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4 Tips for Effective Cold Emails for Financial Advisors

Date: June 28, 2023

Across all industries, only about 24% of cold emails ever get opened and even fewer get a response or a click-through to the landing page. That’s why advisors are always looking for ways to streamline and automate the process. Because cold emails can generate leads, but they’re only cost-efficient if you can spend as little time as possible on them. In addition to making them less time-consuming, you should also be looking at ways to beat the odds on open rates and response rates. Start with these four tips for effective marketing with cold emails for financial advisors.

The Best Practices When Using Cold Emails for Financial Advisors

Here are the four best things you can do to improve the results of an automated cold email marketing strategy. 

Implement Drip Marketing

Sometimes leads just end up not being the right fit. But sometimes, you just reach the right lead at the wrong time. If you stop at the first email, you could be abandoning leads too soon. But following up on unanswered emails on an individual basis is too time-consuming for most financial advisors. 

That’s where drip marketing comes in. This is a method where advisors create a series of pre-written emails designed to nurture leads and maintain awareness so that your practice is top of mind when that lead is ready to work with a financial advisor.

A 2022 Kitces Report found that drip marketing was the second most efficient marketing tactic used by financial advisors, yet just 20% of firms were using it. Drip campaigns are easy to set up and can fully automated. So once you’ve written the set of emails, set up your schedule, and defined your email list, the campaign will run itself. It can also be done completely for free depending on the tools you use. 

MailChimp, for example, is a popular email campaign manager with a free plan that includes up to 1,000 sent emails per month. If your mailing list is less than 1,000, you can easily automate your campaign for free. While not free, Redtail offers a campaign managing platform that’s perfect for advisors who already use the Redtail CRM. 

Here are some guidelines for an effective drip campaign:

  • Five emails is the optimal number to include a drip series, according to research. 
  • Space each email in the series 1-2 weeks apart to avoid annoying recipients.
  • If a recipient doesn’t open any of those five emails, drop them from your list. 
  • If a recipient does open any of your emails, but never responds, keep them on your list for your next campaign.
  • When a recipient responds, pull their email from the campaign list and switch to direct, personal follow-ups. 

When you reach the stage of direct emailing the prospective client, you can use Pulse360 to create unique email templates that are easy to customize to each recipient without having to rewrite the same basic information over and over. You can also set up automatic task creation to remind you when it’s time to follow-up again.

Avoid Getting Flagged as Spam

When cold emailing, you run the risk of having your email account flagged as spam because spammers are basically using cold emailing tactics to find their targets. So Gmail and other email servers are vigilant about filtering out anything that even vaguely resembles spam. 

If your emails get mislabeled as spam, they’ll get automatically filtered and none of your leads will even see them in their inbox, let alone open them. Here are some basic guidelines you can follow to avoid that happening:

  • Set up a Sender Policy Framework (SPF). SPF specifies which mail servers can send emails to your domain. If a hacker tries to impersonate your email but sends messages from a different server than what you use, an SPF helps the mail server distinguish between spam and your authentic emails. But if you don’t have SPF set up, the server won’t know the difference. 
  • Set up a DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM). Like SPF, DKIM is a security protocol to distinguish your authentic emails from possible hackers impersonating you. DKIM is a unique digital signature that’s automatically added to every email you send that proves it came from you. It can also check the contents of the email to make sure nothing was altered after it was sent. By setting up SPF and DKIM, you give servers multiple tools for distinguishing your legitimate emails so they’re less likely to lump you in with any spammers impersonating you.
  • Don’t include attachments. Hackers use attachments to install malware on computers so email servers are extra suspicious of emails from strangers that have attachments.
  • Keep your sending volume low. Most email servers limit the number of emails you can send in a 24-hour period. But even if you’re nowhere near the limit, high volume can get flagged as suspicious, especially if you’re sending them from a brand new account or an alternate account that you don’t normally use. Depending on your practice size, you probably don’t need to exceed 500 to 1,000 emails per month anyway. 
  • Warm Up Your Inbox. Just as high volume is scrutinized, so is a sudden spike in activity. A new or formerly dormant account suddenly sending 100 emails per day is going to look suspicious. Instead, start by sending just 5-10 emails per day for the first 2-4 weeks. Then, gradually increase that number every couple of weeks until you reach the volume you want to send. 

Be Relevant to Your Target Audience

If you have 10,000 emails on your list, segment them based on any information you have about them, like age, profession, and interests. Then, write a unique cold email (or series of emails) for each segment. A single cold email template is unlikely to resonate with all 10,000 unless they all fit the same general demographic profile. 

The more precisely you can segment your audience, the better you can tailor your cold email template to be relevant to each member of that audience. The more relevant your message is to their specific concerns or goals, the more engagement you’ll get. 

Personalize Your Emails

Using a template is fine. In fact, most of the content in a cold email can be the same for every recipient. But adding some personal touches not only increases open and response rates but decreases the risk of getting flagged as spam. 

In the age of tools like Redtail Campaigns, MailChimp, and Pulse360, it’s easy to automatically pull in personalized details with features like Merge Fields or tags. Some personal details that are easy to include with auto-filled fields include:

  • Name
  • Nickname
  • Spouse’s name
  • Unique salutation, for audiences that might be more responsive to something less formal than “dear.”
  • Unique CTAs, based on what would be most relevant to the person
  • Company name
  • Dates or times

For cold emails, you may not have much-personalized data. But every detail helps your message stand out from completely generic cold emails. If your template is sufficiently tailored to a specific target audience, that relevancy paired with one or two personal details can make for a much more engaging email than a generic campaign broadcasted to thousands of people. 

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