Posts Tagged ‘Client Email’
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012
One result of client concerns about their investments is a heightened appetite for information from their advisor. As a result, communication that was fine a year ago is not typically sufficient today. Even monthly letters are not enough in some cases.As a general rule, advisors will be unable to meet the demand for more frequent contact simply through more phone calls and meetings. In actual fact, given the length and difficulty of many conversations, most advisors are struggling to maintain the volume of contact, let alone increase it.
As a result, the only solution is to add more efficient methods of communicating to the way you deal with clients.
Some advisors are offering conference calls or hosting evening presentations. For most, however, the simplest way to expand the level of contact is via email.
Email will not be the solution for every client. While acceptance of email among seniors has increased dramatically in the last few years, there will still be a few elderly clients for whom it won’t work. For most, however, emailing information via can be a good supplement to phone calls and meetings.
The first step is to update your database of client email addresses. You need to know whether people prefer to get emails at work or at home — or in the odd case they may say they aren’t interested in getting emails at all.
Once that’s done, the most important decision is what to send — and on this you have at least four choices.
First, you can use email to update clients on your own views. That can work, as long as the email contains substantial information. Recently, an advisor told me about sending “client comfort letters” supplied by his head office in December — and getting a negative response from clients about the lack of meat in those letters.
Two other alternatives are to attach information supplied by your firm or by an outside money manager. Both of these can be effective, provided that the content is solid. The only downside to these is that some skeptical clients may view your firm or an outside money manager as having their own agenda.
As a result, in many cases the best alternative is to send a link to an article from a recognized, credible publication. The reason that this works is that third party content is seen as objective and the credibility of the publication is transferred to the information being sent and also to the person sending it. That’s precisely why last October’s Warren Buffett opinion piece in the New York Times was so widely distributed.
There are lots of publications to choose from — the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Forbes, Business Week, the Economist, the National Post and the Globe and Mail are all credible sources of articles.
The good news is that sending links to articles is fairly easy. Unlike mailing articles themselves, sending a link doesn’t typically require permission from the publication or a cost, since newspapers and magazines generate advertising revenue when people read these articles.
Good articles can be obtained from a variety of sources, such as your head office or fund company wholesalers. I also maintain a section on this website titled “Links to useful articles.”
The email cover note to the article is critical in putting your own stamp on the information you’re sending. In a few sentences, explain why you’ve selected this article and what it is all about — don’t assume that clients will read the article you send unless you make a compelling case to spend the time.
Your final decision relates to the frequency with which you send emails. This will vary by client — given today’s environment, you can send something monthly or twice monthly, for some clients as often as weekly would be fine.
The right frequency will vary by client. One advisor tells clients that he can email them information one, two or four times a month and asks them their preference — and maintains three different email lists based on their answers.
Remember, even the best crafted email and most compelling article are not a substitute for personal contact — but they can be an effective supplement to your existing communication.
For more information, please visit http://www.getkeepclients.com.
Tags: Appetite, Choices, Client Concerns, Client Email, Comfort Letters, Contact, Conversations, Downside, Elderly Clients, Evening Presentations, Hosting, Investments, Money Manager, Negative Response, Odd Case, Phone Calls, Seniors, Those Letters
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