Advisers today are busy. While having to manage a large book of client accounts, they also need to develop effective ways to drive new business. To do this, they may want to create and deliver content designed to educate investors and promote their services. Unfortunately, even when advisers have great content ideas and the best intentions to improve client communications, they don't have time to execute.
Fortunately, there's an effective solution: Marketing automation keeps your message top of mind and enables you to consistently nurture client relationships while sending focused messages to prospects.
Capitalizing on the best practices of marketing automation
With automated marketing, you command the content and need to know what will resonate with your clients. Here are five tips on how to successfully implement marketing automation:
1. Don't spam – "drip"
Campaign management services can help you create multiple email templates to send out on specific dates and build landing pages for engagement. The trick is to plan a steady flow of drips to keep the recipient's attention but avoid fire-hosing inboxes. A communication calendar lets you plan the types of content you want to send each month – for example an email on one day (drip), a blog post in a few more days (drip), and a follow-up email the next week (drip). A recent Morningstar study found about 30% of clients prefer weekly emails from their adviser and approximately 36% prefer them monthly.
2. Segment your audience
Tailoring communication to particular groups in your client or prospect base is another way to show them you know them. And it can help restrain you from sending too many emails to the same recipients. Potential segments might be based on age, life-cycle stage, net worth, investment style or personal interests. Developing your content and matching the messages to the right people can be informed by your communication and revenue goals.
3. Be relevant
Making sure your content is relevant is key. Pay attention to trending topics on social media, then match the conversations to the needs and concerns of your clients and prospects.
Your message could introduce an issue, educate the reader and then call them to action by presenting your value proposition. According to one automatic campaign platform, using videos can reduce email opt-outs by as much as 75%, and including a P.S. at the end of your communication can reinforce your offer to help. Language is important, so consider subject lines that address the reader directly, and drop the formality in favor of meeting the clients at their level of financial understanding. After all, your marketing is about inviting people into a conversation.
4. Track results
A marketing strategy put into motion will always need adjustments. With automated marketing analysis, it can be easier to track successes and areas for improvement. Take into account the client engagement through email replies, website traffic, time spent on landing pages and informational content. Compare the value of that activity to the dollars spent on your marketing automation services to justify your investment.
5. Take your time
Experimentation is inherent to marketing. Advisers shouldn't fear trying new strategies or platforms, campaign schedules and automated services. However, the most common mistake is changing everything at once. Automated tools are good to rely on to a degree, but don't put your brain on autopilot. Create a checklist for reviewing content to make sure you're not working too fast and missing errors as messages are scheduled and sent out. Allocate time for testing one strategy at a time, and set up a communications calendar.
Maximize your efforts by employing smart technology
The time you spend on client management and meetings is important to protect. Yet client communications and targeted marketing can be equally important to make clients feel they are following advice from a well-informed guide. It's also a crucial catalyst to effectively build your business. With automated marketing, you can consistently integrate communications, prospecting, brand-building, education and relationship management into your busy schedule.
Pete Muckley is Vice President of Marketing at Trust Company of America