13 Ways To Get Prospects to Open Your Email

It all starts with the subject line. Prospecting email subject lines are crucial in getting prospects to open your email. The subject line will determine the success or failure of your campaign. You want prospects to feel like they must open, read and act on your email.   When your prospect is not expecting to hear from you, or may not even really know you, so probably has not built that trust for you, the subject line can present quite a challenge.

Let us share some of our top email secrets with you. These are some great techniques to help your e-mail get opened and read:

  1. Keep it short. The subject line should be a maximum of 50 characters.
  2. Be specific. Make it clear what your email is about and who it is from. This is more important then flowery language.
  3. Always send the e-mail from an actual person instead of ‘’noreply@company.com’’.
  4. Avoid spammy words like ‘’Help’’, ‘’Guarantee’’, ‘’100% free’’, ‘’Attention’’, ‘’Act now’’. Mailchimp identifies their three worst spam offenders as Help, Percent Off, and Reminder.
  5. Add the recipient’s name, if you can. This adds a feeling of rapport.
  6. Go easy on punctuation. Nothing screams spam like a bunch of exclamation marks.
  7. Add preview texts to emails.
  8. Ask a question. Questions are a great way to focus your readers’ attention and peak their curiosity.
  9. Be controversial. Take a contrarian viewpoint, as long as it’s something that makes sense for your brand and you’re genuine about your take on the position.
  10. Hit a nerve. Your prospects are your prospects for a reason. They have a problem that you can solve or a frustration you can address. Mention that problem or frustration in your subject line, and your prospect will be more likely to click through in search of a solution.
  11. Offer value. You want prospects to feel like they must open, read and act on your email
  12. Use a number. Numbers stop wandering eyes. Using numbers in your headline has shown to increase reader engagement
  13. A/B test to see which subject lines get the best results.

The success of your e-mail is pinned to your subject line. A good subject line entices prospects to open and read your email. More readers means more click throughs which means more leads. No opens, means no action at all which also means that all of the time you spent on the e-mail contents means nothing. Out of the billions of emails that are sent every day, make sure that yours stands out.

 

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2015 T3 Technology Tools for Today conference

Veriday is excited and thrilled to be sponsoring and attending this year’s T3 Technology Tools for Today conference in Dallas, Texas. The conference will take place from February 12th-14th at the Hilton Anatole hotel. Technology Tools for Today: Advisor Edition was named one of the best 8 conferences for Financial Advisors in 2015.

This event is an opportunity for independent advisors and their staff to learn from leading technology thinkers and to interact with the technology wizards who are creating the solutions they need to build a more profitable practice.

We invite you to connect with us and visit our Digital Agent booth to learn more about our innovative digital marketing platform designed to solve Advisor’s digital marketing challenges.

For more information on this event, visit www.technologytoolsfortoday.com.

About T3

T3 Technology Tools for Today™ supplies the industry’s leading practice management/technology newsletter and conference for financial advisors. Founders, Joel Bruckenstein and David Drucker, are dedicated to providing advisors with relevant and timeless information so you can build a more efficient and profitable practice.

Veriday Sponsors Upcoming IMCA 2015 New York Consultants Conference

Veriday is excited to be sponsoring and attending this year’s IMCA 2015 New York Consultants Conference.  The conference will take place on February 9th and 10th at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel. The conference features some of the legends of finance and economics covering topics such as practice management, technology, international investments and wealth management.

This year’s event features Daniel Kaheman, PhD, widely regarded as the world’s most influential living psychologist and winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics for his work in behavioural economics. Also speaking at this year’s conference is Sallie Krawcheck, MBA, owner of Ellevate—a professional women’s networking organization committed to economic empowerment—and recognized as the only senior Wall Street executive who reimbursed a portion of client losses for poorly performing products.

We invite you to connect with us and visit our Digital Agent booth to discover how digital marketing can help to engage your target market, and grow your business.

For more information on this event, visit http://www.imca.org/conferences/nycc.

