Rethinking Your Inbox

Rethinking Your Inbox

There’s nothing as frustrating as being asked the same question over and over again. If it happens at home, it’s usually one of my children who refuses to stop talking and listen for the answer. When it happens at work, it’s usually in my inbox.

I wholeheartedly believe in permission-based marketing, which looks a little something like this:

There are a number of sites whose emails I receive frequently (I’m a big fan of Helpscout, Hail Varsity, Grovemade, and a few design blogs). I linked those sites because I highly value the content they share with me. I place a high value on these emails because the companies that send them clearly place a high value on good content. They’re not bombarding me with useless information over and over again.

I not only don’t mind receiving these emails, I’m actually happy to read (or at least skim) them. Many of these companies have allowed me to select exactly what I want to receive from them, which means that my email preferences have opted me into specific lists. I only get what I want, when I want it. That’s email nirvana.

So what about you? Are you emailing the right people with the right information, or could you be exasperating your recipients with information they don’t want that drives up their frustration level? What I’m really asking you is: Are you segmenting your lists?

If not, it’s time to start. Think about your audience before you think about your content, and then write specifically to them.

Example: If you’re inviting people to a webinar in your email, make sure you aren’t sending that email to people who have already attended or to those who recently signed up. It’s not just confusing to get an email asking you to do something you’ve already done, it’s annoying.

If you are already segmenting, THANK YOU and be sure to use those segments wisely.

Example: If you’re having a live, in-person event, you should segment by location. People in Florida probably won’t make it to your dinner in Massachusetts. Just send invitations to people within a 50-mile radius, or whatever you decide is appropriate. If someone signed up to receive retirement planning tips, don’t break their trust by emailing them articles about investing for business owners.

While we’re here, let’s take a moment to talk about where these emails are going. If your recipient is using Gmail, it is very likely that your email is hanging out in their Promotions folder. That’s a truth that a lot of people find frustrating, but I believe is actually a strength. Here’s why:

You aren’t frustrating your readers. When they click on the Promotions tab, they are expecting to find promotional material. Seeing your information in that folder will provoke one of two responses. They’ll either think, “Oh! This should be in my inbox,” and tell their email provider to send your emails to their inbox going forward. Or, they’ll be ready to take in your email as something they actually subscribed to receive when they click in.

I personally use the Promotions tab and really enjoy being able to consume marketing initiatives on my own terms. Of course, this means marketers have to write compelling subject lines in order to entice me to open them, but that’s the point. The best stuff rises to the top. 

Your emails can rise to the top too. Get your lists right. Write compelling headlines. Offer resources people really want. And don’t sweat the Promotions tab.

Jud Mackrill
Digital Marketing
Twitter Email

Jud Mackrill serves as the Cofounder of Mineral. At Mineral, his focus is helping investment advisory businesses focus on growing digitally through full-scale design, brand de ... 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