Whether you’ve recently launched an online business, or you’ve noticed a decline in traffic in your existing operation, how you market and promote your brand can be the difference between success and failure.
In 2020, social media should be a key component of any marketing strategy. With billions of people using platforms like Facebook and Instagram every day, it’s vital that you create a business account and establish an online presence. To grow your online business, here is how social media marketing can help.
From the moment you put your business on social media, you have more chance of consumers finding your products or services, which in turn can help to boost traffic to your business website. To get started, you need to create a business page on popular social media platforms. This can be a great way to connect with your audience. There are easy to follow instructions to take you through the process and get your page up and running. In the initial stages, make sure that you ask friends, family, employees, and sponsors to like and share your content, as the more people who see it, the better.
Improved Search Engine Ranking
While posting on social media platforms may get your business more site traffic, you will need to put more time and effort into other strategies to make people aware of your brand. Improving your search engine ranking and using the correct SEO strategies will mean that consumers are more likely to click on your page over competitors, so whether your aim is to place higher on social media or on Google, make sure that you use targeted and relevant keywords that link with your brand.
Higher Conversion Rates
With an increase in visibility, your company will have more opportunities for conversation. Whether you post an image, blog post, or comment, you score a better chance of viewers seeing your content and wanting to find out more about your brand. Placing your brand in an atmosphere where users are likely to share and talk about your content will only boost the conversion rates on existing traffic.
Better Customer Satisfaction
Your customers are the heart and soul of your online business, so it’s vital that you keep them happy. Retaining a loyal following can be achieved in various ways, such as regularly communicating with your audience. When using social media for marketing, your audience may leave comments and questions that they want answering, so being on hand around the clock to answer any queries will show that you’re dedicated to your brand. Knowing how to network and engage with your demographic will turn potential customers into dedicated followers.
One of the main benefits of using social media for marketing your online business is that it’s a much cheaper alternative when compared to other methods. While creating a business page is free, there are add-ons that you can consider, which you will need to pay for. If you need help, you may want to contact JBD social media agency who can provide guidance on what steps to take to improve your social media marketing and content.
Whether you have a social media marketing team in place or you hire outside help, there are tons of benefits that social media marketing can bring to your online business, helping to spread brand awareness and grow your company.
Are you looking for the best types of videos for retaining customers? Once you have secured business, your work is not done. It is important to strengthen relationships with existing customers so that you can secure repeat business.
For most business types, repeat business is the most important. This part of the consumer life cycle phase is, of course, beyond the funnel. One Funnel Away can help you with creating a funnel for your ideas if you need further information on this. Below, we are going to take a look at the best types of videos for retaining customers in further detail.
Thank You Videos
One of the best ways to retain customers is to show your appreciation for them, and what better way to do this than with a thank you video? You need to show your consumers that they are just as important to you once they have purchased from your business as they were while you were trying to turn them into a customer.
A good example of a customer thank you is a video created by Constant Contact back in 2014. Why is it so effective? Well, not only does it show customers that they are special, but it also reminds them why they loved working with the brand. Another good example is the thank you video from Birchbox, which not only involves the company saying thank you to all customers, but also shares their favorite customer interactions from throughout the year. It is great because it shows employees talking about their favorite memories, which no doubt makes customers feel special.
As you have probably gathered, sharing these videos at the year-end is a good strategy, as you are reflecting on the year gone by. The aim of these videos should be to spread positivity; there should not be any overt selling purpose.
Show Additional Uses For Your Product
Once your customers have purchased your product, you can show them additional uses for it through a video. This adds value to the purchase the customer made, and it also shows your consumers that you still care about them.
This is something Oreo executed brilliantly in a 20-second video that shows followers how to make an Oreo banana cream pie using their biscuits. This is something that can easily be re-created for all food products, as well as other items, such as videos of different ways to wear a clothing garment or accessory, or different hairstyles that can be created with a hair styling product.
