Advisor Technology | 10/26/2016
On Tractors & List-Building
Recently I drove from Omaha to Kansas City with my wife. As we passed the time, we noted how many combines were moving along at five miles an hour through the rows of corn (sorry, this post is going to get pretty “Midwest”).
We could see farmers’ faces illuminated by glowing screens in the cabs of these giant machines as they blended an old way of living with the modern world. So much has changed since people originally plowed those fields, but some things have remained the same.
We’ve largely overcome drought with irrigation, but a good, solid rain still beats a mechanized sprinkler any day. We’ve adjusted the genetic makeup of the seeds, but the ground still needs time to recover.
That last thought made me pause. Sowing different crops on the same land reminded me of email marketing.
I’m no farmer, so go easy on my analogy, please.
A farmer could potentially sow the same crop on every inch of his land, and he would probably get a pretty standard return for a while. But if he just applies a little science to his process, he’ll discover which plots of land are best suited for which crops. If he refuses to ever change his approach or doesn’t let the land lay fallow for a while, his yields will decrease.
That made me think of one question I would love to ask all advisors about their email lists:
Are you segmenting?
You probably know who on your list is a client and who is a prospect, and that’s obviously an important distinction. But we want to dive even further. Which ones are retirees? Business owners? Baby boomers?
Delivering segment-specific (a.k.a. “persona-specific“) content is key in keeping your lists engaged and turning prospects into clients.
Cleaning up your lists for successful segmentation is a big job. Keeping them tidy requires diligence too, but it’s much easier to handle if you’re using marketing automation software.
Here are some of our favorites:
MailChimp – basic service, inexpensive, super easy user interface, fun to use
Infusionsoft – more robust services, middle-of-the-road price, used by some of the top marketers
Pardot – best in class, can be cost prohibitive for smaller firms, has best Salesforce integration
Maybe you aren’t ready to jump into email marketing just yet. If that’s the case, let me offer one caution. Please don’t send your newsletter to all of your clients and prospects from your regular email account as a blind carbon copy (or bcc). You’ll get yourself blacklisted by email servers pretty quickly (not to mention that it gives you zero analytics on who’s reading your stuff). Getting off of that blacklist is a hassle I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemies.
If you’re already using software to help you with analytics but you’re not segmenting, now’s a great time to get started. Drop me a line if you want to talk about how to start segmenting your list.
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