About IMCA

Investment Management Consultants Association was established in 1985 to deliver premier investment consulting and wealth management credentials and world-class educational offerings through membership, conferences, research, and publications. IMCA sets the standards and practices for the investment management consulting profession and provides investment consultants and wealth managers with the credentials and tools required to best serve their clients. IMCA is proud to serve more than 9,370 members, including 6,265 CIMA certificants and 732 CPWA professionals, as of May, 2014.

IMCA conferences are recognized throughout the industry as some of the best educational experiences available, providing completely peer-reviewed content from prominent industry experts. With no “pay-to-play” speaking opportunities, IMCA conference attendees enjoy unbiased, savvy analysis.

Alternatives to SAP Enterprise Portal

In today’s economy, businesses stand to benefit from implementing an enterprise-class portal that provides consistent access to tools that improve productivity, fuel innovation, and improve customer satisfaction. The enterprise portal has become an integral part of today’s leading businesses, as it brings together its various applications, information, business units and services, on one common platform.   In this article, we will look at SAP Enterprise Portal, as well as its alternatives.

SAP Enterprise Portal (formerly known as SAP NetWeaver Portal) unifies key information and applications to give users a single view that spans across IT areas and the organization. The platform allows you to take advantage of all of your information in one unified platform. Features and functions of SAP Enterprise Portal include:

  • Infrastructure management – The Portal provides a personalized, secure interface that unifies enterprise applications, information, and processes from both SAP and third-party sources into a coherent, role-based portal experience.
  • Collaboration – Users can access and share information and applications in a collaborative environment regardless of where they are located.
  • Contact and knowledge management – A shared set of user services for finding, organizing, and accessing unstructured content stored in third-party repositories and SAP content management systems.

There are a number of SAP Portal alternatives in the market today with similar functionalities. Which alternative you choose depends entirely on what tasks and objectives you are looking to accomplish with your portal platform.  Let’s take a look at some solutions for alternatives to SAP Enterprise:

OpenText Portal

OpenText Portal is a highly scalable platform and efficient means of aggregating content and applications for use across a variety of initiatives inside and outside the firewall.   OpenText’s Portal is marketed primarily as part of a Customer Experience Platform, which includes social media and digital asset management. It is well equipped for large customer facing sites, with customers characterizing it as a total information and customer experience offering. Users also score this portal high in ease of administration. One complaint about OpenText Portal is that it comes with less out-of-the-box capabilities then many of its competitors, and requires more building.

Liferay

Liferay is the leading provider of open source enterprise portal and social collaboration software solutions, and a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for the 5th year in a row. Liferay is a web platform built to deliver immediate results with long-term value. With Liferay, you are able to build many kinds of portals including social networks, e-learning portals, employee and customer portals, and customize them to fit your business’ needs and objectives. The platform also provides more out of the box portlets then any other portlet on the market including Liferay collaboration, web publishing, content management and social networking.

The open-source option of Liferay can also mean significantly reduced costs for businesses with sufficient in-house resources to take advantage of it. One of Liferay’s major strengths is its platforms ability to incorporate new features very easily as a result of its open source base. A caution to some is the fact that the company Liferay itself is smaller than most of its competitors. However, Liferay has seen a rapid growth in the past few years.

Redhat Jboss

JBoss Portal is an open source platform for hosting and serving a portal’s web interface, publishing and managing its content, and customizing its experience. JBoss portal doesn’t aim at providing as many out of the box portal solutions as other platforms but is built to provide a fully reliable customized portal. JBoss features easy to use administration tools, a straightforward web content management system, and reliable performance and scalability. Many customers are attracted to its low start-up costs. One complaint about Jboss is that enterprises expecting immediate business usability may find it difficult to get it up and running without specific in-house developers.

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Not sure which Portal suits your business strategy? Contact our specialists to learn which platform is best suited to help power your business.

How Older Generations Are Using Social Media and What This Means For Advisors

Do you know what the fastest growing demographic is on Twitter? The answer will surprise you.  The fastest growing demographic is the 55-64 year age bracket, which has grown 79% since 2012.

Are you reaching the fastest growing demographic online?

Social media is everywhere, and it is growing in all demographics. Some social network sites have user bases larger than the populations of most world countries. People are increasingly basing their purchase decisions around a business or individual’s online presence. The growth of older generations using social media has been staggering over the past three years. In fact, the 50 and over age group is the fastest growing demographic online, and constitutes a majority of the online consumer population.