Embrace brand advocates
Use video production to give your customers a way of sharing their stories. By giving your customers a voice, you increase brand loyalty. This is something that Walt Disney Company did exceptionally well. They created a video of a father and daughter enjoying Disneyland, and they shared it on Facebook on Father’s Day, encouraging people to share the video with their ‘Disney Dad’ to remind him of how special he is.
Thousands of people shared the post, with many commenting on the video about the experience they had at Disneyland with their father. By doing this, Disney celebrated the experience their customers had, and, at the same time, they endeared themselves to other customers who wanted to have this experience.
To increase the chances of retaining customers and generating a loyal consumer base, incorporate the video content mentioned above into your marketing strategy. As they say, ‘work never ends’, and if you stop trying once you have turned a lead into a customer, you are going to find that they walk straight into the hands of the competition next time around.
It is not that hard to create a brand but attaining success is a different ball game. With so many online companies offering same product categories, users immediately seek alternatives if they feel that the brand does not have anything exclusive to offer. The logo of the brand if actually a strong component that decides fate of the brand. Coming up with a logo does not necessarily mean that you would use advanced designing soft wares. A more important thing is having a unique appearance. Brands having an innovative logo easily get high sales volumes because they seem different. Consider the following text based logo.
Interpretation of example
To start with, have a look at the logo example written above. In actual terms, there is nothing advanced or flashy about it. Even then, it would make a strong impact because a unique combination of words has been used. Hence, when some goes through the logo, he would notice it. This is one of the key factors which successful brands focus on. They make simple but highly impressive logos. If you have a glance at the top 500 global companies, all of them have easy to interpret logos. No flashy color combinations or animations are used to create them.
What is the Random Word Generator?
If you are about to use a tool for the first time, be clear about the purpose it is used for. Prepostseo random word generator is used to generate unique combinations. Before we go through the details, let’s run through the procedure of usage.
Select the number of generations
How many random words do you want to be generated? This is something that depends on the user. One user may want 5 random words while the other may require only three. In other words, the number of words produced depend on the input entered by the user.
What kind of random words are you looking for? There are multiple options which users can choose from. If you want all types of words to be generated, you would select “All Words”. Similarly, if you are looking only for nouns, you can make a selection accordingly. When you are done with making these selections, click the “generate” button and you would see random words on your screen. For the purpose of logo designing, you can use a combination.
Looking at a proper example
Consider that you want to get five random words which are only nouns. In the “number of generations” box, enter the number “5”. After that, click the “nouns only “option and then proceed to word generation. You may get the following output. Laborer, hour, relation, beggar, pan.
Making word combinations for logos
All these five words are not related to each other directly. Thus, it would be hard to find them in a combination. For instance, you can use “pan hour” as a brand logo. As it is uncommon, you would see several customers showing interest and getting attracted to the logo text.
A lot of effort is not needed
Is it difficult to generate words without using a tool? The answer to this question is yes. To start with, the effort needed is much more. A lot of brainstorming is needed to come up with unique combinations. If you talk about designing a unique logo, the combination of words used is everything. If it is not unique, it would be hard for the brand to catch customer attention.
Using this tool is an automated way of producing unique word combinations. No intelligence is needed to think about exclusive phrases as the tool would do everything. Logo designers usually have to produce multiple versions of an image and one is finalized for perfect logo placement. This task is challenging and has to be completed in limited time. Thus, it is not feasible to determine combinations manually. The random word generator is a commendable option for logo designing professionals.
Get the most creative and unique word combinations
With this tools, you can end up with the most unique combinations of text phrases. There are no restrictions on the number of times you can use the tool. Hence, several creative combinations can be made by image creators and other related personnel.
Every designer has his own requirements for brand logos. One designer may want only nouns to be used in the logo while the other may be looking for verbs only. With this tool, you can generate words according to individual preferences. If you need combinations with all grammatical forms, select “all types of words”. Similarly, if you are seeking only verbs, select that option. A lot depends on what the user wants.
No usage challenges have to be encountered
Every tool used for creating logos is not easy. Full scaled designing soft wares have complex options and most users find it hard to use them. This tool is a much easier alternative that produces effective word combinations. In other words, if you do not have expert designing skills, you can still create amazing word combinations for your brand logo.
