Running a successful email marketing campaign is not something that can be achieved overnight but is an exercise in time and patience, Phillip Bray said.
The head of marketing at whole-of-market adviser network, Sense, said many campaigns failed because the sender had set unrealistic expectations and become disillusioned when these were not met.
“I’d assess the effectiveness of a campaign over a 12-month period. This will give you sufficient time to cleanse your database of people who really aren’t interested, build your credibility and expertise, while learning, and, where necessary, tweaking – key factors which determine the effectiveness of your campaign,” he said.
Another of the seven tips to a well-executed campaign outlined by Mr Bray requires advisers to set out particular goals for the marketing drive and consider who their target audience is and the action they would like the recipient to take.
Thirdly, an email marketing campaign should not stand alone but should instead form part of a wider strategy so as not to lose the reader’s interest, and damage the credibility of the firm.
The next tip centres on the sourcing of data. While organically-produced information will produce the best results, buying data from a third party could be a boon to the campaign, according to Mr Bray.
He said: “If this is the case, only buy from reputable sources, which you have found through recommendation and ensure that the data is ‘opted in’ to receiving marketing material.
“I’m not a huge fan of buying data. However, there are occasions when I have seen it work well, especially where the target market is very specific. Although, the same golden rule applies to data as investments: if it sounds too good to be true it is.”
The next tip explores the importance of using a professional email system which is specifically designed to send bulk email campaigns. The service provides users with the tools to improve the effectiveness of their campaign, while offering valuable management information, Mr Bray said.
Producing content that not only informs but is both relevant and engaging to the reader is the sixth tip. Mr Bray said copy with a sales push overlay would prove detrimental to the effectiveness of the campaign.
The final tip requires advisers to follow up on the emails sent. Mr Bray said: “You have a variety of options to follow up your campaign, including trigger emails, but nothing beats picking up the phone and having a chat.”
David Crozier, director of County Down-based Navigator Financial Planning, said: “We do send emails to our clients and a group of prospects. Email marketing campaigns work. I would agree that the key to it is perseverance. We know this very well ourselves. We once received business from a client who had received our emails for four years.”