Everything you need to know about GDPR – Explained


With all the latest news about data breaches and how companies are using people’s personal data for advertising, this has a lot of consumers worried and demanding change. One of those changes is the European Union General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR. This new law is replacing the 1995 European Data Protection Directive. GDPR aims to bring all the EU member states under one umbrella by enforcing a single data protection law. It’s not just European marketers that must be compliant but any company that deals with data of European residents. GDPR is intended to put guidelines and regulations on how data is processed, used, stored or exchanged.

Under GDPR, companies that collect third-party data are required to revamp their processes for collecting personal information, and consumers are allowed to opt out. Marketers are increasingly focusing on first-party data practices that ask consumers to explicitly fork over their own information—think email signups, mobile app downloads, and comments. The new GDPR legislation can be broken down into 3 stages of compliance: Data Collection, Data Storage, and Ending the Relationship.

Data Collection

One of the important purposes of the GDPR was to create more transparency between the organizations that collect and control data, and the people whose data is collected. This means that organizations that attract people and want to collect data needed to clearly communicate what the data is used for in plain English. The individual must first give their clear consent to collect data and also be told about their rights to withdraw consent.

Additionally, organizations can only collect the minimum amount of data to meet the intended purpose. For example, if a website wants to collect data to turn visitors into leads, they can only collect the minimum information that is adequate and relevant to achieve this purpose of collection. Anything unnecessary or excessive will constitute a breach.

Data Storage

Organizations can only collect and store the data that was provided with explicit consent.  for the specified purposes. If they plan to transfer or share the data with another company, they need to ensure they have consent from the person before the information can be shared.

Furthermore, companies must ensure they have adequate security systems to store the data. Protecting it from loss, alteration, access; going as far as using pseudonymization or anonymization to protect the data. Users are now able to ask companies at any time to correct, update, or remove their data.

End of the Relationship

Finally, once a relationship has reached its end, organizations must have a clear data retention policy in place which outlines how long they will retain that individual’s information, keeping in mind there are laws or regulations that require the data to be held for specific periods. Users are able to request the deletion of their data at any time and the organization must comply with the request. Not only deleting the data from their own systems, but also any downward vendors’ systems who are processing the data.


As marketers, we should look at GDPR as an opportunity to rebuild consumer trust, these new industry regulations should not impede our progress. For advisors, this means ensuring that every member on the list has opted-in and is ready to engage. This will reset the balance between brand and audience by giving consumers more control, directing technology to be employed for more noble uses and compelling marketers to interact with consumers in more meaningful ways that create positive sentiment and ultimately restore trust. We strongly believe that enterprise marketers and advisors should be made aware of these changes, and to work together in to better communicate with their European contacts. After all, trust is what marketing should be about.

The most important thing you NEED to include in your eNewsletters

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Are you a Financial Service provider trying to gain more traffic to your website? It’s a problem many businesses in the financial sector have. There are many different ways to cultivate engagement that can help lead to more traffic, and ultimately, conversions. Today, we will be discussing how a weekly (or monthly) newsletter can increase traffic to your website and what you need to do to nurture those readers into clients. The #1 most important thing that you have to consider when developing and sending out a eNewsletter is:


Why you might ask? Well, at the heart of a newsletter should lie value for the reader. Nobody wants to get sent an email chock full of promotional materials pressuring them to make a decision. If they get an email like that, chances are their decision will be to unsubscribe from future updates. There goes your future interactions with that prospect. They also don’t want an email full of information that they already know, or can find elsewhere with a simple google search.

Value in a newsletter can be provided in a number of ways:

  1. Exclusive Content

    Exclusive content is by far the most important aspect in driving value to your newsletter.

    Unique and exclusive content is a method of providing value to your subscribers. By writing a quality article or blog post, specifically for those subscribed to the newsletter, you can drive significant amounts of traffic to your website. People love unique and fresh content, and the feeling of exclusivity is the cherry-on-top of the content cake.

