Welcome to 2017. Now pay attention. Every new year – at least since the dawn of social media – your email box, Facebook page or Twitter feed has filled up with annoyingly perky marketeers trying to get you to think about (or what we in the trade call ‘buy’) marketing services or content.
You may have seen such headlines as:
• 10 ways to make your content pop in 2017!
• Eight reasons advisers need to nail their content in 2017!
• Not got a content strategy In 2017? Your wife is going to leave you!
• Invest in content in 2017 and keep the terrifying darkness At bay temporarily! Aiiieeee! It’s coming for meee!
The last couple may have been made up.
The reason I mention this is that you may be tempted, with the advent of a new year, to consider making a new and special effort to redouble your communications efforts with your clients.
Because if communication is good, then more communication is better, right? The truth, of course, is usually the opposite where your services are concerned. Money is emotion, and when the firm who looks after your money gets in touch that spikes your emotion, and more times than not will freak you out.
Once you’re done being freaked out, you realise you can safely ignore what the firm says. Then all goes back to being right with the world and you will happily keep on ignoring communications from nothingy budget updates through to more important stuff like agreeing to rebalances and all that kind of thing.
The reason I mention this, apart from getting to write fake headlines which cheer me up as I sit waiting for my first delayed flight of the year, is that I’ve been looking at client reports and reporting tools recently, and also been reviewing how my business, the lang cat, communicates with clients.
Spurious research by some bunch of hopefuls suggests that the average worker will receive 140 emails per day, or twice that if you work for a life company. Email filters are getting smarter and smarter, with recent versions of Outlook offering two levels of auto-filtering.
Your bulk email with 10 Tips To Smarter Investing In 2017! will be caught by many of these filters unless your client has added you to a preferred senders list, which they haven’t.
Our mailing list has about 4,000 names on it, mainly made up of advisers and providers, but also perhaps 800 or 1,000 real people. I reckon a third of the emails we send get caught by filters, even though we use all the tricks to try and make sure they don’t. I mean, what’s wrong with these people? Don’t they want to meet Russian single ladies looking for love?!
As advisers, you have never had as many powerful tools at your disposal for sending out content. Your email client itself isn’t bad at it. You can use free tools like MailChimp, or pro/paid-for versions (we use SpudMail from Codepotato).
Perhaps, more importantly, you have the ability to trigger emails, reminders, prompts and more from the client portal elements of your back office system. You can build decent communication right into your daily workflow if you spend the time to get it right.