One of the most common requests we receive from clients is to share some best practices for using our Larkspur Executive Pro and Platinum products. This blog post will delve into some of the details of what makes a successful campaign and will hopefully provide you with some new ideas to make your marketing even better.
The Basics – For Everyone
The following tips should really be part of every single campaign. Without incorporating these tips, you are really not giving yourself the best chance to succeed.
Use a signature: Obvious, right? But not just any signature, use the one with your picture. If you don’t use a signature with a photo, why not add one? Put a face with the name. It adds familiarity and a better sense that your prospects know you. And how many marketing emails get delivered to you with a photo of the sender? Not many. Stand apart, be recognized.
Modify our sequences (at least a little): I know that a big attraction of our product is that we provide high quality email sequences that you can use right out of the box. But our sequences say nothing about you and your unique value add – our sequences point out what is wrong with their plan and what they could be doing better. But they should include something about you. Specifically, what is your specialty? What do your clients say about you? Why should this prospect want to talk to you? Take a bit of time to create a message that you want to share. This can be added to our letters or inserted into the sequence as a standalone email.
Make the sequence looong: Unless you are expecting clients to come calling you after a couple of emails, you understand that the process of winning plan business can be a long one. Prospects might be ready to talk after your first email, but more likely it will take many touches. Just like with the previous 2 steps, the longer sequences are building up familiarity with the prospect. The longer the campaign, the more likely that they will recognize your name or, more importantly, think of your name when they (or maybe someone they know) has a need that you can fill.
Pick up the phone: These prospects do not know you. But this campaign is all about getting them to feel like they do. So, I recommend somewhere after 3 emails in the sequence, pick up the phone and call your prospect – especially if they have opened one of your emails. Yes, this is time consuming. But now they should recognize your name. They have seen it in their in-box. They have seen your picture and may even be able to place you. They might even have their gatekeeper patch them through and you might get to speak to them. Or, you will leave a message, and now they have a name, a face, and the voice of an advisor that they may one day, maybe very soon, have a need to call. Now they are not responding to an email, they are returning a call.
Not for everyone – But very helpful, even in parts
Some of these tips will take more time to execute than many of our client have to spend. These tips are definitely not for everyone. But if you do have the time and resources to incorporate one or 2 of these, it will increase your chances of success.
Write your own sequence: This does not have to be a ‘from scratch’ effort. You can utilize aspects of our campaigns – the parts you like the best. But by writing in your voice and with your perspective, the letters will better represent you and your firm. And we have a great team that will help you to ensure that these letters look like they should. Want to put information about the plan into the text? Our team will help. Want to add a chart? Our team will do that too. So, you are not on your own here. BUT, if this is not something you are good at or have the desire to do, skip this step! If you can do this, it will be worth the effort.
Include Anecdotes: Has any plan ever had success with you as the advisor? Have you ever done a good job for any of your clients? I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that the answer is “Yes”. So, share that. How did you help? What did you do? How did it help? Make it relevant to the letter you are sending. “One of my smartest clients, Tim Cook from Apple, also struggled with employee education. When I did *this great thing* Timmy immediately doubled my fee in gratitude”. Make it personal, if you have a client willing to be named, that is even better. But make it known that you have helped others that are facing similar situations.
Include a drip campaign: Because longer is better, I would strongly recommend breaking the sequence into 2 parts: a rapidfire introduction for the first 6-15 emails (say over a 3-8 week period), and a drip campaign that lasts as long as you can make it (maybe a monthly or bi-monthly follow up). The second portion, the drip campaign, helps keep your services in the mind of the prospect. If 5 months have passed since your last contact to the prospect, and they suddenly are in a situation where they need a plan advisor, they might not go looking through really old emails trying to remember the name of that person they were contacted by. But if it was just a couple of weeks ago that you last sent an email, well, they might even remember the name of the person who sent it and pick up the phone.
Add content: Do you have a blog where you have written about topics relevant to a 401k plan sponsor? Have you read some content that would be relevant to the sponsor? Then include it in an email. Provide a link. You are an expert in this space. By providing some value in your marketing letters, you are impressing that fact on your prospect.
There is no silver bullet to winning new business. It always takes effort. And as great as our campaign feature is (and it is pretty great if I do say so myself), LE Pro/Platinum alone will not win you business. You have to be willing to put in the effort, because, ultimately you are who will win the business. Your LE toolkit will help. A lot. But it is still up to you.
So happy prospecting, and good luck. If there is anything we can do to make LE or any of our other products accelerate your process or enhance your workflow, please let us know.