    The average buyer consumes 3-5 pieces of content before they even talk to a sales rep. By offering them a juicy, exclusive article (hosted on your website, of course), you will drive traffic to your website, build trust, and potentially become a thought leader in that consumer’s mind.

    Exclusivity is how top fashion brands, car companies, and luxury goods manufacturers help promote their businesses. What is stopping the Financial Services industry from using it as part of a content marketing and email strategy?

  2.  Special Offers, Discounts and Consultations

    Special offers, discounts and consultations can be offered either in the newsletter itself or as a selling point for signing up for the newsletter. Offering exclusive offers will make the reader more likely to engage with your business, perhaps even motivating them to spend more time on your website.

    70% of email readers open emails from a brand or company in search of a deal, discount, or special offer. As an Advisor, you could offer free consultations to motivate people to contact you. The reader will think “well it’s free, I might as well hear what they can do for me”. This gives you a fantastic opportunity to meet the prospect, humanize your brand and prove to that prospective client that you are the right person to manage their money.

    While many people are looking for special offers, it is important not to inundate your subscribers with promotions. If you do, the value will diminish with every offer. Discounts or freebies should be provided with valuable and unique educational material to help the reader better decide how to use that discount or to show them that your free consultation will be worth their time.

  3. Events and Giveaways

This one is somewhat related to “Discounts or Special Offers”. It goes back to the fact that people like a deal (or in this case, free stuff). Again, it should not be used in every newsletter, but more as a promotion to generate sign-ups or reward loyalty. You can give something small away to everyone who signs up, promote exclusive events (barbecues, picnics, etc,), that get people thinking about you and your business, and potentially gets you face time with these prospective clients (even if it happens to be over hot dogs).

You could give away an iPod, a drone, or another “big ticket” item in a draw that all members subscribed to your newsletter can win. This will encourage people to stay subscribed and check every newsletter to find out who the winner is.


In addition to these three methods, value in a newsletter should be provided by using the right mix of educational and promotional material. About 90% of the content in a newsletter should be educational to the readers. The other 10% can be promotional material. If the right balance isn’t struck, your newsletter will be nothing more than a glorified advertisement, which is not something that will attract clients in the Financial Services industry.

By educating your readers, and providing value in other ways, you will drive more traffic to your website. B2C companies that blogged 11+ times per month got more than 4X as many leads than those that blog only 4-5 times per month. (HubSpot, 2015).  Why not repurpose these blogs in your newsletter to extend their reach and get the most mileage out of your content? A newsletter can help you increase the reach of those posts to readers which will result in an increase in traffic. Remember, provide value above all else!

Best of luck with your content creation this week! If you want more information on starting a newsletter, check out our articles “Newsletters: The Forgotten Hero of Content Marketing” and “Do Advisors Really Need Email Marketing?”. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions. @VeridayHQ.

Do Advisors Really Need Email Marketing?


This post was authored by Claire Akin and originally appeared here on GuideVine.


For all the fanfare social media marketing gets throughout the financial services industry, you would think email marketing is a thing of the past. But email marketing continues to be the most important marketing channel for financial advisors. For the top independent advisors I work with, 70% of engagement comes from email campaigns.

Email marketing still is the bread and butter of marketing for advisors for two reasons: it’s effective and it’s relatively inexpensive. McKinsey and Company have found that email conversion rates are three times higher than social media conversion, with a 17% higher value per lead.

But most advisors aren’t sending regular, thoughtful email marketing campaigns. You may be intimidated by email marketing or unaware of how powerful it can be. But with a few simple steps, it’s easy to get your email marketing up and running.

Upgrade Your Email Marketing Engine

First, you’ll want to use an email marketing engine. If you are still sending marketing emails through Outlook as text-only emails, it’s time to upgrade. Because over 50% of emails today are opened on a mobile device, it’s important to make sure your emails are mobile friendly. When you use an email marketing platform, your clients and prospects will receive professional looking emails that feature your logo and graphics that look great on every device.

