only testing a small sample of the list.  If the list produces favorable results, retest another sample, but larger, portion of the list to confirm your initial results before rolling-out to the whole list. 

Pro Tip: And don’t forget, each time you remail the list (within a 1-3 month period) ask to omit your previous list usage. This way you will have a clearer understanding as to your emails performance and minimize duplicate responses.

Now that you’ve got the list of your liking, and have your messaging all lined up, it’s time to test what works and what doesn’t!

Testing Your Strategy: A/B Split Testing

Testing is a gradual and iterative process: Test an initial sample of your list; if the results are positive, test a broader sample before full rollout. Here are some tips on doing A/B Split Testing successfully:

  • Since email recipients can react and respond differently to different parts of your message, it's critical to assess the impact of each element separately. As a result, split test different aspects of your email every time you send it out: subject lines, headlines copy, order form, offer, photos, message length, fonts and pitch sizes, call to action, design, buttons and text colors.
AB Testing - Author: Seobility - License: CC BY-SA 4.0

Pro Tip: Do not split test more than one of these elements at a time.  If you do so, you will never fully know what works and what does not.

  • Timing is everything. If you split test a subject line, you roll out the balance at another time-of-day to assess efficacy.
  • By continuously split testing, and then assessing feedback/results, instead of guessing or assuming the impact your email is having, you are allowing potential clients to tell you what they do or don’t like about your messaging.   
  • After each successful test, you roll-out with the winner and continue to test against it to get the new winner. This way you will be raising the level of responsiveness again and again.

Pro Tip: The list sample size is an important factor in split testing performance. The bigger the sample size, the more trustworthy the feedback is. However, if you use the “go big or go home” approach, you risk exposing a large portion of your list to messages that aren't yet optimized for best responses – and you don't want that! The benefit of using our split testing method is that it allows you to steadily increase not only the quantity but also the quality of your responses, but also steadily increases the quality of leads that ultimately enter your marketing funnel.

If You Lead Them…They Will Come!

It makes no difference how short or long the email copy is; the quality of the copy is what matters. If the information is both insightful and entertaining, it can go on for pages, but once the pace slows, it's time to direct the reader to the order form. If you want to produce a steady stream of high-quality leads, you must master the art of succinct, entertaining and purposeful messaging.

The tips and tricks discussed above will achieve that for you. In conclusion, remember that targeted lead generation is an ongoing process – not a set-it-and-forget it strategy!

At InvestmentAdvisor.Marketing, we continuously review and update our email marketing tips and techniques.

Jeff Greenberg
Jeff Greenberg
Since co-founding Savvy Investor and throughout his career, Jeffrey Greenberg has transformed the client experience. After co-creating the firm in 2012 and serving as our clients’ chief marketer, Jeff reinvented advisor acquisition strategy and led a team that amplified advisors’ brand to help us better serve their need to increase and convert potential clients. Jeff is focused on building brands, driving new client acquisition and delivering premier client experience.

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