Using data to enhance your client communications
Our contributor this month is Jon Pittham from ClientsFirst.
In the battle for the attention of your existing and prospective clients, what are you doing to stand out? How are you making sure that your marketing communications are jumping out of peoples’ inboxes, getting read and having an impact? In short, how can you make sure that you matter?
Looking at data
A concerted data exercise is more important to your marketing than many people realise. Without data it can be difficult to send personalised, relevant messages: the first step to making sure your marketing stands out.
It’s likely that you have the basics; name, phone number, further contact details. As part of your initial data collection though, consider going just a few stages further.
Holding data on which of your advisers looks after certain clients can really help and is very simple to do. If you run model portfolios then you’ll certainly know which ones your clients are assigned to, but does your marketing software? On a more widespread basis: when was the last time you reviewed your data and checked it was all up to date? Are you emailing a client on an address they haven’t used for the last two years?
Using data to personalise the message
Once you’ve got just a little bit more data than is considered the norm, you can start to personalise your communications. It’s this that gets clients involved. No one wants to read a message only tangentially related to them but almost everyone will engage with highly relevant, highly personalised communications.
Within our MailFirst software, and other email marketing tools, you can personalise the content of emails based on the data you hold.
A practical example: you have two advisers within your firm and your client bank is split equally between the two. Within your database, you have indicated which clients are assigned to which adviser.
It’s now possible to make simple automatic changes to the emails you send out.
Client 1 is looked after by Adviser A but Client 2 is advised by Adviser B. The system will automatically substitute your advisers’ photographs and signatures, so Client 1 gets an email from Adviser A and Client 2 gets an email from Adviser B, increasing their chances of engaging with it.
More than that, if you hold your client’s profession within your database then content could also be substituted. Client 1 is a doctor, for example, so he receives a newsletter with content on the NHS pension scheme. Client 2 works in the city, so in his newsletter the pension scheme content is replaced by a UK market commentary.
Once you’ve got to grips with the above basics of personalisation, there’s really no limit to where you can go with it. Advisers often tell us that communicating with clients during a period of portfolio rebalancing can be difficult, as it requires a lot of similar, but minutely and importantly different, pieces of communication.
If you hold the right information, which you will in your back office systems, then MailFirst can handle it all for you, and already successfully does for many advisers.
Taking your communications up a level really can be as simple as looking at your data. Whilst your message is important, defining what you’re sending and to whom can have just as much impact and enable you to send really outstanding pieces of client communication.