Schedule Your Emails for Success

Next, it’s important to schedule your emails for success. The best time to send an email depends on your particular business. It’s interesting to examine the peak days and times for different industries. For divorce lawyers, most website activity happens at 11 pm on Thursday nights (after a long week and a fight, presumably). For nanny providers, most searches are at 11 am Monday morning (when the kids finally go down for a nap after a long weekend).

To determine the day and time your network is most active, you can run a “time and day” report using Google Analytics, then schedule your emails to go out at this time. 

Invite Recipients to Take the Next Step

“Calls to action” are critical at the end of your email or blog post to get the reader to take the next step. Offer several appropriate options so that no matter where a prospect is in the buying process, there’s a comfortable action for them to take. Examples include:

  • Download a free report
  • Watch a related video
  • Ask a question
  • Register for a webinar
  • Schedule a phone call

With varying calls to action, readers at different engagement levels can find an appropriate next step to take with you.

Segment Your List

It’s important to segment your contact list so the information you send to each group is highly relevant and they learn to value the emails you send. Advisors can segment into age groups of 35-45, 46-59 and 60+. Other segmenting options include:

  • By birthday month
  • By employer
  • By profession
  • By gender
  • Clients with or without children
  • Local and out-of-town clients

Using a CRM system makes this a snap. While some content will be relevant for many groups, in an ideal world, you should attempt to craft your marketing to be specific enough for one group at a time.

Be Consistent

We know that it takes more than one email to build a relationship with a prospect. Sending marketing emails with valuable information on a regular basis builds your relationship and keeps you top of mind. It’s important to send emails at a regular cadence to establish consistency. Research shows that “unsubscribe” rates are pretty low when emails are sent once per month but go up significantly when sent more than once per week. Commit to sending emails at least twice a month or even once a week.

Track Your Opens and Clicks

Most Email Platforms allow you to easily track how your campaigns are working. For each campaign, run the basic report to see how many opens, clicks, and forwards each email produced. Then, track these numbers over time and make a note of the topics that each audience enjoys and any email marketing home runs.

Email marketing is powerful, but it’s undoubtedly time-consuming. Constant Contact’s recent survey of small business owners estimated that getting an extra hour back from outsourcing email marketing is worth up to $273. If that sounds like you, try hiring a marketing consultant to automate the process so you can set a schedule for consistent email marketing that pays off over time.

Newsletters: The Forgotten Hero of Content Marketing

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Newsletters are one of the most cost-effective mediums for building relationships and maintaining contact with your customers and prospects. Despite being one of the most effective marketing tools available, this digital channel is often overlooked by digital marketers.

As a Financial Advisor, Newsletters are a great way to boost your content reach, grow your contact list, and help in building trust with clients and prospects. As newsletters are now an opt-in form of digital marketing, they are the perfect medium for pushing out content to your target audience without being disruptive.

The Content Marketing Institute found that 78% of respondents included newsletters in their content marketing strategy. With newsletters being the primary use of email marketing (Capterra), taking advantage of this marketing tool can lead your business to further success.

So, why newsletters? As a powerful marketing tool, newsletters can:

  • Increase your web traffic
  • Increase your repeat visitors
  • Allows you to track who’s receiving, opening, and visiting your website
  • Educates your target audience
  • Nurtures your leads
  • Builds trust with your clients and prospects

Just like anything in digital marketing, newsletters are not a one-size-fits-all approach. There are 3 different types of eNewsletters that marketers typically use, each with a different purpose.

Corporate eNewsletters

They are designed to keep customers and prospects up-to-date with organization updates. They summarize company announcements, press releases, new products, etc. This type of newsletter is typically sent on a monthly or quarterly basis.

Lead nurturing eNewsletterssales funnel

The goal of this type of eNewsletter is to engage, inform, and stay top of mind for clients and prospects. The content you share with your audience can lead them through the awareness, consideration, and decision phases by providing them with useful content, familiarizing them with your business and, eventually, driving them to take action and become a client. Content within the eNewsletter can include educational materials such as blogs, sales information, and marketing offers. Depending on where your audience may be along the sales funnel, having a call-to-action may push those at the decision making phase to commit and become your client.

