Bill Good Marketing

7 Tips for Better Subject Lines – Financial Advisors

Email marketing is complex.

From list building to copywriting to success measurement, there’s always something new to learn and improve.

For financial advisors with limited time, it can be difficult to keep up. (Plus, your time is better spent meeting with HNW prospects.)

And even if you’re a financial advisor by day, and master email marketer by night, you’re sure to pick up a few new tactics. With the first one being…

Don’t leave your email marketing to chance

According to Jack Flynn of Zippia, “47% of email recipients will open an email based on the subject line alone.”
Your email subject line serves as a first—and sometimes last—impression.

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” – Marketing legend, David Ogilvy

In email marketing, the headline of which he speaks is your subject line.

So even though subject lines are often afterthoughts, in many ways they’re as important as the body of your email. After all, the greatest email in the world is worthless if no one ever opens it, right?

Here are 7 tips to writing better email subject lines for financial advisors.

1. Shorten your subject lines. Then shorten them again.

61% of emails are opened on mobile devices. And when opened on a mobile device, long subject lines are cut off. Use an interesting subject line that is 50 characters or less to ensure your prospects can read the entire headline. This can spark curiosity. And curiosity will get your emails opened.

As an example, I’ve trimmed the fat off these subject lines:

Before After
How the Recent News on Tech Stocks Could be Affecting the Performance of Your Portfolio Is NOW the Right Time to Invest in Tech Stocks?
What Midterms Mean for the Stock Market’s ‘Best 6 Months’ as Favorable Calendar Stretch Gets Under Way 4 Things to Know About the Midterms
How an Impending Recession and Inflation Could Have an Effect on Your Investment Portfolio Recession, Inflation, and Your Investment Portfolio

2. Avoid spam words in your email subject lines.

If you want your email to actually land in the inbox, then there is a list of words you should never use.

It’s one thing if you’re sending a personal email — these are called 1:1 emails — because it is more probable that you exist as a human, as opposed to cold-email service.

But when you are sending cold emails to multiple contacts, you are fighting an uphill battle against spamblockers, meaning most of your messages will be blocked without a chance to reach the inbox.

The first, and easiest, tactic to avoid this trap is to avoid the words that trigger these spamblockers.

There are so many that someone could write a nice thick book about them, but the basic rule of thumb is to avoid words that create “promise.”

Remember that prince from Nigeria? Or how Mark Zuckerberg wants to share his wealth with 25 lucky people? Or how about that special car warranty that will SAVE YOU TONS OF $$$?

Even some innocuous words that pertain to the job of a financial advisor could also trigger the spamblocker, such as:

  • Additional income
  • About your account
  • Mortgage rates
  • Upcoming opportunities

Here is a short list of spam trigger words pertaining specifically to financial advisors such as yourself. You can find the full list from HubSpot here.

  • Double your
  • Financially independent
  • Investment decision
  • Save $
  • Save big money
  • Save up to
  • Sent in compliance
  • Serious cash
  • Stock alert
  • Stock disclaimer statement
  • Stock pick
  • Unsecured debt
  • US dollars
subject lines

3. Ask open-ended questions in the subject line.

Phrase your subject line as a question. This is a great way to create mystery in the minds of your readers. There are several ways you can use questions in your subject lines effectively.

Use questions to intrigue readers:

  • Are you making these 3 HUGE mistakes with your 401(k)?

Or to point out a common problem:

  • Not happy with how the market is treating your portfolio?

Or even inspire action:

  • Want to pay less in taxes?

Bottom Line: Ask a question to grab attention or entice your readers to learn more.

4. Include a deadline in your subject line.

How do you get people to act quickly with your own business? You eliminate the potential for procrastination. How? By creating a sense of urgency in your writing.

Nothing conveys a sense of urgency quite like a deadline. Reinforce the deadline in your email subject line. Here are some examples:

  • This is your last chance to register for [Webinar Title]
  • [Seminar Title] is August 5th, register today!
  • Only 2 days left to download [eBook title]…

5. Use a teaser in your subject line.

There’s power in a preview. So, rather than giving away the punchline, build a mystery with the idea. Use a concept that intrigues your readers and sparks their curiosity, without misleading them about the content.

Get creative!

Here some examples:

  • The 3 bizarre money habits of Millennials
  • The 5 most important questions you should ask your financial advisor
  • How ‘sustainable investing’ could impact your portfolio
  • What just happened with Bitcoin?
subject lines

6. Make it personal.

Add the person’s first name into the subject line. Some email marketing platforms have merge fields you can use to personalize the subject line. If your platform has this capability, then the possibilities of this are endless.

If you employ any of our list management best practices, then your list is probably in pretty good shape, so this should be a piece of cake. Use the information you already know about your clients and prospects to personalize this subject line.

Here are some examples of personalized subject lines:

  • [Company name] employees may be making this huge mistake with their 401(k)
  • 8 Tax Tips for [Job title]
  • Best Charitable Donation Locations in [City, State]
  • [First Name] here are 3 market changes that may affect…

If your list is just a bunch of names, then reach out to us and we can send you a database checklist that will make your marketing life much easier.

7. Use Numbers.

Numbers are your email subject line’s best friends.

Extensive A/B tests by email platform Campaign Monitor found subject lines with numbers produced a 57% better open rate than those without.

Here are some examples of email subject lines that financial advisors might use:

  • 3 Estate Planning Mistakes & How to Avoid them
  • Taxes: 6 Big Mistakes That Can Cost You
  • 4 HUGE Mistakes Entrepreneurs are Making About Retirement
  • 7 Charitable Giving Tips for The Holidays

Let’s be honest, it got you to read this article, and you didn’t even know it. 😉

Send away

Although there are no hard and fast rules that can give you 100% engagement and conversions, these 7 tips will help you write high-performing subject lines that will help interest and engage your clients and prospects.

But don’t rely on our advice alone.

Take a look at your own inbox and see which emails you open. Ask yourself what it was about that subject line that triggered the impulse to see what was inside.

As a final bonus tip. Note that subject line down. Now revise it!

As Bill always says: It’s easier to rewrite than it is to write.

So don’t be afraid to take those subject lines that worked on you and repurpose them for your own marketing.

And if all this marketing stuff drives you crazy and you’d rather be spending your time talking to clients and prospects, then let’s talk about Presence, our “done-for-you” email marketing service.

With Presence, we craft your subject lines, write your emails, schedule a tested marketing cadence, and build out your campaigns. It’s so hands-off that all you need do is approve it.

If that’s your cup of tea, then let’s jump on a call and discuss the details.

subject lines

Andrew D. White

Andrew is a digital marketing expert here at Bill Good Marketing. Before joining Bill Good Marketing, Andrew spent most of his previous work experience in the digital marketing realm helping small businesses with things such as Web Design, SEO, and Social Media Management.

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