Marketing to Goldfish

Marketing to Goldfish

Did you know the average goldfish has an attention span of 9 seconds, while the average person reading an email has an attention span of only 8.25 seconds? As you can imagine, this is a favorite statistic among marketers.

Financial advisors looking to successfully find new prospects and grow their business have been discovering that while email can be an incredibly powerful tool, a successful campaign needs to grab the reader’s attention right away.

Here are five ways that any advisor sending out emails can improve their conversion rate and capture more leads.

1. Create an Action-Oriented Email

An email is an invitation to take action. All of your email marketing should have a single action you want your readers to take. Do you want them to click through to a blog post, follow you on Twitter or download a white paper? By defining a single action for the reader to take you not only make their user journey clear, but you also provide yourself with an excellent KPI (key performance indicator) to track your campaign’s success. When creating a call to action, remember to:

  • Make the invitation explicit. Don’t beat around the bush.
  • Include clear instructions for what to do next.
  • Provide motivation for the person to take the next step.
  • Ask for as little time and information as possible.

2. Use the Subject AND the Pre-header

Here is a terrifying statistic: 97% of all email sent is unwanted. Here is another: 33% of emails are opened based solely on their subject line.

That means that as email users, we have all had to develop nearly impenetrable filtering systems. There are few things we are as quick to discount as a poorly-written email subject line. By making sure that you use your subject and pre-header (the first line of text that displays in an email synopsis), you can drastically improve your open rate.

Most people will only see the first 35 characters of your email subject. They will also see the first 30 or so characters of your email. That means that you can pair your subject lines with pre-headers to create a creative 1-2 punch. Here are some examples:

  • Subject line: Our Spring Promotion
    Pre-header: Free Retirement Planning Coaching
  • Subject line: The most important tax tip?
    Pre-header: Double check your deductions!
  • Subject line: Special for existing clients
    Pre-header: Free investment consultations
  • Subject line: What can a fiduciary do for you?
    Pre-header: More like what can’t we do?!

3. Targeting

Few things will increase the number of people who open your email more than including details they will recognize in your subject line. Two terms we like to use when it comes to targeting through email campaigns are “Personalize” and “Localize.”

By giving a reader an indication that the contents of your email have to do with their situation specifically, you will increase their chances of opening the email up to 33.3%!

Related: How Many Lead Generation Opportunities is Too Many?

Here are a few things you can do to target your clients and prospects better with your email marketing:

  • Include references to the city or area the recipient is from.
  • Mention one of their known interests in the subject.
  • Use automated software to insert their first name in the subject line.

4. Make it Mobile-Friendly

40% of all emails are opened on a mobile device first. That means that if you aren’t optimizing your communications for mobile, you are potentially losing almost half of your possible audience.

  • An iPhone will display between 35-38 characters in portrait mode and 80 when it is in landscape.
  • The Galaxy S4 will show around 33 in portrait mode and 72 in landscape.
  • An iPad will display 39 characters in portrait or landscape.
  • The iPhone 6+ wins the competition by showing up to 63 characters in portrait. In landscape, it begins to work as a desktop mail client with a synopsis bar on the left.

5. Use Video

Video is an excellent way to improve user time on your website, but can you use it to increase email open rates? The answer is a resounding “yes.” Now, you might be wondering why you’ve never seen a video play in your email. When we talk about using video in an email campaign, the idea is that the single action you are inviting your reader to take is to watch the video. That means they will click on a link. Usually, the link is a picture that looks like a paused video and leads to the video’s host site.

It is not a complicated process, but here are a few things you should remember when using videos in an email:

  • Use the same care in naming the video as you do in creating a subject line (keep it short, personalize it, etc.).
  • Make sure the freeze frame in your video is both enticing and not awkward.
  • Make sure the small triangle ‘play’ arrow is at the center of your freeze frame (statistics show that 95% of people will click that arrow).

We live in a world of distraction with 100 novelties assaulting us at every turn. It may seem like a big task to grab people’s attention, but if you follow these few principles, you will find your email campaigns reaching more and more of your ideal clients.

