Marketing is an ever-changing subject for advisors. For many of them, the biggest challenge is simply keeping up.

Unfortunately, they are under time constraints, and that makes their marketing practices ineffective. They might blog, but only inconsistently, and they might avoid social media. What is worth the time?

To help, I’ve compiled a list of five common digital marketing mistakes and offer suggestions for how to address them without a lot of effort.

1. Not Communicating Effectively—Or Enough
This is the one I am most passionate about—partly because it’s critical for advisors trying to retain clients and also because good communication is a major reason those clients refer you to other people. Also, simply put, anyone can send an email. In fact, according to YCharts, email is the most popular communication channel among investors. So it should be an easy way for advisors to reach clients.

Yet 69% of investors with less than half a million in assets under management said their advisor didn’t communicate with them enough. And what might surprise you, 77% of investors under 50 said they would have more confidence in their financial plan if their advisor did.

Adjusting to the communication methods of the next generation of investors is essential.

To fix this, advisors need to improve their email communication strategy.

What to do:
Write strong subject lines: If your content is your product, then your subject line is your packaging. To write one, creatively reference the content of your email. Build curiosity and ask questions. For example, write “This week’s trending topics” or “Should I do X or Y?” Don’t write “Weekly Newsletter.”

Determine your cadence: It’s difficult to determine the “correct” schedule of your email releases and send time, as they both depend on your unique contact list and content. Start with at least two emails a month while testing send times if you’re unsure. Then adjust it based on performance.

Send the right content: Above all else, your content needs to be relevant to your audience. The better your client segmentation, the better you can target your message and the more powerful it will be. Timely content is always a must, but don’t forget the human element—every few emails should include a personal note from you. Don’t be afraid to share updates about your family or team members. People are far more interested in people than any business topic.

2. Failing To Create A Site That Passes The Five-Second Test
This test is about measuring the effectiveness of your home page. To perform the five-second test, start by navigating to your website. Then, without clicking or exploring, give yourself five seconds to absorb what you can. Then ask yourself the following:

1. What does your firm do?
2. Who do you serve and why?
3. How are you different from other firms?
4. What is the next step?

If your home page doesn’t answer these questions in five seconds, here is how you can fix it.

What to do:
Copy is often the reason advisor sites fail the five-second test. To fix this, first start by answering those four questions.

Next, format your home page to provide these answers concisely. Questions one through three will help you form your hero message—the message that appears at the top of your page—while question four will help you create a call to action.

For example, the home page of Cornerstone Wealth Consulting Services answers all of these questions with a short sentence and clear call to action: “Helping contractors and their families navigate significant wealth,” and then they are prompted with a button: “Start building today.”

Advisors should also consider a second call to action, one that offers more information to the visitor. This way visitors who aren’t interested in immediately contacting you might take other steps instead and remain on your site.

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