The Danger of Mass Communications


A good friend of mine shared with me a recent experience with her advisor. It’s not a great one and as you’ll read, it highlights the need for a communications strategy.

My friend – we’ll call her Jane – had just spent a couple of hours with her advisor. They reviewed options to save for her son’s college education. Jane and her husband have been working with this advisor for a few years and are familiar with his process. They were happily surprised to learn they can begin saving a good amount without sacrificing much cash flow. As the meeting concludes, their advisor promises to follow up on a few open questions, everyone shakes hands, Jane and her husband leave and Jane heads home. As she pulls into her driveway, she sees on her phone the notification that she has an email from her advisor. ‘Wow,’ she thinks. ‘He is quick with the answers.’  And then she notices the subject line, “The 3 Things You Need to do After You Retire.”  This email is not relevant to her life at all. She’s about 30 years from retirement. Her advisor knows that; but she’s on his master mailing list. She immediately clicks unsubscribe and her positive mood changes to frustration. While relating this story, Jane tells me that she’s questioning if her advisor really cares about her situation. How disappointing. She walks out of her advisors office feeling confident in their plan and a few minutes later she questions the relationship.

Personalizing Advisor’s Communications

How can we avoid this situation with our clients? The first step is to segment your clients. John has spoken about how to do that here. Once you’ve done it, target your communications to those segments.

For your blog:

  • Target posts to a segment. For example if you have three segments write one post that is relevant and interesting to them each week or month. Then email that blog post to the target client segment. This keeps the communication targeted, but once on the blog they are able to access all the content if they want.

For your newsletter:

  • Continue to send your newsletter to all of your clients, but create a section for each segment. This allows them to quickly identify what is important to them. It also reiterates that you continue to understand their needs, concerns they have and you are prepared to help them.

For your email communications

  • Build the segments into your communication tools. This is a common feature and it is so worth the time investment. You will be certain that the right information is getting to the appropriate audience.

Communicating with clients is so important. Educating clients is so important, and each time we do we are delivering advice, but in today’s world of AI and machine learning, personalization is expected. Even with advertising we are rarely presented with an ad that isn’t pertinent to our interests or recent internet searches. Mass communications can easily be perceived as clutter and the client will not hesitate to unsubscribe. And you’ve lost an avenue to engage and deliver advice. One way to avoid becoming clutter is to tailor your communication to each client segment. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see open and read rates go up, too!

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