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 10 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. The 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 unsubscribing 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.