It is not necessary that you can come up with quality logos using complex designing tools only. Text logos get instant attention from potential buyers. People tend to read text because they can develop an understanding to some extent. Viewing an image does not provide any kind of explanation to the user. The random word generator provides the user with easy and unique word combinations. You only have to enter the requirements including number of generations and types of words to be included.
Brands that fail to get the attention of customers do not produce good profits. Buyers get attracted to something that they have not seen before. One related example is the logo. Here, one thing needs to be remembered. Designing a good logo does not mean that it should be necessarily created using a complex designing software. You can come up with creative logos using the random word generation tool. It provides you with unique combinations that can be used to design interactive company images.
Summary: Email may not have the cutting edge, high-tech appeal of some of the other marketing tactics. However, when done right, email marketing for financial advisors can be remarkably effective. In order to build a productive email campaign, advisors should begin by examining the needs of their audience. A broad-based “spray and pray” approach is the quickest way to burn through your hard-earned email list. On the other hand, highly targeted value-add communications will help you build trust, drive referrals, and stay connected to your prospects and clients. Read on for best practices (by email type) and some common email marketing mistakes to avoid.
Recently, I was fortunate enough to participate in a lively discussion with a thought leadership group comprised of forwarding thinking, young marketers. The topic eventually turned to the effectiveness of email marketing for financial advisors. Although opinions differed greatly on the types of campaigns financial advisors should leverage, there was one thing we could all agree on: Email marketing, when done correctly, is widely effective.
But what does that mean for financial advisor email marketing, now that we are in 2019?
Email has certainly become a standard mode of communicating with clients and prospects, but it is overused? Do people care about the emails they get from a financial advisor? Isn’t newsletter marketing dead? And, most importantly, should you make it easy on yourself and sign up for one of those services that will generate and send marketing emails for you?
As with many things marketing, getting hard numbers and data can make the difference between a great strategic decision and a dead-end money pit. So, let’s look at some numbers.
No surprise here: It’s better to have prospects opt into your campaign. The same resource suggests that open rates for permission-based campaigns (i.e. ones where a prospect or a client has given you permission to email them) range between 30% and 40%. That’s a significant upgrade!
CampaignMonitor supplements that stat: More than 50% of their survey respondents check their personal email account more than 10 times a day, and it is by far their preferred way to receive updates from brands.
So, the data would suggest that the optimal combination for successful financial advisor email marketing should look like this: Ask for permission, send regular emails, make your messaging relevant for the recipient.
Which sounds like common sense.
As always, the devil’s in the detail. And so, I wanted to share with you some common questions and specific best practices for financial advisor email marketing campaigns. These are the types of campaigns that a firm of any size can use with success. Campaigns can be super-simple, or you could go all out and have them professionally designed to suit your style. So, don’t feel that email marketing isn’t for you unless you have a big budget.
Should financial advisors build an email list — or buy one?
Most advisors I know would prefer to do things in the most efficient way possible. From that perspective, one might imagine that buying a list of (ideally) pre-screened prospects from a data company would be faster and better than building your own list through a sign-up form on your website.
The reality is a bit more complicated.
First off, the CAN SPAM Act of 2003 requires anyone who purchases an email list with a commercial purpose to abide by certain rules. While those rules do not include obtaining explicit permission from the individuals on the list, they do require accurate transmission information (i.e. who the email is from), non-deceptive subject headings, a clear identification that the message is an advertisement, and an opt-out provision that gives the recipient a choice about whether they wish to receive future emails from you. If you are interested in a deeper dive into this subject, this FAQ article has good information. In summary, though, as long as you follow those requirements, you can send emails until the recipient opts out — at least in theory.
In practice, buying a list of emails exposes you to additional risks. There’s a risk that the list was assembled through shady or outright illegal means (such as address harvesting or dictionary attacks). Plus, there’s an (admittedly small) chance that someone on the list has already opted out of receiving emails from you before you purchased the list. Either one of those risks can expose you to fines under the CAM SPAM Act.