This Infographic from Accredited Online Colleges looks at the Internet and social media usage amongst the older generations:

So, what does this mean for financial and insurance advisors?

It is easy to overlook the importance of Social Media in an industry such as Finance or Insurance however; everything we know about Social Media applies to these industries as well. Your clients and prospects are online and they are searching for news and helpful information. Social Media is an excellent and effective channel to engage with these prospects, build trust and position yourself as a thought leader in the industry. Share tips, discuss recent news, offer advice, and expand your reach online through sharing helpful content.

Investors often picked Advisors based on trust and the ability to build relationships . Think about it this way. Who would you trust more? The Advisor who is open about their business and expertise on Social Media, discussing industry updates, insights and advice. Or an Advisor, without a website or with a website that only publishes the services they provide and contact information.  The older generations have the most spending power, of any group, so it is important that they are being reached through the channels that they are using to make their buying decisions.

Social Media has become an essential part of the lives of millions of people around the world, and is a powerful platform to reach all demographics. Social  networking sites have created the context and platforms for financial conversations and information sharing to take place.  Used in the wrong way, Social Media can also have a negative impact on your business and brand. Check out the most common social media mistakes by Advisors here.

 

The FInancial and Insurance Advisor's Guide to Blogging

Financial and Insurance Advisors: Why your online reputation matters

Your personal brand is made up of what your prospects can find about you when they search your name online. As a Financial and Insurance Advisor, your online reputation is key to your success. Today, potential clients rely on the Internet to research businesses and services before they make decisions. In fact, 60% of the sales cycle is completed before a buyer makes first contact with a sales person. A few bad reviews or a poor online presence could mean losing business to a competitor when potential prospects search for you online.

The Infographic below, developed by the Digital intelligence & E-Reputation consultancy firm KBSD, breaks down ways to protect and manage you online reputation, as well as what you can do to boost your online reputation and digital reach.

Managing your online reputation

Financial and Insurance Advisors: How to Build Sales Without Being Too ‘Salesy’ Part 2

In this series, we are addressing techniques on how to build sales without being too ‘’salesy’’ or pushy. In this article, we will cover techniques 5 through 7. Read the first part of this series here.

5. Content Marketing

Never has it been so easy or affordable for Advisors to connect directly with their target markets. Social media offers so many options for you to connect with your target market by blogging, tweeting, and linking to articles, e-books, newsletters, PDFs, ect.

Content Marketing puts the hard-sell advertising message on the back burner and provides your target audience with valuable information. By providing valuable content that helps prospects, you are starting to build trusted relationships with your potential clients. Great content can be one of the best sales tools because it is still working even when you aren’t around, by teaching and moving prospects in the right direction, and positioning yourself as a thought leader. While at some point you will need to try to sell, your primary goal in the beginning is to develop relationships and build trust.

6. Storytelling

When presenting a service or solution, tell stories that the prospect can relate to that draw similarities to their situation (protecting the identify of your client, of course).   Humanize your service by telling prospects stories behind them. Do you have a client that has a great story about building a business? When prospects learn stories and experiences, from you, of people who are just like them, they may be more likely to want to work with you. Storytelling can also help to educate your clients and prospects on complex financial and investment concepts. Create a picture for clients and prospects to help them understand what you have to offer is compelling, and meets their needs.

7. Pick your Niche

Don’t be all things to all prospects and clients. As more and more people become Financial Advisors, it is becoming increasingly important for Advisors to focus into a niche where it’s easier to stand out and win clients. Getting a more focused niche gives you the opportunity to truly differentiate yourself. Advisors need to be willing to walk away when opportunities come up that are not a good fit for them or the prospect. Prospects will be able to catch on if you are trying to sell them something, that you don’t feel comfortable with, just to give them what they want to hear.

For more tips on selling techniques and how to develop an effective value proposition, click here.

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What techniques have you found successful in building relationships with prospects? Share your comments below.

