Marketing can present financial firms with difficult choices.
In particular, how “pushy” should you be? Some financial planners feel that any kind of advertising or “interruptive” marketing is inappropriate, whilst others seem to take every opportunity to drive a “hard sell”.
Part of the difficultly lies in our own subjective preferences. In other words, we tend to project our own feelings about being advertised/sold to onto our target market. Yet this assumption – that we all share the same feelings – can lead to disastrous marketing mistakes.
In our experience at CreativeAdviser, most financial planners are too cautious with their marketing (although a minority are too pushy). In this article, we offer some ideas about how to be more courageous with your marketing – without alienating clients and prospects.
We also include some tips on how to minimise the risk of being seen as too “pushy” or “sales-y”. We hope you find this useful and invite you to get in touch if you’d like to discuss your own marketing with us, via a free online consultation.
Take time to follow up
Recently, a client of ours ran an online seminar for their clients (about sustainable investing). We helped them craft and send out the initial invite via email, which resulted in dozens on sign-ups.
On the day of the event, however, some people did not attend (who had committed to attending). This was hardly surprising, as we all know that things come up at the last minute to derail our plans. Moreover, often we all simply change our minds about watching a live, online event – deciding that we may watch the recording later, at a time which better suits us.
After the event, therefore, we helped our client send a follow up email to both attendees and non-attendees who had expressed interest in the event. This contained a link to the recording of the seminar.
Interestingly, more people watched the recording of the event compared to those who watched the live event.
Had this follow up email not gone out, then our client would have missed a valuable marketing opportunity to add value to the client base. They did this despite some concern about sending “too many emails” to clients, about the event.
Many financial planners are nervous about following up with clients and prospects. They don’t want to risk a negative reaction. Yet most people understand the gesture. The worst that tends to happen is that your message is ignored.
At best, however, it could lead to more business. Of course, don’t overdo it. You don’t want to send half-a-dozen follow up emails to someone who clearly isn’t interested!
One common worry about social media amongst financial planners is a fear that “too much posting” on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will annoy followers (or clients). As such, they might limit themselves to, say, one post per week.
Yet this anxiety is based on a misunderstanding about how social media works in 2021. The reality is that social media moves incredibly fast. Just go to LinkedIn, for instance, and try refreshing your timeline a few times.
New content should appear at the top, each time! That’s because there’s so much content constantly being posted.
Also, most platforms now require you to pay (e.g. Boost Post on Facebook) to raise the prominence of your posts to your followers. Without this, only between 1-5% of your posts will likely be seen by your audience.
So, by posting more than once per week, you are hardly at risk of flooding their timelines. In fact, the way these platforms usually work is they show people more of the content that they like. So, if you keep pushing out value, your followers will welcome it!
Here, you mainly need to be careful about what you post about and how much time/resource you give to social media. Most financial firms (in our experience) are unlikely to discover it as a primary lead generation channel.
Some financial planners send out the occasional client newsletter – with no apparent regularity (making it hard for clients to look forward to). Others might send one out every 6 months or every year, afraid to bombard clients’ inboxes.
Again, our experience is that these approaches are too inconsistent or cautious to be effective. Once per quarter can be justifiable, but otherwise once every month/two is usually better. Some, such as investment firms, may even do well from sending a market update out to their email list every week or fortnight.
Provided you offer valuable content to your reader which they enjoy and find useful, a monthly newsletter is rarely going to bother an email list. Most people want to understand events that may affect their finances, pension and investments, for instance. A financial planner is ideally placed to offer content which addresses their worries and questions.
If you are worried about bothering your clients, perhaps the main concern should be the quality of the content in your newsletter – rather than its frequency? After all, it is better to send out a great newsletter a bit too often, rather than an average/poor one infrequently.