What exactly is permission in this context? It could be implicit permission in the case of email recipients who already have a relationship with you (through doing business together, being acquainted socially, or being a part of the same charity or club). Or, it could be explicit permission, like when a prospect types in an email address to download a whitepaper or a checklist.
What about “renting” an email list?
There is another practice in the industry that’s known as “renting a list”. When you “rent” someone’s email list, they email their list of contacts on your behalf. You don’t get to see any of the email addresses. Think of it as buying an ad that someone will share with their list for a fee.
Is “renting” a list better than “buying” a list? Not necessarily. It’s true that the risks are different. For one, even if you are merely renting a list, the recipients did not give you permission. The reader is not expecting an email from you, so they may feel annoyed and sold to — not the mindset you need to convert skeptics into clients.
And then there is the elephant in the room.
At the end of the day, the provider of the list (whether they sell it or rent it) is in the business of selling or renting lists. It’s in their best interest to sell/rent a list as much as they can to maximize their profit. That leads to the people on the list getting spammed with a high volume of unexpected and unsolicited offers. Your offer can get lost among them. You may also experience a high degree of unsubscribes, bounces, and spam complaints. All of that adds up to a low ROI.
Bottom line: Buying or renting an email list may seem like an inexpensive shortcut to reaching more prospects. In reality, doing this can negatively affect the deliverability of the emails you send to legitimate prospects, spoil your reputation, and result in a poor ROI.
The names on any list you might buy or rent are likely to be “burned out” by too much spam. Think about it… If you spent years building a solid list of people who had opted into getting messages from you, would you sell it for just cents per email address? So, if a list is available for sale, it’s probably not the high-quality goldmine that the list company would have you believe.
What should you do instead?
Build your own list by having people opt into getting emails from you. Yes, a home-grown email list takes time to develop and nurture. However, doing this will keep you on the right side of the anti-spam rules — and it will be much more effective in terms of ROI and long-term practice growth potential. Give your audience plenty of opportunities to subscribe to your emails by adding a form to several locations on your website. Limit the volume of data you collect up front (first name and email address are usually enough to get started). In other words, make it very easy for them to say “yes” and join the list.
Best practices for financial advisor email marketing
So, you’ve developed a list of emails from prospects or clients. How can you build an email marketing campaign that will nurture those relationships?
Here are some ideas that can work well for financial advisors.
1) The financial advisor newsletter is alive!
Believe it or not, the tried-and-true newsletter format is still an effective way of establishing an ongoing communication cadence with your clients and prospects. Most financial advice firms have transitioned the newsletter from the traditional hard-copy/printed format to digital. A digital newsletter is inexpensive and relatively simple to pull together. Even if you choose to invest in a professional layout template, you get to reuse it multiple times, which can lead to a solid ROI.
If you are considering adding a newsletter (or if you have one and are wondering if you set it up the right way), here are 5 best practices that can make it or break a financial advisor newsletter.
Choose a frequency and stick to it. You may not think of it this way, but a newsletter can become an important component of building trust with the prospects who don’t yet know you. If you promise them a monthly newsletter, be sure to deliver a monthly newsletter. Generally, it’s better to pick a lower frequency that’s sustainable for you — than to promise a weekly communication and fail to keep it up.
Create a central theme and a structure for your newsletter. Nothing wrecks your readership-bounce-rate like a mailer that’s disorganized or hard to follow. You might brainstorm some re-usable topic categories that would strike a chord with your audience (perhaps highlighting an upcoming decision or action deadline, sharing a budgeting tip, a market performance update, a summary and take-aways from a recent book you’ve read, or a “get to know” section to present profiles/updates from team members).
Make a clear path for someone to opt-out. The number one sin when executing a digital newsletter campaign is trapping your audience in a slow and painful “death by email” spiral. Nothing deteriorates your brand faster than spamming disengaged customers. Give your readers a clear off-ramp. Your newsletter will be better for it. At the very worst, you will know that your messaging needs to be refined based on an alarming rate of unsubscribes.