The goal of this type of eNewsletter is to engage and influence prospects with every interaction they have with you. The content you share with your audience can lead them through the awareness, consideration and decision phases by familiarizing them with your business and, eventually, driving them to take action and become a client.

Curated eNewsletters

Curated eNewsletters aim to build awareness of a topic, while also allowing your organization to provide their perspective on it. This type of eNewsletter is a mixture of syndicated (third party) and original content. It displays that you have a grasp of what your audience is looking for by surfacing the best content out there into a one stop shop. This is also a great approach for Advisors with a limited amount of content.

Lead nurturing and curated newsletters tend to have higher open rates, and are generally sent on a weekly basis, at the same day and time (ex. 2:30 pm every Tuesday).


An effective eNewsletter is non-intrusive, provides value to the reader, and makes them feel like they are being educated rather than sold. eNewsletters don’t require you to create new content as they’re a great way to repurpose your old content. As a Financial Advisor, you should take advantage of this effective means for building and maintaining relationships with clients and prospects. eNewsletters will not only extend the reach of your content, but can also do wonders for your business.

Financial Advisors: Are You Optimizing Your Emails?


54% of marketers rate email as the most effective type of digital marketing and the least difficult to execute (Mailigen). Email marketing provides Financial Advisors an effective way to stay in touch with current clients and prospects. Here are 6 ways to optimize your email marketing for better success in the future:

  1. Personalize Your Emails

It’s 2016. Consumers want to have a conversation with a business rather than be sold to. The first step to take is to make sure that you are not sending your emails from a no-reply@thisdoesntwork.com.

Personalize your emails to each recipient. The most effective way to do this is to include their name in the first sentence of your email copy.

So you’ve personalized your email, what’s next?

  1. Use a Call-To-Action (CTA)

89% of marketers say that email is their primary channel for lead generation (HubSpot). You’ve grabbed your reader’s attention, but how do you convert them into a client? Use a CTA.

A CTA is a button or link that you place on your website, or in this case email, to drive prospective customers to become leads.  Now, what makes a good CTA? Visually, the button should large enough to see and placed in an easily visible spot. Make sure that your message is clear, direct and motivating. Some great CTA examples include:

CTA Example using Humboldt County website

CTA Example using Huemor website

CTA example using Spotify website

  1. Is your email visually appealing?

81% of people skim content online rather than read it word for word. Don’t overburden your emails with too much text. The results will be disappointing. As an Advisor, you should try to visually communicate information to prospects. Considering that the average person gets distracted in 8 seconds, you want to ensure that your emails are concise, visually appealing and make information retention easy. Simplicity is key.

PayPal does a great job at simplifying their emails (image below). Their content is delivered in a clever and concise way, while communicating how their product can benefit the reader.  This email is simple, direct and very easy to follow.Visually appealing email example using a PayPal email

  1. Have a compelling subject line

Don’t over-think this! The more direct your subject line, the better. Using phrases that come off as a sales pitch will make your email recipients feel that you are trying to trick them. So, avoid phrases like “The best decision you’ll make today.”

According to HubSpot, over 1/3 emails are opened based on the sub   ject line alone. You want to create a subject line that instills curiosity or provides value to your recipient. As an Advisor, what works for someone in social media may not necessarily work for you. Over time, get a feel for what your recipients respond to best and stick with it.

  1. Advertise your online presence

Optimize your email by providing links to your social media accounts and your website. In other words, provide your readers with the option to visit your Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media platform you use as well as your website to advertise your business. By doing this, you should notice an increase in views, likes and followers on the platforms that you advertise. As an Advisor, this could also aid in converting your leads into clients!  Email is the dominant form of business communication and when used wisely, can greatly increase your client base. Shown below is a great way to visually advertise your links.

