Email reigns supreme in advisors' digital marketing, according to Snappy Kraken. When compared with social media marketing campaigns, emails generate more traffic to advisor websites.
Snappy Kraken analyzed 9.3 million data points from marketing campaigns launched on its platform to reach this conclusion for its State of Digital Marketing: Financial Adviser Online Marketing Report and Benchmarking Study, released earlier this month. That’s 2.5 million emails, 14,299 digital campaigns, 808,561 contacts and 322,600 website pageviews.
“If you are not working diligently to build an email database, you are missing an opportunity. That is where you will get your most traffic,” said Robert Sofia, the founder and CEO of Snappy Kraken, during a webinar detailing the survey results. Sofia suggested advisors build their email contact lists, diversify their marketing content with an audience’s interest outside of personal finance, and be active on a social media platform, preferably Facebook.
“If you look at the demographics, of course, LinkedIn is going to drive more professionals and Facebook is going to drive more middle-class average investors,” Sofia said.
But email was king, incurring more engagement than social media—69% to 31% for social media, according to the survey.
TechGirl Financial, a hybrid registered investment advisor and independent broker/dealer, uses Snappy Kraken to supplement its ongoing marketing efforts to women between the ages of 31 and 55. The firm’s co-founder and investment advisor rep, Victor Gaxiola, says traffic to the website comes from all over—email, social media or direct, but he finds email to be the most important.
“The level of engagement you might receive from someone through email—I would definitely evaluate it much higher because it is someone that I actually have their email address and so I’m nurturing that relationship,” he said. “We can see names associated with those who we have the email addresses of. So, [Snappy Kraken’s dashboard] will say you know Joe client or Mary something opened up this email.”
With visitors from social media, search engines or those who typed in the advisor’s website into the address bar, it’s hard to track who they are. Website metrics may tell you the geographic location of the visitor or what website led the visitor to an advisor’s site, but it won’t give many details beyond that. For advisors wanting to know what their clients like about their content, email is turning into the most important digital marketing tool out there.
WealthManagement.com’s 2020 Prospecting Survey supported the conclusions found by Snappy Kraken. More than half (54.8%) of respondents said they plan to use email campaigns to expand their client base. The survey found that email was the top digital marketing tool chosen by advisors (11.1%), followed by social media (4.6%), webinars (3.1%), websites (3.1%), blogs (0.4%) and podcasts (0.4%).
“Email is by far—and has always been—the biggest driver of traffic and the biggest converter of leads,” said Solange Jacobs Randolph, the senior marketing director of FMG Suite, a white-label company that also competes for independent advisors, but more so concentrates on the broker/dealer space.
Randolph said FMG Suite focuses on email by default because of the heavy scrutiny placed on b/ds from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority concerning digital communications.
Michael Policar, an advisor with HighTower Advisors in Bellevue, Wash., added that most of his firm’s client engagement comes from email, mainly to existing customers. Leads, on the other hand, historically come from Google searches.
“Use the online to bring [clients] offline and then nurture the offline,” said Sofia of the ultimate goal of digital marketing.