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Financial advisors, marketers and other businesses have used email marketing to attract clients for decades.

But when social media came around, self-proclaimed experts started announcing the death of email marketing.

So should you start dancing on TikTok instead? Or is email marketing still an effective marketing strategy?

In this episode, you’ll discover why email marketing is still the most effective way to attract clients online in 2021.

Show highlights include: 

  • Why open, click and conversion rates are rising for financial advisors (even if they’re plummeting working for corporations) (6:52)
  • How to turn one winning subject line into a client-generation machine. (8:57)
  • The simple automation that sends potential clients hyperpersonalized messages (without you lifting a finger) (14:20)
  • Why working all day makes you less productive (and how to get results without putting your nose to the grindstone) (15:33)

If you’re looking for a way to set more appointments with qualified prospects, sign up for James’ brand new webinar about how financial advisors can get more clients with email marketing.

Go to https://TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar to register today.

Go to the https://TheAdvisorCoach.com/Coaching and pick up your free 90 minute download called “5 Keys to Success for Financial Advisors” when you join The James Pollard Inner Circle.

Discover how to get even better at marketing yourself with these resources:




Read Full Transcript

You're listening to Financial Advisor Marketing, the best show on the planet for financial advisers who want to get more clients without all the stress. You're about to get the real scoop on everything from lead generation to closing the deal. James is the founder of TheAdvisorCoach.com, where you can find an entire suite of products designed to help financial advisers grow their businesses more rapidly than ever before. Now, here is your host, James Pollard. [00:31.7]

James: What is up financial advisors, financial planners, wealth managers, financial coaches, and money managers? Everybody in between and everybody I didn't mention, thank you too. I appreciate you. If you haven't done so already, make sure you leave a review, it helps me. And you want to help me, don't you? So, I appreciate you. Thank you in advance for that. I'm actually really busy this week. So, I didn't have too much time to sit around thinking about a podcast episode and outlining it and whatnot. Fortunately, a gift from the heavens dropped in my lap, or I guess I should say it dropped into my LinkedIn inbox because that's really where it came from. Financial advisors sent me a screenshot of a CEO's comments about email marketing and I just, I fell on the floor, just laughing. I really did. It was so funny. Here's some direct quotes. [01:21.9]

“The writing is on the wall for email only sequences. They just don't work.” Here's another quote. “Email is not the answer in 2021. Oh, thank you, CEO for your prophecy of what works and what doesn't email doesn't work. Oh my God. Time to pack it up and go home.” I guess all of these email marketing companies have no idea what they're doing, even though they make hundreds of millions of dollars per year and generate billions of dollars in sales for the companies that use them. One more quote from this guy, “we are at the end of an era, which means people will continue to do the old thing with increasingly poor results.” Wow. Can somebody get this guy on the phone? Because I have a couple of questions to ask him about the future. I'd like to know where Tesla stock is going to be. I'd like to know the price of Bitcoin in five years. I would like to get some answers from this man who clearly knows the future. [02:16.4]

So, I, like I said, I nearly passed out laughing. And in this show, I want to explain why it's my belief based on anecdotal evidence and empirical evidence. So, I have experienced like in my personal life and helping financial advisors and seeing their results and seeing my results. And I have empirical evidence from companies who have studied thousands of landing pages, thousands of email sequences. It just, it is not dead. And email is actually getting stronger than ever before. And the biggest reason why email marketing isn't dead. And the reason we're going to focus on in this podcast is because email marketing companies are constantly innovating. If you begin looking for email marketing companies and auto responder services, you will find a bunch of them, including MailChimp, Constant Contact, Drip, Infusionsoft Convertkit, AWeber, and guess what all those companies have in common? [03:11.9]

They all want your money. They're in business to provide a service in exchange change for your money. You have the money; you have the power. And what happens when you have a bunch of companies all competing for the same dollars, what happens? They innovate. They get better. And since email marketing is primarily done to generate revenue in order for these companies to win their competition with each other, they must provide customers with new features that produce more revenue. Does that make sense? If Constant Contact has a feature that allows its users to make more money than MailChimp. MailChimp users are going to leave and go with Constant Contact. That's how a free marketplace operates. People vote with their dollars. [03:57.9]