  1. Are you mobile-optimized?

Millennials are the age group most likely to check their email from bed (70%), from the bathroom (57%), or while driving (27%) (Capterra). As a Financial Advisor, this generation of consumers is very important to the future success of your business. To secure your millennial leads, you want to ensure that you are not only able to reach them, but to convert them into clients as well. According to emailmonday, 67.2% of consumers use a smartphone to check their email. To successfully grab their attention, you want to engage them on all platforms – especially mobile.

Email marketing is still considered one of the most effective types of digital marketing. As a Financial Advisor, you want to utilize this form of digital marketing to effectively stay in touch with current clients and prospects.

13 ways to increase your e-mail open rate [Infographic]


Do you know what your e-mail open rate is?

It all starts with the subject line. The subject line of an e-mail is crucial in getting prospects to open it. The subject line will determine the success or failure of your campaign. If your e-mail is not opened, then all of your hard work in creating the campaign has gone to waste.  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 the challenge.

In our Infographic below, we share some of our top e-mail secrets with you.  These are some great techniques to help your e-mail get opened and read:


Top 13 Ways Advisors Can Increase E-Mail Open Rates [Infographic]

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.



8 E-mail Marketing Tips for Financial and Insurance Advisors

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E-mail marketing is all about communicating important messages, updates, tips and promotions to recipients that have opted into receiving such emails.  E-mail marketing is an essential element of any marketing strategy and an efficient way to stay connected with your clients while also promoting your business. Despite the rise in popularity of social media, e-mail is still alive and kicking. Email marketing helps to communicate and build relationships with prospects and clients, and helps boost marketing ROI.

The objective of e-mail campaigns is to help connect you with your clients, drive more traffic to your website, and ultimately lead to new business.   Sounds simple enough, right? With the amount of e-mail people receive daily, it can be difficult to make your email stand out from the crowd. Getting people to open your e-mail is a hurdle many marketers find hard to overcome. So, what are some tactics that you can do to get more eyeballs reading your e-mail content? Let’s take a look at some techniques to improve the results of your campaigns:

1) If you know their name, use it!

Studies have shown that if people see their name in the subject line of an e-mail, they are more likely to open it. If they see their name in the body of the email, they are less likely to unsubscribe. People appreciate messages even more when they are personalized.

2) Send your email from a person, not the company.

When you send e-mail from a real person, your email open rate increases. During several tests with over 50, 000 recipients, Hubspot found that personalizing the sender name and email address increased the open rate an average of 3%.

3) Design for today’s devices

Create your e-mails so that they look just as good when opened on a mobile device. Responsive design provides a better experience no matter what device your visitor is on. Approximately 65% of e-mails get opened first on mobile devices so it is important to deliver a great user experience from the start.

4) Don’t include the entire message in your email

Include just enough in your e-mail to explain the value and benefit to them if they click the link. Try to look for opportunities to break your content up into smaller chunks and point readers back to your website, blog or landing page to read more.

5) Consistency

Send your e-mail campaigns at roughly the same times and on the same days so that your audience starts to expect an e-mail from you.

6) Educate first, sell second.

Send content that is meant to help your audience, rather then sell to them. When you freely give your audience something valuable that they’d be willing to pay for, it helps to build trust which can be a powerful selling tool.

7) Place a small headshot next to your signature.

This helps to infuse some more personality into your e-mail and puts a face to your name.

8) Create a catchy subject line

Be specific enough to explain what your newsletter is about but also creative enough to give your e-mail some personality and help it stand out from other e-mails sitting in your audiences’ inbox. Don’t be afraid to do some testing and refining around your subject lines, content and formatting to see what works best for your audience.

Despite all the marketing talk these days about social media, e-mail is still effective in building relationships and attracting customers to your business. E-mail marketing can help nurture leads and pull them through the buyer journey for you.  Try implementing these 8 techniques to help engage your audience and improve the performance of your e-mail marketing campaigns.


What are some of the tips that you’ve followed to increase your e-mail marketing open rates?