by Tony Vidler
Possibly THE most important marketing tool any adviser has is email. It is the critical link between marketing and sales….the thing that connects the leads, or opportunities created by your marketing efforts, into engaged prospects and ultimately clients as it is the primary means of moving to personalised advice or engagement.
The funny thing is nearly everyone understands how important it is to get their branding “right” on their business cards and letterhead stationery and so on, but few seem to take the opportunity of ensuring that their email system supports and enhances the brand and market position. There are so many opportunities in an email today to enable readers to find out more about you and your business, or share content with their peers, or move deeper and further into an engagement process that it becomes the “no brainer” of our time.
For anyone who is slightly concerned about leaving an audit trail for compliance purposes it becomes even more compelling to use well constructed branded email. For example, in the system I use every single email ever sent by a practice can have disclosure statements (for example) automatically attached as a link to every single email. Every single email generates a date & time stamped read receipt, which gets filed away in a separate folder automatically (regardless of whether recipients try to turn off read receipts at their own end). Any single email can be tracked to see whether links (such as disclosure statements) have been opened…and so on and so on.
What are the chances of a client successfully alleging I never provided a Disclosure Statement for instance?
From a compliance and safety perspective I would argue that this feature alone is worth every cent that branded email costs. Think of it as a professional insurance premium if nothing else.
Moving beyond the ability to safeguard your practice and personal reputation, and even getting past the arguments for brand recognition and consistency that can be achieved with branded email, there is the small matter of it remaining the critical link in creating one-to-one engagement and linking marketing to the creation of individual clients, or sales.
Here is a snapshot of a decent branded email which is well constructed:
It is eye-catching….vibrant….engaging.
It balances content and provides options for further engagement or sharing while still providing useful (relevant!) information.
It leaves an audit trail…
It connects your brand and imagery to your message and connects that to individuals.
It is the no-brainer of modern marketing.
Invest some of your marekting budget into getting better branded email to get better engagement with the leads you create and your existing customers, and get more business.