Give your images alt tags. Email clients (such as Outlook, Apple Mail, or Gmail) can be a tricky beast, and you never know what settings your recipient has enabled. If you are trying to spotlight a project, or if you have invested time in creating a beautiful layout, you surely want your recipients to see it! Giving an image an alt tag will allow alternative text to appear if the image doesn’t load. Also, be sure to test the formatting of your newsletter to ensure it will display right across different platforms.
Reduce load times. Be sure to optimize high-quality images for digital viewing. Compress your images to maintain quality while reducing long email load times. Your clients and prospects are experiencing heavy information overload. You have just 1-2 seconds to grab a prospect’s attention. Don’t allow long load times on your emails to sabotage your chance!
Promote your newsletter through your social media. Each time your send a newsletter, share one point on your social media profiles — and encourage your followers to subscribe to the list. This step takes virtually no time or effort — and can seamlessly deliver more eager subscribers.
2) Drip sequences can work, too.
After a prospect has signed up for a lead magnet (such as a report, a white paper, or a checklist), some advisors follow up on the initial delivery with a short series of emails (something known as a drip sequence). The purpose of a drip email sequence is to build trust, deliver value, and give the prospect an opportunity to take the next step in the relationship if he or she is ready.
Here are some best practices for financial advisor email drip sequences.
Segment your prospects. Relevance is the key factor that can make the difference between an email that’s perceived as valuable — and one that’s promptly sent to trash. If you reach out to different categories of clients or prospects, make sure that you have different drip sequences to suit their needs. In other words, pre-retirees and business owners should get different emails. This ties into developing your value proposition as a financial advisor; see this article for more tactical advice on that.
Make sure that every email in the sequence adds value. The litmus test I like to use is whether my target audience is likely to save the email, print it out for reference, or forward it to someone they know. If the answer is “probably not”, then you need a different email — or you risk burning out your new subscriber quickly.
Use storytelling techniques to get the reader’s attention. Remember, they don’t know much about you yet. Stories are a powerful tool for connection and trust-building. A well-chosen and well-told story can immerse your prospect into what it’s like to work with you. Think of personal stories that will give your reader a glimpse into your personality, expertise, and experience. There are many great books about effective story structure, and this topic alone could make for a whole other blog post. For now, keep in mind that a story is most effective when you can clearly define a challenge or the stakes, walk the reader through several different emotions, and provide closure.
Subject lines matter, a lot. You may spend a couple of hours refining your email to be just right, but if you don’t have an intriguing subject line, chances are that your open rates will be disappointingly low. According to a digital marketing consulting company Convince & Convert, 35% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line alone. So, invest some time to come up with a subject line that piques the reader’s interest and gives them the reason to click “open”.
Watch your open rates and unsubscribes. One or two people dropping off the list is not a big indicator, but if the pattern indicates that a significant percentage of subscribers opts out of your list on email # 3, perhaps you should reassess that specific email.
3) Use email to pre-announce events
Are you planning to attend or host a local event? Email is an excellent tool to inform prospects and clients about it. If you are going to a local event and it’s open to the public, let your readers know and invite them to join you. A targeted email blast can allow you to begin networking at an event before it ever starts.
Before promoting your own event, keep these best practices in mind.
Give your readers a reason to care about the event. Just because you have decided to host an educational seminar, a wine night, or an art auction isn’t enough to entice a prospect to show up. You need to let them know why they can’t afford to miss it. Highlight future take-aways. If your key selling point is raising money for a charity or having fun, focus on that. Don’t make your audience wonder why they should go.
Tailor the event to your audience. This is another opportunity to segment your list and really think about what each client/prospect set would value most. A generic workshop may not be exciting enough to entice participation. It may be better to host two smaller, highly targeted events that will be well-attended.
Make your email actionable. It’s not enough that the client or prospect learns about the event. Give them a specific next step. Perhaps they can register for the event or email the office for details. An email without an action will likely be forgotten quickly.
Deploy a responsive design. Fast forward to the day of the event, and there’s a good chance that your client will be using their smartphone to refer back to the email you sent them with all the logistics. Plan ahead and make sure that your email is optimized for mobile viewing!