Marina Grindle
Digital Marketing
Twitter Email

Marina Grindle is FMG Suite's Content Marketing Specialist, where she works to develop unique strategies to help financial advisors build their brand. FMG Suite is an all-in-o ... Click for full bio

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: March 19-23

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: March 19-23

Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on, March 19-23, 2018

Click the headline to read the full article.  Enjoy!

1. Multi-Factor or Not Multi-Factor? That Is the Question

Let’s pretend you are a US investor that wants to deploy some of your money overseas.  You think international developed market stocks are attractive relative to US stocks, and you also think the US dollar will decline over the period you intend to hold your investment.  — Chris Shuba

2. The Lies Spread by Bankers About Cryptocurrencies

I had a chat with The Financial Times the other day, and provided lots of background as to why I don’t think cryptocurrencies are the choice of criminals. The comment that was reported was the following ... — Chris Skinner

3. Alternative Investments? You May Need New Shock Absorbers!

During the tumultuous red and green gyrations of the capital markets this year have your clients anxiously called to ask: “What’s going on with my portfolio?” What do you do when the usually smooth ride in your luxury automobile becomes as bumpy as Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride in the Happiest Place on Earth? What does the average investor do? — Ted Parker

4. Why Fear of Inflation Is Rattling Investors

Inflation is a bad thing, right? It make things more expensive, right? For those of us of, let’s say, a certain vintage, we recall the runaway inflation of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. So why does the Federal Reserve – in charge of managing the country’s currency and value thereof – actually try to create inflation? It’s called the inflation targeting and it matters to your money. — Bill Acheson

5. The Best Retirement Investments for a Steady Stream of Income

As you near your 60’s, your prime earning and saving years will transition into a period of time where you get to enjoy the “fruits of your labor,” a.k.a retirement. We call this segueing from accumulation to decumulation, the period when you will be drawing from your accumulated nest egg. Dana Anspach

6. An Emerging Theme In Thematic Investing

Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are popular vehicles for market participants looking to engage in thematic investing. Thematic investing looks to take advantage of future growth trends, including disruptive technologies. Given that forward-looking approach, stock-picking in the thematic universe is equally as hard, if not harder, than in traditional market segments. — Tom Lydon

7. 8 Winning Questions You Should Be Asking Every Prospect

It’s not enough for your salespeople to be product experts, they also need to be capable of having the kind of conversations that position them as business experts and even strategic resources. — Lisa Rose

8. 10 Steps to Successful Strategic Alliances

Business growth doesn’t come from wishful thinking. As you know, it takes a lot of hard work. The growth of your business is not an option – it is a necessity. Coordinating the right mix of strategies to gain market share and improve client acquisition rates is essential to advance your firm in today’s economy. — Michelle Mosher​​​​​​​

9. Keep It Light: Harnessing Humor for Financial Marketing Success

It’s undoubtedly true that investors’ financial security is no laughing matter, and this is reflected in the stolid, dour, reliable imagery and branding that is, by and large, the industry standard. This is hardly surprising—investors need to believe they’re placing their hard-earned money in the hands of experienced, trustworthy professionals. — Alexandra Levis​​​​​​​

10. Do the Economics of a Move to Independence Really Add Up?

The number one question advisors ask when exploring a move to independence is how the economics compare to accepting a recruiting package from a major firm. It’s certainly a valid concern, because while the recruiting deals being offered by the wirehouses are down, it is still very possible for a top advisor to get a really attractive hard-to-pass-up offer. — Mindy Diamond

11. Four Big Reasons Why Short-Term Muni Bonds Should Excite You

Municipal bonds might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a sexy investment. They don’t typically command news headlines like the stock market or bitcoin. — Frank Holmes

Douglas Heikkinen
Twitter Email

IRIS Co-Founder and Producer of Perspective—a personal look at the industry, and notables who share what they’ve learned, regretted, won, lost and what continues ... Click for full bio