The financial services industry can seem like just a world of transactions but at its core are relationships. Expertise aside, trustworthiness is a critical quality of a financial advisor. After all, it’s not just tangible assets you’re managing. It’s your clients’ goals and dreams. But what happens to trust and relationships in an increasingly digital world?
Technology has transformed the financial sector. By automating tedious tasks like sending emails, technology has improved the productivity of financial professionals, allowing them to focus on critical priorities and provide better service to their clients. However, the human element is lost in the email automation process.
Email personalization is the practice of making your email communication, well, personal. You can tailor emails to match your clients’ needs and financial status using collected data. This way, you reap the benefits of technology without sacrificing the human element. Personalization matters because it makes your clients feel valued, increasing revenue through retention and acquisition.
Personalization in email marketing is more than adding a name to the subject line and salutation. Read on to discover how you should personalize and enhance communication with your clients.
1. Customize the CTA
The call to action (CTA) is a powerful lead generation tool. Do you want your clients to read a blog article about a new market trend? Do you want your clients to register for an upcoming budgeting webinar? The CTA is what gets them to act.
Putting the words ‘Click Here’ isn’t enough. In fact, it could lower the effectiveness of your email campaigns. On the other hand, personalizing your CTAs to reflect your client’s journey can increase the conversion rates of your email by 202%. The CTA for prospective clients should be different from those who are already customers.
A simple illustration of this differentiation is the words ‘Sign up’ versus ‘Sign In’. Prospective customers sign up for accounts, whereas existing customers sign in to their accounts. Another example is as follows:
Say you’re offering a financial health assessment. A way to differentiate CTAs for the same service would be ‘Download Financial Health Checklist’ for prospective clients and ‘Register for Financial Health Assessment’ for existing customers. The action people will take is straightforward and, at the same time, reflects different stages of the buyer’s journey.
Be sure to conduct A/B testing on your CTAs to find the one that yields the best results. Email marketing software can help with this. Many tools can create two versions of your email for two different subsets of your email list so you can test which version performs best. That’s in addition to their features that verify emails, track email performance, and optimize delivery.
2. Add a Video
Video is a popular and effective medium across every form of marketing, email marketing included. Email marketing statistics show that adding video to email campaigns strengthens content, generates leads and increases customer engagement rates by up to 300%.
Source: Lead Pilot
Rather than sending prospects an introduction email filled with text and stock images, the Weiss Financial Group uses video to introduce the firm and its services. It’s engaging, showcases the co-owner’s personality, and can be used repeatedly.
Other ways you can use video to enhance email personalization are:
- Company Culture/Behind the Scenes Videos: As financial advisors, you know a lot about your clients. It’s only fair that your clients know something about you and your firm in return. Remember, trust is key to the advisor-customer relationship. Videos on company culture or employee spotlights help people connect with and trust you or your brand.
- Promotional Videos: Whether it’s a new personal budgeting app, limited-time consultation offer, or an event announcement, adding video is an effective email marketing strategy to create buzz around your brand and add value for email subscribers.
- Resource Videos: Access to your webinars and other educational content like tax literacy or types of life insurance, for example, will be the most valuable videos for your clients. They get valuable information at no added cost. That builds trust and loyalty.
Pro Tip: Include ‘video’ in the email subject line to get the most out of video email marketing. Email subscribers will be more likely to open and interact with your email if they know dynamic content like video is included.
3. Personalize the Subject Line
An essential element of crafting effective emails is the subject line. An enticing subject line is crucial to getting your email noticed in a cluttered inbox and opened. One way to grab people’s attention is by personalizing the subject line.
A personalized subject line has details relevant to the recipient. It could be their name, location, interest, or reference to their purchase history.
For example, if you know (from the registration list) that a customer is attending one of your events, emails leading up to the event could read ‘See you at 2022 Estate Planning Workshop, Claire.’ Maybe your clients aren’t reaching their yearly financial goals. A subject line like ‘Hmm, About Your Retirement Fund…’ is sure to grab their attention.
You can take this even further. Depending on your outreach platform, you can segment clients according to their buyer journey. You can then create subject lines based on where clients are in your sales funnel.
That is similar to the CTA personalization discussed above. Subject lines for an upcoming webinar should read differently for clients who have attended one of your webinars before and those that haven’t. For example, ‘Tina, Coming Soon: Part 2 of Women and the Stock Market Seminar.’ You wouldn’t use this subject line for a client who didn’t attend the first seminar.
4. Add a Name and Photo to Your Signature
You might be wondering why you would add a photo to your email signature. Your name and contact information should suffice. But think about why image-heavy social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are popular.
Using a photo puts a face to a name. In a relationship-based industry, this is crucial. People want to see they are in a relationship with a real person. It also makes it easier to create a personal connection over a communication medium that is essentially faceless.
More than just being able to identify you, clients can get some idea about you from photos. Are you professional, approachable, and so on? Therefore, choosing a professional photo that conveys the right image is essential.
Source: Wise Stamp
The email signature above is an excellent example of the kind of photo to add to your email signature. There is only one person in the image. The photo is clear and in focus (no red eye or reflection glare). No objects like sunglasses or props are obstructing Ronald’s face. Even though the background isn’t plain, it isn’t distracting either.
5. Include Relevant Content
Adding the email recipient’s name to an email subject line or salutation is one layer of personalization. The other layer is sharing relevant, personalized email content. You wouldn’t talk football statistics with a friend who isn’t interested in the sport. Likewise, you wouldn’t share retirement content with a young couple that’s just purchased their first home.
To effectively leverage email personalization, data collection and email segmentation are essential. You can segment your email list based on buyer personas. A buyer or customer persona is a data-based description of your ideal customer. It helps define customers’ needs, pain points, values, goals, and purchasing behaviours.
For example, rather than sending generic emails on market trends, customize email content to highlight financial opportunities for each group. As an authority, share your insights and opinions, taking their unique financial positions into account. That increases the value of your email campaigns and raises engagement.
Relationships matter in the financial services sector. With email marketing, you can nurture hundreds of customer relationships. The only downside is that you lose face-to-face contact, which makes building trust and loyalty a challenge. That’s where email personalization comes in.
Try these five effective email personalization strategies to help maintain the human touch with your clients. Customize CTAs according to the customer journeys, add videos to increase engagement, personalize the subject line to increase open email rates, and add a photo to your email signature to put a name to a face. Lastly, share personalized content relevant to customers’ needs and financial status.
These strategies will help you connect with your clients and add value to your financial services, building the trust needed to convert prospects and retain clients.
|Owen Baker is a content marketer for Voila Norbert, an online email verification tool. He has spent most of the last decade working online for a range of marketing companies. When he’s not busy writing, you can find him in the kitchen mastering new dishes.|