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Announcing the "Rethinking Email" eBook: 4 Ways to Deepen Relationships and Grow Business

rethinking-emailIn a world where consumers are bombarded with marketing messages at every turn, personalization is key when communicating with customers via email. Even amid the rise of digital marketing technologies, email remains the go-to channel for marketers – and the most effective.
The numbers don’t lie: 72% of consumers prefer email as their primary channel to communicate with companies, and 61% say they’re willing to trade personal data for personalization. Additionally, personal emails generate up to six times higher revenue per email than non-personalized emails, making email personalization one of the most effective digital marketing strategies today.

What the eBook Is About

In our latest ebook, Rethinking Email: 4 Ways to Deepen Relationships and Drive Revenue Through Personalized Client Communication, we outline four ways successful marketers can deepen relationships and drive revenue through personalized client communication. Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll learn:
Be More Client-Centric
Clients expect their advisors to truly know their unique preferences, interests, and problems they face. Marketers can help advisors better understand their clients’ needs by segmenting their customers as well as building customer personas–such as grouping customers together using a mix of attributes and actions they take.
Invest in Technology To Enable Advisors
Advisors who own the client relationships have a wealth of information to authentically personalize email communications, but they generally don’t have the time or resources to create personalized email campaigns for each individual client. Marketers can enable their advisors to send personalized communications by investing in a next-generation technology solution that pairs the efficiency of email automation with the open rates of personal messages.
Create Messages That are Truly Personal
Marketers must also rethink the way they create messages. To move past the noise of email clutter, it’s important to deliver targeted email messages that are truly personal. Personalization is more than simply fitting the content to the recipient—your recipient wants to know they are receiving email from an actual person—so be sure to create content that sounds like it’s coming from a human being.
Track and Monitor Email Effectiveness
As a best practice, it’s important to track and measure the effectiveness of your email programs. This starts with knowing the goal of your email program. For example, it is to grow your subscriber base? Generate more leads? To convert more leads into customers? Knowing the goal (and there can be more than one) will help you figure out which metrics you’ll need to track in order to determine how you’re progressing toward that goal.

Get the eBook

Download Rethinking Email: 4 Ways to Deepen Relationships and Drive Revenue Through Personalized Client Communication to learn how to implement a relationship-building email strategy that works in the age of inbox overload.

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4 Reasons to Text Prospects for Better Conversion

This blog post is part 1 of a 2-part series. Check out part 2, “5 Texting Tips for Increasing Lead Conversion.”

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Whether you’re waiting in line for your morning coffee, commuting to work, or even sitting in a meeting—there’s one thing you can count on happening all around you today. Everyone is texting. According to Pew Research Center, 97 percent of U.S. smartphone users text at least once per day. In fact, text messaging has become the most widely used feature on our phones, followed by using the internet, making voice/video calls and email.
Texting has become a crucial part of any high-performing advisor or agent’s communication arsenal. By texting with a prospect, you’re 40 percent more likely to convert that prospect into a client. In a hyper-distracted world, it’s a critical way to connect with prospects.
Here are four reasons to text prospects for better conversions:

1. Millennials don’t answer their phones.

By 2020, almost half of U.S. workers will be millennials. They simply don’t answer their phones. If you’re serious about reaching this tech-savvy sector of the workforce, you have to text them. Many millennials find voice calls intrusive compared to receiving a text. A Nielsen study showed that among 18-to-34-year-olds, average monthly voice minute usage has dropped dramatically from 1,200 to 900 minutes while texting among 18-to-24-year-olds has more than doubled in the same period from an average of 600 messages a month to more than 1,400 texts per month.

2. Communicating via text is a quick, efficient way to get your message across…and get a response. 

Texting, by definition, is a short message (it wasn’t called a Short Message Service, or SMS for nothing). With email, there is a higher expectation for more context, but texts are supposed to be brief. When you’re reaching out to a prospect, texting is a great way to force yourself to keep the message concise. If you’re setting up a lunch to go over a retirement plan, you can worry about the details in person. Just text a note to set up a time. Texting will save you time (emails take longer to write) and help you get to the point quickly.
But texting isn’t just an efficient way for you to get in touch with prospects. It’s also the best way to guarantee your prospect will get your message and respond. A study by Radicati Group showed that 98 percent of texts that are sent will be opened by recipients and 90 percent of texts are read within three minutes of sending them.