 

How to Drive Sales Using the Customer Buyer Journey

Financial and Insurance Advisors: How to Build Sales Without Being Too ‘Salesy’ Part 1

Often people think of salespeople as being pushy or aggressive. We have all experienced the pushy salesman that hasn’t stopped talking to listen and leaves you feeling as though you were forced to say ‘’yes’’. Many salespeople don’t think about whether they are being perceived as pushy and don’t realize that their style may be actually losing the prospect.

There are certainly opportunities to be successful as a Financial and Insurance Advisor without the use of overbearing or pushy methods. The key is building trust and listening. Professional selling today is about presenting your services in an organized matter –  without being pushy, tricky or manipulating. It’s all about having a good conversation coupled with asking the right questions about what’s important to your prospects.

So, how can you develop your financial services practice without coming across like a pushy salesperson? Below, is a list of tips that Advisors can consider when trying to engage prospects.

1. Build rapport and trust first.

There is a lot more then building rapport and trust in selling but making a good connection with someone and making them feel comfortable is a really good start. If you build rapport, they will start to feel comfortable sharing with you their goals, objectives and afflictions, all things you need to know to be successful as an Advisor.

2. Ask the right questions.

The best method for uncovering your prospects needs and wants is to ask the right questions. We need to learn about our prospects before we can provide the best solutions and services to them. Ask your prospect what they are looking for and probe for more detail, if necessary. Understand what really matters to your prospects. It is important to discover their goals and challenges and what they are hoping the outcome to be.

3. Be a Problem Solver.

If you are going to deliver value to your prospects, then you need to solve their problems.   If you can’t put your finger on what their problem or challenge is, then you won’t be successful in solving their problem. This is why asking the right questions is so important.   Help the prospect to visualize a more desirable situation and devise a way for them to move from the way things are to the way they would like them to be. Asking the right questions can also lead to Advisors solving other problems that the client did not even know they had.

4. Educate, instead of pitch. 

To win prospects over you need to educate them, instead of pitch to them.  The key is giving them information and options. The aim is to build understanding and identify whether there is a potential useful fit between what you can offer and what the prospect might need. Help your prospect understand their problem through education and solve their problem through your services.

Some of these might seem obvious to the seasoned sales professional but can often be overlooked and under utilized. Check out part 2 of this series, where we continue to look at some tips for building sales without being too ‘’salesy’’.

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What are the biggest challenges you face regularly in the sales cycle? What tips and tricks have worked for your practise? Share your comments below.

Liferay as a Content Management System (CMS)

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There is no denying that Content Management Systems are important in today’s web ecosystem. They allow you to spend less time staring at your computer screen and more time doing business. A Content Management System (CMS) is a tool that allows you to create, edit, manage and maintain website pages on a central interface without the use of codes and scripts.

CMS allows non-technical users to publish content to the web without having advanced knowledge of web technology or programming of any sort. It eliminates the need for a developer or HTML designer to be involved every time you want to change something on your site, resulting in increased work efficiency.

Liferay provides a powerful and flexible CMS to make fundamental changes to the way you do business. It is is one of the most popular CMS in the market for managing and administering website content and is recommended by many industry experts. Despite its many other robust features, many customers use Liferay Portal just for its content management system, whether it be web content management or management of file-based content. It comes with many features that make your content management task simple, and is used for both developing personal as well as enterprise websites.

Liferay continues to grow in popularity due to the fact that it simplifies the work and user experience, and can easily be customized to satisfy specific business needs. Advocates of Liferay point to its open source architecture, ease-of-use and integration capabilities as reasons for its continued success and popularity. If your business is looking for a CMS solution, Liferay is definitely worthy of consideration.

So, what can Liferay’s content management feature do for your business and website?