Think about other marketing strategies. Does the us postal service have a lot of competitors? No. Do social media networks have a lot of competition? No, not really. Because Facebook is different from Twitter and it's used differently from Twitter and Twitter is used differently from LinkedIn and so on. But email marketing services are pretty much all used in the same way. They're used to generate revenue. People aren't just email marketing for the fun of it. They're not just out there dancing and giggling and seeing nothing but sunshine and rainbows. It's done to generate revenue. It is a business medium. It is a business marketing strategy. All emails, marketing services are serving customers who want to make money, which means they are really competing sand in order to survive, they must innovate. [04:46.0]

And let me give you an example of innovation in action. Constant contact. So, I'm going to talk about it, a few different companies here in a few different features. I don't want you to take this as a specific recommendation. All of these are just email marketing services. You can do your own research. You can figure out what works best for you in your situation. But I'm just giving you examples of innovation here. So Constant Contact has a relatively new feature. I mean, it's not that new, but it's new enough to still be called new it's called ‘Next best time to send,’ which automatically calculates the best time to send your email based on your context, open history. This means if Joe is on your email list and Joe typically opens your emails at 11:00 AM, they will send your email to Joe at 11:00 AM. And if Chelsea is also on your email list, but Chelsea opens her emails around 2:00 PM, they'll send your email to Chelsea at 2:00 PM. And I want to pause for a second. Let that sink in. I want you to realize how powerful that is. [05:46.5]

It used to be that you would just pick a time and send your email, and then try to improve on that. If you, you could split test your times, right? That's one of the recommendations that I have for financial advisors, regardless of what email marketing service they use. It's always a good idea to split test your time. So, if you're sending it at 10:00 AM split test that with 2:00 PM. If 2:00 PM gets a lot better, open rate than split test out with another time, try to figure out the best time for your audience. But constant contact has this. It's incredible. I mean, you could say, well, do your research about best times to send. And a lot of that research is still valid, but we now have technology that allows your email to be sent at the exact precise time, which your recipient is most likely to open. What do you think that can do for your open rates? Is email dying in that case or your emails getting poor results compared to the results they were getting last year? Or do you think that with this new feature, they will get better results? [06:47.6]

I mean, really think about this. Campaign Monitor recently put out there, mean 21 global email benchmarks data. And they found that the average open rate in the financial services industry is 24.8%. So, in 2021, it's actually a little bit better than it has been in previous years. And with this feature, don't you think that you could get even a little bit more than average if you were sending your emails at the exact right time. And if you have more opens, if you have a higher open rate than your other numbers should be proportional, meaning if you were setting appointments with 5% of the people who open at 24.8%, you should still set appointments with 5% of the people who opened that 34.8%. This can add up to a huge difference over time. So that's one feature. Let me give you another one. [07:34.9]

In the world of split testing emails, it used to be that you would send out version A, of an email and version B of an email and they would be split down the middle. You would send them out 50-50, and then you would compare the results when the test was over. Now, granted, this was a huge improvement over not having any split test at all, but they were basically taking the winners and using the winners to inform future emails and future marketing campaigns. So, you would send out email A and email B. If email B won, the test you'll be like, wow, email be won. What are some features of email B that email A doesn't have, let me take those features and put them into future emails. And then over time, your emails will get way more effective and way more effective and way more. A lot of people, they still don't split test it. It's nuts to me. So financial advisor and you're emailing, let's just say once a month, you know, I recommend daily, but once a month, you have 12 opportunities in a year or two runs, split test. And here's, what's really cool. [08:36.6]

