We may not be neuroscientists, but as email marketers we know a thing or two about human behaviour when it comes to the inbox. In this feature, we explore what makes a financial adviser tick, so you can convert that all important email click.

Over 100 billion business emails are sent and received every day. It’s a competitive world out there, so it’s important to stand out. But we need to understand how and why people interact with these emails to make sure they stand out for the right reasons.

Every email you send to your clients will instinctively generate an emotional response, be it positive or negative, large or small. Financial advisers, like all of us, are faced with so many decisions on a daily basis that it’s impossible to make a fully informed and rational decision at every turn, so their emotions are called upon to influence their judgement.

With this in mind, here are some tips on triggering a positive response through the inbox.

1. First impressions count

The first place to start is the message you are conveying to your clients through the sender name, subject line and preview text. We’ve already established how crowded the inbox is, so personalisation is key. Make the reader feel like you are talking to them by using ‘you’ and ‘your’ or even posing a question to draw them in.

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2. Keep it simple

The content in the body of your email should be simple enough for clients to process. Recent studies suggest people are more likely to remember the gist of what they read, which is known as the ‘verbatim effect’. Financial advisers are typically busy working for their clients, so if you are providing them with details of key speakers at an upcoming event or updating them on a fund they invest in, keep things brief.

The language and tone you use should ultimately depend on your audience and segmenting your data effectively can help determine your approach to content.

3. Follow the rule of three

Speaking of keeping things simple, the rule of three is one of the oldest in the book. People tend to easily remember three things, thus greater engagement can be achieved with a three step or section format. It all comes from how we, as humans, are programmed to learn from patterns, and three is the smallest pattern that can be made.

So if you’re delivering a thought leadership piece or a mixture of news features, consider breaking your content into three sections to maximise your client engagement.

Keeping things in shape is also something to think about. Studies have shown we read textual content in an F shaped pattern. This stems from the ‘verbatim effect’ where we process important headlines then demonstrate tendencies to skim after reading the start of the text. That being said, get your most valuable content in there early.

4. Colour and imagery go a long way

Different colours and images are known to trigger completely different emotional responses. These are powerful tools in influencing your clients if used wisely, but don’t make the common mistake of excessive use.

Colour and styling in your emails define your brand and its credibility for your clients and prospects. Stick to brand guidelines to reinforce who you are and provide a sense of familiarity.

It’s been proven that images can be used to support your objective by influencing where your audiences’ eyes are drawn to. A strategically placed image can result in an instinctive glance at your primary call to action or main feature on fixed income for example. The most effective way to achieve this is with images of people’s faces. Again, it’s the emotional connection. This has been proven by readers that follow the direction the eyes are looking in. Just make sure it’s not to your unsubscribe button.

To discuss how you can implement some of these ideas into your email marketing campaigns, please get in touch at support@stoneshot.com