  1. Web Publishing
    • Allows anyone to easily maintain fully functional websites. Non-technical users can create, edit and publish content with a simple point and click interface.
  2. Unified Documents & Media
    • Includes a unified document repository that houses documents, video, audio, images and other media types from one place. It can be used across an enterprise, within a specific group or for a single individual. Enterprise-wide repositories allow groups to store assets, tag them with key words, lock them, search for and leverage them in web pages, or download them for use offline.
  3. Live Page Editing and Scheduling
    • Pages from a live site can be edited and previewed without affecting what is seen on the public site, then scheduled for future publishing all within the online editor.
  4. Integrated Collaboration Tools
    • Wikis, message boards, blogs, activity tracking, instant message, e-mail, shared calendar, pools, announcements and alerts, tags and categories
  5. Advanced Workflow and Approval Processes
    • Allows users tο produce thеіr οwn personal workflow аnd define thе amount οf approval paths based on thеіr οwn distinctive business requirements аnd operational units.
  6. Customizable
    • Easily customizable platform to satisfy specific preferences, user requirements and business needs.
  7. Multi-Language Support
    • Supports international localization and includes out-of-the-box support for 30+ languages. Users can toggle between different language settings with just one click.
  8. Integration with Microsoft Office
  9. Quick Page and Site Creation
    • Web structures and templates allow common web layouts to be saved for future web pages. Users can create pages or sites with sets of predefined templates or pages, and immediately begin adding content without the help of any developer support.
  10. Search Engine Optimization
    • With its ability to create web content, blogs, wikis and to share documents, your website becomes a valuable source of information. Liferay also optimizes updates to the site map information and makes new pages instantaneously searchable by external search engines.

For more information on the features of Liferay’s Content Management System, click here.

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Is Liferay a good fit for your business? Drop us a line to discover how Liferay can be customized to meet your business strategy and goals.The Business Case for Liferay

 

Social Media Considerations for Advisors: YouTube

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YouTube, owned by Google, is a free video-sharing social networking website developed in 2005. YouTube allows users to upload, watch and share originally created videos. Anybody can watch and share videos on YouTube but to access additional features a person must register for an account. YouTube users can communicate with each other through comments, responses, shares, and private messages.

YouTube Demographics & Statistics:

YouTube Demographics
  • More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month (YouTube.com)
  • Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth (YouTube.com)
  • 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute (YouTube.com)
  • Reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network (YouTube.com)
  • Millions of subscriptions happen each day. The number of people subscribing daily is up more than 3x since last year, and the number of daily subscriptions is up more than 4x since last year (YouTube.com)

Financial and Insurance Advisors are always looking for new and more effective ways to communicate with current and prospective clients. Video can be a highly effective medium that can allow you to create engaging content that reaches the masses. But can it be an effective medium for Financial and Insurance Advisors?  You may be asking yourself, how, as a Financial and Insurance Advisor could I use YouTube?

Advisors and YouTube

There is no question that online video is soaring.  In fact, 60% of baby boomers and 40% of seniors consider watching online video on sites like YouTube an important part of their day.  75% of boomers and 68% of seniors report calling or visiting a business or organization as a result of seeing a particular online video.

Many people are looking for a quick and easy way to consume information without having to read a lengthy article. If you are an Advisor that is constantly creating original content and sharing your knowledge, but aren’t big on writing or creating blog posts, creating videos could be a great way to demonstrate who you are, profile your services and attach some personality to your brand.

Establish trust, transparency and an authentic voice

YouTube videos can provide you with a medium to show your clients and prospects who you are, and allow you to establish a trustworthy, transparent and authentic voice. Videos could be used to provide your prospects with useful information and great content. Producing useful, engaging and relevant content via video can help to send the message to your target market that you know what you are talking about. As an Advisor, YouTube videos can also be used to tell your unique story, vision and philosophy to help build a connection with your prospect.

Search Engine Optimization

YouTube is a Google product, owner of 75% of the search market share. Search engines and Google generally love video and reward its own users in their search engine. Uploading videos on this platform can be a good way to help your business’ visibility in Google’s organic search results. Videos are also said to be 53 times more likely to appear on the first page of search results than text pages.

Publishing Videos to Social Channels

YouTube videos can also be embedded or featured on your website, blog or to any of your social networking sites to help increase traffic and brand awareness.

YouTube videos can be used as an effective way to enhance current and prospective clients communications, however, this is not to say that YouTube can replace text all together. As many marketers have experienced, combining multiple channels is exponentially more effective than using them as standalone campaigns. Motivating consumers to connect with your business in more than one way strengthens brand association and motivates valuable engagement.