Let's say you run those 12 split tests. Next year, you can take all the winners and split, test them against something else. And eventually you will have a control. And in the marketing world, a control is something that essentially either, I don't want to say it can't be beaten, but you're trying to beat it constantly to beat the control. But if you have a certain subject line that is absolutely crushing it, you know that you can use that subject line in different emails. And here's what is even cooler. You can take that same subject line and split test the body content. So, you now have a winning subject line that is going to get opened, you can test your body content because the body content drives the action. So now that you've got something that you know is going to get open, you can test the body to see what is going to get the most clicks. If your body copy leads to your appointment page, you can see which content gets more clicks to the appointment page. Okay? So that's how split testing works and all that. I got off on a bit of a tangent, but I just wanted to explain how this works. [09:41.5]

Hey, financial advisors – if you’d like even more help building your business, I invite you to subscribe to James’ monthly paper-and-ink newsletter, The James Pollard Inner Circle.
When you join today, you’ll get more than one thousand dollars’ worth of bonuses, including exclusive interviews that aren’t available anywhere else.

Head on over to TheAdvisorCoach.com/coaching to learn more. [10:04.1]

So, the company I use, I personally use Drip right now. I've used MadMimi in the past. I've used MailChimp in the past. I use Constant Contact for an offshoot thing that I was doing, but my primary email marketing software was Drip. You can check it out. You can use it if you want to, but that's just the one that I use because I get a little bit more advanced. It may be a little bit too advanced for some financial advisors, but it is what it is. So, they recently released a new way to split test emails, where you can conduct your split test with a small segment of your list first and then send the winner to everyone else. So, it doesn't have to be 50 50 if you don't want it to be. [10:40.9]

For example, you can tell Drip, Drip, I want you to split test this email with only 30% of my list and then I want you to take that winner and I want you to send it out to the remaining 70%. This can lead to huge changes in your numbers, and as a result, your bottom line. And if you have a big email list, you can do your split test with an even smaller segment of your list. You might be able to conduct your test with 10% of your list and send the winter out to the other 90%. This means you're giving yourself an even better chance for your email to be open. It's not 50 50, or it doesn't have to be, it could be 10%. And then Drip finds the winner and they say, Hey, we found this winner, we're going to send it to the other 90%. And the 90% gets the winner that was getting more opens. [11:31.4]

So, you can see how this can have a dramatic impact on a financial advisor’s business. It's not rocket science. It's not hard to see. So those are both relatively new examples. Let me give you an older example. There was a time when lead scoring didn't exist. Now it does. It's in every email marketing software that I know of. It's the ability for you score the, your people in your email list, your leads, and assign a number to them based on how they interact with your emails. You can set it up to assign a certain number of points to people when they open a certain number of points when they click and so on. It's just a point-based system. You could give five points for an open and 10 points for a click. So, if somebody has 15 points and another person has five points, you know that the 15-point person is more engaged. I hope that makes sense. And this allows you to segment more effectively. It allows you to tailor your messaging, to get the non-engagers, the people who don't engage to engage. [12:30.5]

We've talked about this on the podcast in the past, and there are ways for you to reach people who aren't engaging outside of email. I don't want to rehash it too much here, but my point is that there was a time when that didn't exist. And there was a time when that was brand new, just like the split testing stuff is brand new. And just like the ‘best time to send’ feature is relatively new, but leads going is pretty much standard. Now that's just how innovation works. You go from not existing to brand new, to pretty much standard. If it's a feature that people use to what make money, because email marketing is all about making money, setting appointments, sending people to a call to action, that sort of thing. Driving real, tangible business results like really think about this. [13:14.4]

MailChimp is competing with constant contact. In order for MailChimp to survive, MailChimp must deliver features that allow users to make more money. If people figure out that they can make more money using Constant Contact’s features, they will go to constantly contact. So MailChimp is under a lot of pressure to bank, better features. And the same is true with Infusion soft, AWeber, Drip, like the list goes on and on and on. You really have to get this. Now that's lead scoring. There was also a time when, ‘if then’ rules didn't exist and most financial advisors still don't have any idea that ‘if then’ rules exist, but they do exist. You can set up an ‘if then’ rule within your marketing autoresponder that goes like this. If your prospect clicks a link about a specific topic, then you can send off one off follow up email about that topic. So that's the IF THEN rule. If a person does this, then you do this. So, this is all done automatically with no involvement from you outside of setting it up. [14:13.3]