Financial advisor email marketing: Round-up of mistakes to avoid
To close this take on the subject of financial advisor email marketing, here are some common mistakes I have seen — and ways to avoid them.
Unclear or misleading subject lines. It’s uncommon for financial advisors to use an outright misleading subject line, although it does happen sometimes. The more common mistake I see is choosing a subject line that’s boring, not sufficiently descriptive, or repetitive. Think of your subject line as a movie trailer: Make the recipient want to open it!
Missing the mark on content. Not every member of your audience is interested in the same content. So, segment your list and make different content streams that are relevant to your readership. Your CRM system should allow you to use tags to facilitate this. And remember, whatever content strategy you start with is just a hypothesis! Be ready to monitor the response from your audience (open rates, link clicks, other interaction with content) — and adapt accordingly.
One-way communication. Have you ever received an email from a “do not reply” email address? This type of tactic comes off as impersonal. It does nothing to encourage interaction. When a company sends out mailers from a “do not reply” address, it tells the audience that it doesn’t care to have a real conversation. Let your readers know that you are receptive to feedback — and you will be amazed at how active your subscribers will become.
Too many links, no clear call-to-action. Links to important content can be helpful and convenient for readers. But, as a thoughtful content curator, it is important to tread carefully here! Too many links can distract the reader from more important content. Don’t try to overstuff your emails with information. Instead, choose a point of focus — and optimize your emails to drive viewers to a clear call-to-action.
What has worked well for you in the land of financial advisor email marketing? Share in the comments. Also, if you would like for me to share templates for anything covered in this article, sound off below. If there’s sufficient interest, we can create/share templates on this blog.
Graham Gardner is a passionate marketer with expertise in creating, managing and delivering metric-driven marketing initiatives. Focusing on relationships and personal connections, Graham advocates for providing clients with meaningful content to create long-term relationships. Graham previously served as an Executive Member (Treasurer) on the Board of Directors for the Society of Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) of Atlanta. Graham and his wife spend their free time watching sports and enjoying nature with their dog Murphy (@Murph_The_Doodle on Instagram!)
Doing your own marketing can be a great way to save money and stay completely in control of your brand’s voice. To ensure that your DIY marketing campaign is a success, here are a few important dos and don’ts to follow.
Do have a strategy
You’re not going to get results by winging it. Effective marketing campaigns need to be planned out. This involves choosing the right time, targeting the right audience and using the right channels. Strategy should be applied to every element of your marketing from your social media posts to your promotional emails – by planning them out a week ahead, you can fine-tune them for maximum effectiveness.
Do have a budget
Whilst going DIY can save you a lot of money, there may still be times when you need to spend some cash to get results. It’s all too easy to overspend by boosting too many Facebook posts or pouring too much money into a trade fair stall. Set a monthly budget so that you’re not spending all of your money on marketing
Do know the limits of your knowledge
Whilst you may be able to self-teach yourself various marketing skills, it’s important to know when to let the pros take over. When it comes to practices like web design, SEO and video advertising, you’re usually better off hiring a digital marketing company. Learning to shoot and edit videos to a professional level or learning how to master SEO can take people years – trying to do these tasks yourself could result in something amateurish if you have no experience.
Don’t just market online
You can’t run a successful business nowadays without doing some online marketing – however offline marketing can be just as important. Never underestimate the power of networking and word of mouth. Printing off business cards and organizing marketing events could also help you to attract new customers.
Don’t get preoccupied chasing competition
A lot of companies feel that successful marketing is all about trying to outdo competitors. Whilst it is important to keep up with your competitors, you should obsess over trying to offer better deals or getting more Facebook followers. Instead, think about ways to stand out from your competitors. This can often have much better results by giving you your own USP.
Don’t forget about return customers
Marketing isn’t all about attracting new customers either. For many companies, return customers can be just as valuable. There are lots of marketing strategies aimed at return customers that you can try such as introducing loyalty schemes, creating a mailing list and keeping previous customers following on social media.