3. Texting is personal.

Texting is the most intimate and personal form of communication available to you as an advisor or agent. A great email can still get lost in your prospect’s inbox, but a text message appears alongside your prospects’ texts from her closest family and friends. It’s also casual means to send someone a quick text, which can feel more thoughtful and help build relationships. As an advisor or agent, you’re often communicating about big life ups and downs—a divorce, a new baby, a college savings plan. These are sensitive topics and being able to talk about them one-on-one over text can feel more intimate and private. 

4. Texting provides an easy entry point for a follow-up.

Because texting has such high open and response rates, it’s a great channel for beginning a serious conversation about financial products and services. Perhaps a client of yours introduced you to his friend Gary at a party. You guys chatted casually and at the end of the conversation, Gary mentioned he’s looking for a new home. But you didn’t get his phone number. You follow up with your friend for Gary’s number and text him.
In today’s world, this is a totally kosher way to communicate. Setting up a meeting or call by text is easier for both you and Gary. This requires little effort on your end, and also makes it easy for him to ask for more information. Since you’re highly likely to get a response over text, you can start the conversation about being a first-time home buyer there and follow up over email with information about the real estate market in your city or mortgage loans. Texting makes for a great conversational starting point for business when prospects want to learn more.
It’s a no-brainer as an advisor or agent that you should be taking advantage of texting as an effective communication channel for converting prospects into clients. As long as you’re using a compliance-enabled solution, it’s hard for any prospect to ignore a concise, to-the-point text from you.
To learn more about compliance-enabled text messaging, visit www.hearsaysocial.com.
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Message to Advisors: Put the 'Custom' in Your Customer Experiences

Remember when it used to feel like Big Brother was watching you when a website remembered you had visited it before? These days, one could argue it would be downright annoying if a site you signed up with didn’t remember who you are, where you live, how you want to pay and what actions you performed in the past, whether they were things you had searched or purchased.
Thanks to technology, our expectations around the customer experience have changed dramatically in just a few short years. We are more comfortable with providing information about ourselves, as long as there’s a benefit or payoff that we want. At the other end, companies are innovating the way they use that personal data to provide increasingly customized experiences, which in turn make it easier for customers to offer up even more personal information.
In Mary Meeker’s recently released 2015 report on Internet trends, she makes the case that we’re now at a point where consumers not only want, but expect experiences on their terms – getting what they want, when they want it, and how they want it. She points to several technology startups who are leveraging smartphones and GPS to provide consumers with personalized, on-demand products and services via a few taps of a mobile app. These companies are disrupting a variety of industries, including transportation (Uber, Lyft), food (Caviar, Munchery, Sprig) and travel (Airbnb). As technology startups that use data to provide an ultra-personalized, ultra-convenient experience capture more and more market share, the threat to institutional companies is real.
For financial advisors and agents, the lesson here is clear: You need to engage with your clients and prospects when they want to hear from you and how they want from you.
Consider these three tips:
1. Listen for life signals
You’re well aware that there are certain key events in a person’s life that are opportune moments to reassess their financial situation: a new child, marriage, car, living situation, educational opportunity. And thanks to social media, many people announce these changes to their social networks. Rather than leave it up to luck to be in the right place at the right time – or, worse, be in the dark altogether – build your social media presence and leverage technology to help you quickly identify these important life events happening in your social networks.
2. Be omni-channel
A big part of providing a personalized customer experience is giving them a choice in how to communicate with you. The ability to provide an omni-channel experience – where interactions move seamlessly between online and mobile SMS and phone and in-person – is increasingly important in this hyper-connected era. By being findable and available on multiple channels and platforms, the easier it is for customers to engage with you.
3. Focus on the relationship
At the end of the day, the financial services business is built on personal relationships, and that means showing customers and prospects that you’re more than just an advisor selling financial products and services. Thanks to social media and technology, you can easily share the non-professional side of your life – your interests, friends and family, community service work. You might be surprised at how many customers are happy to share the same with you.
How are you delighting your clients and prospects with custom experiences?
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