XY Adviser is growing fast. Really fast. Launching a stand alone platform to compete with Facebook and Linkedin was always going to be a huge risk. But with just over two years under our belt, and almost 1 in 5 advisers now using the platform, as one of our clients put it to us recently – we’re now a ‘part of the furniture’.
But we aren’t stopping here. We have much bigger growth plans ahead. To our minds, financial advice is too important to be done poorly. And unlike most trends in the industry, we don’t see technology as replacing the adviser. We’re the opposite, we’re quite bullish on human delivered financial advice. We see technology as a facilitation pathway for financial advisers to raise the bar for themselves. It’s our job to create the environment, let the advisers own the space, and simply surface information they consider relevant.
We all know advisers differ drastically from one to the next, but there is still a lot of generic marketing approaches going on. Getting an email list of advisers is easy. Getting someone to create good copy is easy. What’s difficult is understanding what each adviser finds useful. That takes time, effort, and understanding.
We sent financial advisers a daily email for a whole year, trying to figure out the best way to engage with them. We know testing with a small cohort is risky, so hopefully the results below will provide some guidance without the risk. Hopefully you can put some – or all, of these strategies to work. At XY, all we care about is for advisers to receive value. If the industry can collectively contribute to the positive evolution of financial advice, we’re one step closer to ensuring great advice is the standard.
Generic vs Specific
Some emails we send out are for all advisers. Some are for specific interests. It goes without saying, the emails we send out to advisers with their areas of interest in mind have a much higher open and click through rate.
Design can be Overkill
Think about what you personally use as a subconscious filter in deciding what emails you want to read. With all of us managing busy inboxes for the last 20 years or so, all of us have a rapid filtering process we go through when opening up an email. And can you guess what the number one ‘red flag’ we look for in an email? It’s busy emails. Pictures. Colours. Text boxes. The counter intuitive thing to note here is, the less content, and the less busy your email, the more perceived value.
When to Send
We sent the daily email to all of our members at a different time slot for an entire week, 12 weeks in a row. We started at 7am, and sent all of our members a daily email at 7am. Then 8am the next week. 9am the next week. And so on. What we were looking for, is at what time of day each adviser was most likely to engage with an email. As each adviser is different, we wanted to make sure we were sending relevant value to each adviser, at the time they considered the most useful. When their energy was at it’s height to handle their inbox. As new members join each day, they commence the same process. From there, they join a cohort of other advisers who engage with emails at the same time of day.
Understanding where an adviser is on their maturity cycle is potentially the most important area to be familiar with. We know for example advisers with five or less years into running their own practice are statistically interested in client acquisition. From about six to eight years, they are mostly interested in HR and growth. And from nine years and above, efficiencies and cost reductions to amplify EBITDA. Understanding what your audience considers important and speaking to their main concerns can assist greatly with creating engaging education.
With so many options to consider, how do we handle all of these? With a strong focus on creating and maintaining list segmentation within our email carrier. We see it as our responsibility to increase engagement between an adviser and content designed to help them. If an adviser with the avatar ‘five years experience running a firm and interested in technology’ posts about a new hack to help with client acquisition – it’s our job to make sure other advisers in the same position know about it.
Once all the tests are completed, and the segmentation is set up, all of these can be set up on automation. When a new member joins, we are either gathering these data points up front, or testing for answers immediately. If we stand for the positive evolution of financial advice, we believe it’s up to us to make sure advisers have the best chance possible to continue to improve their advice process.
We hope you begin to put these insights to good use. There’s a large opportunity to stand out from the crowd by being of value to advisers, and we are happy to help. Feel free to reach out.