Aviva’s email campaign tips for advisers
Being seen in that busy inbox…
Emails are a convenient way to deliver messages quickly, but to be effective, an email campaign needs careful planning. Timing, testing, targeting and evaluation are key.
For many of us, emails have become an integrated part of our daily lives. Whether they’re received at a computer or on a phone, we have all become more ‘contactable’ – and companies or individuals with goods and services to offer, like yourself, are all keen to take advantage of the opportunity this presents.
Planning your email campaign strategy
The key to a good email campaign, is to work out how your message can be different to the hundreds of others that could be arriving – unsolicited – in someone’s email inbox. You need to have clear objectives.
- What do you want to achieve with this email – is it a means to share an opinion; are you raising awareness of a product or service, or are you simply keeping in touch with the recipient?
- Who are you sending emails to – is it your regular database of clients, or have you bought details of potential new clients from a company? The audience should define the content of your email.
- What are you communicating – is it one clear and simple message, with ‘click throughs’ for people to find out more by visiting a website, or are you asking for responses to a query or offer?
- When are you sending the email – is it an appropriate time to deliver the message, and will the time it’s being opened (perhaps after a period of absence) affect the way you deal with responses?
- How much will you be investing – you could simply ‘copy and paste’ wording, using your usual software (such as Microsoft Outlook), or you can buy programmes that can design, build and send emails for you.
In reality, a good success rate is defined by receiving somewhere between just 3% and 4% positive responses to your emails – even after carrying out a test phase, just as you would in a traditional direct mail campaign. It may sound like a low percentage, so you should also think of the associated activity – cleansing your databases of ‘no more marketing contact, please’ – as being productive effort.
Take note of those recipients that ask to have their details taken off a contact list – this helps you concentrate your efforts in the next email campaign. You must provide a way for recipients to do this: the most common method is a simple note, explaining that a reply with ‘UNSUBSCRIBE’ in the subject line will opt the recipient out of future marketing communications.
When you do start receiving responses, take stock of those emails that are ‘bounced’ by invalid recipients. Every opportunity to ‘cleanse’ your databases is a good one. Success rates could be measured by the number of emails that are opened, or the number of responses you receive; but don’t forget to keep track of how many emails are being opened. You’ll need software installed to do this, which can also give you the ‘click-through’ rates (how many people used the email’s content to access a landing page).
As with all marketing campaigns, the trick is to learn from your activities; monitor what works, and what doesn’t; test and re-deploy your communications a second time, improving on the results. Check the number of leads you’re generating from those click throughs – and hopefully, the number of sales you’re generating from each email campaign.
Our email campaign tips for financial advisers:
- Choose your subject line carefully. Make it engaging but to the point, so that it can be read in an email browser and encourages the recipient to open the email and find out more.
- Choose a short, strong statement for your subject line, but don’t skimp on relevant details. Avoid spam filters as much as possible by not using words like ‘free’, or ‘opportunity’. You can read more about spam-filtering here: Spam Filtering Techniques.
- Make your content pertinent. Like direct mail, the key is to find a central message and deliver it succinctly to the reader.
- Construct the email carefully. Bullet points are easier to read than long passages of text; headlines help a reader ‘navigate’ through a lot of content.
- Respect your recipients. Think of your email as you would a letter: don’t send news that’s not relevant, and never share personal information or use ‘real life’ examples to elicit a response.
- Don’t forget the value of segmentation when you’re planning an email campaign. Think about who is receiving the email. Use appropriate language; make it easy to respond.
Data Protection Act
Remember the importance of the Data Protection Act (DPA). It is a legal requirement that your clients give you a positive ‘opt in‘ before you send them emails – any email received without that opt in is deemed to be spam, which is contrary to the provisions of the DPA. When you ask for an email address, you must give clients an opportunity to choose whether or not they want to be contacted this way. Make sure that any customers ‘opting out' are removed from your email contact list immediately.
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