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How Financial Advisors Can Optimize Their Email Newsletters

Keep them clear and concise.

To continually optimize advisors’ email marketing efforts, The email marketing team at Lone Beacon conducted a study to discover which email subject lines performed the best across various financial advisor accounts and why. 

To do this, we analyzed over 2,700 individual email subject lines that were sent on advisors’ behalf over the past year. 

Effective subject lines are probably one of the most important parts of your email campaigns because, without a good, enticing subject line, recipients won’t ever open your emails, which means they won’t even have a chance to see what you have to say and take further action with your company, such as click a link to schedule an appointment or receive more information on something. 

So, if you’re an advisor looking to conduct high-performing email campaigns, we concluded two key takeaways as subject line best practices. The most successful subject lines across all our email deployments had two things in common: 

  • Low character count in the subject lines, so keep them short and sweet! 
  • The value proposition is clear in the subject lines. The reader needs to know what they will receive or learn before they care to open the email. 

Below are 4 example subject lines that showcase these takeaways:

“Complimentary Webinar: Secrets To Building a Solid Income Plan”

  • 54% Open Rate

“Navigating The Retirement Worries of Gen X”

  • 68% Open Rate

“You’re Invited—Client Appreciation Summer BBQ Event!”

  • 77% Open Rate

“Download Your Complimentary Social Security Guide”

  • 61% Open Rate 

From these metrics, it’s clear that the successful subject lines state the value proposition and do so concisely.

Next, the most unsuccessful subject lines across all our email deployments did not utilize the low character count and value proposition best practices well. Here are three key takeaways as to why the bottom-performing subject lines did not perform as well. 

  • High character count in the subject line.
  • The value proposition is not as prominent or clear.
  • The subject line contained difficult concepts or unpleasant topics to think about.

Below are 4 example subject lines that showcase these takeaways:

“Our On-Demand Webinar Explains Crucial Legacy & Estate Planning Information”

  • 22% Open Rate

“Navigating Economic Uncertainty: Interest Rates, Inflation, And Government Debt”

  • 10.96% Open Rate

“A Delicious Dining Experience Awaits at Chesapeake, VA – Complimentary Dinner Event”

  • 22% Open Rate

“Are You Looking to Get Your Taxes Under Control This Year? Our Guide Can Help”

  • 41% Open Rate 

Why Do Email Subject Lines Matter? 

Think about it from the recipients’ eyes… 

Short, concise subject lines are crucial for capturing attention quickly, especially on mobile devices with limited space. Additionally, clear value propositions in subject lines inform recipients about the benefits of opening the email. It’s noteworthy that the most successful subject lines exhibited both qualities, leading to their high open rates. 

Conversely, long subject lines risk being overlooked, leading to lower open rates and engagement. Likewise, unclear value propositions diminish relevance and interest, reflected in the least successful subject lines. Sometimes subjects that use jargon, even basic jargon, might disqualify readers given they’re confused by the language … and the confused mind says “No.” A similar point can be taken for subject lines containing uncomfortable subject matter like wills and estate planning, as it makes the user acknowledge a highly consequential aspect of their life. 

Thus, the combination of short, clear subject lines with compelling value propositions emerged as a key factor in driving email open rates and engagement.

While subject line characteristics play a significant role in email open rates, it’s important to recognize that other factors can also contribute to the success—or lack thereof—of email campaigns for financial advisors. For instance, the quality of leads, the trust established with recipients, and other external variables may influence engagement levels. 

However, understanding the impact of subject line clarity and value proposition provides a solid foundation for optimizing your email campaigns. So, if you want to take your email marketing campaigns to the next level, be sure to continuously analyze and refine strategies based on these insights. That way, you can adapt to changing dynamics to gather more high-quality leads, ultimately growing your financial advisory business. 


Andrew Preshong is Email Marketing Manager at Lone Beacon.

Marcus Roth is Senior Director of Email Marketing, Automation, and Content at Lone Beacon.

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