There’s no denying that social media has changed the game for how financial professionals can engage with potential clients. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have made it easier than ever to get people talking about important financial planning issues, from wealth transfer to long term care.
However, data shows the tried and true power of email remains essential for producers hoping to attract new business. At least, that’s according to figures from email marketing brand Campaigner’s latest survey.
“Despite the entrance of new marketing channels and technology innovations, the survey found that email remains to be the best digital channel for marketing [return on investment] in 2014,” the organization stated in a recent media release. “Over 62 percent of respondents rank email marketing as one of the top ROI generators, followed by social media (26 percent), SEO (25 percent) and offline direct marketing (20 percent). To achieve the greatest bang for their buck, respondents aim to leverage the leading ROI producers with 76 percent planning to invest in email marketing and 33 percent in social media for 2015.”
This view is supported by data from StrongView, an email and cross-channel marketing solutions provider. StrongView’s 2015 Marketing Trends Survey found that while offline advertising budgets are in decline, email spending is set to rise. Sixty-one percent of respondents cited email marketing as their top target for increased investment in 2015.
“It is clear from the 2015 Marketing Trends Survey results that marketers consider email the fulcrum of their digital marketing campaigns,” Shawn Myers, vice president of marketing at StrongView, said in a press release. “Accessing and leveraging data remains a challenge, but marketers are making inroads in using automation as well as greater use of channel and device engagement data to make their messages more contextual. As we head into 2015, the real opportunity will be for email marketers who can go beyond leveraging mere profile and purchase data to understand the current context of each customer at the moment of open, and dynamically deliver relevant messages accordingly.”
Ramping up email marketing efforts in 2015
A new year presents the ideal opportunity to put your past email marketing techniques to the test.
Your first step should be analyzing the results of past email marketing campaigns. What kind of returns have you seen from email in recent months? What techniques tend to lead to responses, meetings and sales?
Relying on old-fashioned measurement techniques such as A/B testing is certainly one strategy to consider, as this can help you differentiate between effective and fruitless approaches to email campaigns.
However, it’s also vital to stay up to date with the latest technological tools at your disposal.
One example is the new Google Inbox.
“Contrary to popular belief, Inbox won’t be a detriment to campaigns with its partitioned email, but rather a benefit,” Campaigner maintained in its media release. “For example, knowing when to send emails can guarantee a spot at the top of the inbox. With more opportunities for valuable interactions, targeted emails will prioritize above competitors in the long run. Tap into transactional emails, which notoriously show the largest rate of interaction with users to achieve an early advantage with the new advancement.”
Meanwhile, StrongView forecasts that context will become even more important for appealing to clients moving forward. This is one area where email can work in concert with other channels, such as social media, to deliver more personalized marketing.
For instance, by connecting with potential clients over platforms like LinkedIn, you can gain valuable information about their past history, as well as their current circumstances. These details can then be incorporated into customized emails that will truly engage instead of coming off as impersonal cold calls.