For instance, let's say you send an email about running with the bulls in Spain and your recipient clicks on the link. You can set up a rule that says, if someone clicks on the link about running with the bulls, you send an email that goes like this. Hey, my fancy pants, email marketing software tells me you clicked on the link from earlier. I wanted to send you an email and ask, have you ever been to Spain? If so, what'd you like the most? If not, what do you want to do when you get there? And then have like Miley face or something, be pretty cordial about it. You know, it doesn't have to be like super formal, this hyper-personalized and it's done automatically. I know I talk about things like LinkedIn a lot. And I talk about how important it is to manually personalize your stuff on LinkedIn. And that's true when you're messaging people on LinkedIn, you want to manually talk about this stuff that they have in their content. You want to prove that you're a real human being and you say, Hey, I went to your profile and saw that you went to this school, saw that you do this thing, love your company, love the email you sent this morning. You want to manually insert that type of material into your LinkedIn marketing, because it proves that you're real and it increases the likelihood that people will connect with you, respond to you, whatever. [15:26.1]

But in email marketing, this hyper personalization can be done automatically. I know that it's hard for a lot of people to accept them and they love the old way of like just grinding and grinding and hustling and hustling and just doing stuff and doing a lot of activity feel good. They're like, oh, I did a lot of stuff today. I did a lot of activity. Yay. They feel great. But what about the results? Would you rather really just grind it out and just send stuff manually? And again, there's a time and a place for that. I'm not saying to totally abandoned manual stuff because there is a time and a place for it. But when you have the option to throw something on top of your existing marketing that is done automatically and is hyper-personalized like this, why would you, why would you not do it? It is just nutty. So, I really, I really, really wanna stress this. [16:12.7]

These sorts of emails, they go out automatically based on people's behavior. And when they respond, you can take it from there. When the prospective client gets back and says, yes, I actually went to Spain in 2015 with, with my husband and for my honeymoon. And I loved it. And we did this, this and this. You now have a personal connection. You are building real rapport that actually exist, and it was done for you automatically with no involvement on your part from setting it up in the beginning. Like when they respond, then you can just take it from there and that's when the manual stuff happens. Those are just a few examples of innovation that will continue to occur. IF THEN rules, lead scoring the next best time to send feature this split testing stuff. This stuff will keep happening. [16:53.8]

A year from now, we'll have more features. Five years from now, we'll have even more features. And guess what? People will still say that email is dead every year from now. I've lost count of how many times people have said email is dead. In 2011, I remember reading articles, oh, email's dead now. 2012, email's dead. 2013 is dead. So, email has been dying for quite some time and it's going to continue dying. I don't want, she would get hung up on any of the specific features or the things that I've talked about in this episode, unless you want to. And it inspires you to choose a software. Like if you're totally blown away by the ‘next best time to send’ feature, and you want to sign up for constant contact and use them for your autoresponder, Hey, more power to you. That's awesome. But I don't want you to get hung up on any specific feature. [17:41.2]

I want you to take away the overall message of this episode, which is that email is definitely not dead. And it's getting better than ever because companies are innovating and they're making email better for consumers. That's the beauty of living in a capitalist society. That sort of thing happens and it benefits everyone. It benefits you because you get better results. It benefits the company because they get your money and it benefits the clients you wouldn't have otherwise, because they get you and your services as a result. So, it's a win, win, win. It's going to continue to happen in according to the social media gurus and people out there, and CEOs who don't know what they're talking about, email will continue to die. But guess what? I love it when people think that email is dead because it leads them to not use email. And it means that people's inboxes aren't as crowded and it leads to better results and it just compounds over time. [18:35.0]

So that is it for this episode. If you want to learn more about email marketing, I encourage you to register for the webinars, "3 Counterintuitive Ways Financial Advisors Can Get More Clients With Email Marketing..." You can sign up for that over at TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar. One more time. TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar, and I'll catch you next week. [18:55.4]

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