I write a lot because social media gets my name out there at a much lower cost than hiring a public relations. director. I know because I’ve been there and done that. I write articles, I blog, and I started this crazy website.
Ever since I started my practice 6 years ago, I have two email newsletters sent out to all my contacts including plan sponsors and one geared towards financial advisors. Over time, I’ve gained contacts and lost some. I think my latest number is 12,000 subscribers and maybe I get a 20% open rate for my emails.
The most important thing about emails is that it’s through Constant Contact, so there is an easy unsubscribe button. I understand people’s time is limited and maybe they don’t have time to read my emails and I understand that. I don’t take offense when people I’ve networked with or worked with in the past decide to unsubscribe. It’s not personal, it’s business.
When you network and you meet people through LinkedIn, I assume that I’m going to be added to their mailing list. I assume that because that’s what I do. From time to time, I’ll check the emails as a courtesy and I don’t unsubscribe from these emails even for the financial advisor that asked me to do an online meeting with her 5 years ago and has done nothing with me since. Retirement plan business is a relationship driven business, so I don’t want to offend anyone or hurt their feelings.
That being said, if you send emails out, have an unsubscribe button. This isn’t organized crime or my old synagogue; people have a right to quit. If they don’t want your emails, they should have the ability to unsubscribe. If you don’t offer that ability, then you’re going to peeve a heck of a lot of potential clients and fellow plan providers.
I’m certainly passive-aggressive when I state that I have two financial advisors who consistently barrage me with emails without unsubscribe buttons. It wouldn’t be so bad to get an email now and then, but a daily email? I have one financial advisor who sends me 3-4 email updates a day. I don’t have the heart to tell them to stop bothering me, so I’m partly to blame for not setting them straight.
Your emails aren’t the Hotel California where people can check in, but never leave. This isn’t some cult; you need to let people have the opportunity to opt out of receiving your emails.