14 Winning Cold Email Tips for the Virtual Financial Advisor™

Cold emails work! Well, maybe not as effective as other techniques. But if you’ve already optimized your time and workflow in other areas, then cold emailing is another method to get even more leads. And as the Virtual Financial Advisor™ becomes the norm, every bit of lead source helps. Plus, like the other prospecting methods, you’ll eventually develop a system to effectively automate even cold emails. 

Before anything else, let me backtrack and explain what it is. Cold email is when you’re emailing somebody you don’t have an existing relationship with. They don’t know you. Cold emailing is about forming connections rather than selling. But more on that later. And yes, it is very much like cold calls — except emails. 

I’ve outlined these tips in chronological order, more or less. We’ll begin with the mindset shifts you’ll need, then some tips on what’s in the email, and finally, a few post-email tips to consider. With that out of the way, let’s get into 15 of the best cold email tips for financial advisors. 

1. You are here to help

Many advisors forget how they’re actually helping people. They think people sidestep talking because advisors are a nuisance. Removing this belief requires a strong mindset shift that goes beyond cold emails. 

I think about how people benefit from my services. That includes people who don’t know me, and that includes prospecting cold. My advice is to have a genuine concern for people. It’s easier to take action when you’re genuinely passionate about what you’re doing. 

2. Use a professional email address

You should only cold email with a professional email address. I’m talking about the [email protected] types of email addresses rather than the Gmail or Yahoo free alternatives.

This one’s pretty easy when you think about it from the client’s perspective. Would you entrust your money to [email protected]? Hard pass!

While it does require budgeting for hosting expenses, it’s a worthwhile investment for the committed Virtual Financial Advisor™.

3. Read lots of emails

According to Malcolm Gladwell’s research, it takes about 10,000 hours to become incredibly good at something. 

Now, 10,000 hours is a lot of time in the realm of reading emails. But the point is we get better at things we practice. I encourage you to read as many emails as possible, especially the ones sent to you cold. 

Then, and this is important, think about the subtleties. What makes you delete certain emails? What attracts you to others? Use the education to better your cold emails. 

4. Develop clear and concise messages

Get to the point. Hook them in by mentioning large numbers to grab attention. But be careful not to make the email too long.

People will delete your emails if you don’t get to the point. They don’t know you, and they’ll probably care less about what you have to say. 

Consider how people have limited attention spans even for things they’re actually interested in. Think social media scrolling. Moreover, findings in a 2015 study show how the average attention span has dropped to eight seconds

You have less than eight seconds to catch their attention! Use it wisely. 

5. Go for small commitments 

Your goal is to get the highest response rate possible, and you can do that by going for small commitments. Examples are a quick 15-minute chat, subscribing to a list, or responding with a “yes.”

Don’t try selling right off the bat – that’s the wrong way to think about it. While you could potentially hit home runs by doing this, you’re also abolishing a significant amount of leads. These may be people who would’ve been quality clients with enormous potential. 

So when drafting your emails, the goal is to connect with the person. Try not to overwhelm them with data, deadlines, or even long emails. Like I said, keep your messages clear and concise. 

6. Create multiple templates

Recognize that people have different preferences and personalities. Different people like different things, and that goes for email templates. Some styles will work better with others. 

Fortunately, technology makes it easier to create multiple templates and scripts. You can try changing the tone, using emojis, and so on, without sacrificing branding and identity. Modern software can automate sending varying templates, plus they have A/B testing and custom fields. This brings us nicely to the next tip, custom fields for a personal touch. 

7. Take advantage of custom fields for that personal touch

Parts of the email you can, and should, personalize with custom fields include the subject line and introduction. Using your client’s name in either the subject line or as part of the intro is best practice. 

Famous copywriter Joseph Sugarman highlights how the first sentence aims to get people to read the second sentence. While the purpose of the second is to read the third. And so on. 

In other words, if you start with shabby and generic subject lines and introductions, then the reader’s probably not going to read the rest of the email. To them. it will feel like they’re just another name on a list. 

8. Be mindful of spam-like actions

Make sure you’re compliant with the FTC’s CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business. You can send emails to strangers as long as you abide by the rules. There are a whole host of considerations to remember, but the gist is to avoid spam-like actions. 

Here are some bullets to think about. You can also find the list here:

  • Use your real name
  • Include your complete contact information in the email
  • You should have customized content for that person
  • Have a call-to-action (but no significant commitments)

Also, to remove further suspicion from the client, never send cold emails with attachments. Plus, you should include the full URL when sending links to strangers. Doing both will lessen any mistrust the reader may have about you. 

On a fundamental level, this is really about removing doubt. Never misrepresent who you are, and always have an opt-out option for those who do subscribe. 

9. Check for grammatical errors

Plain and simple, you will lose credibility by having grammatical errors. Always recheck your work. A handy trick is to read your emails out loud. It’s surprising how many mistakes you catch by doing this. Another tip is to take a break before rereading your draft. And still, another is to outsource the work to a copywriting expert. 

Over time, you’ll develop your own strategies. But the point is to make sure you avoid simple errors.

10. Have multiple ways of contact

The reason you’ll want to have options is simple — it makes it easy for people to contact you. 

Not everyone will want to connect via email. Some people prefer to respond with a call, through chat, or in person. Even a Virtual Financial Advisor™ should have multiple channels of contact! 

That is why your signature should have your phone number, LinkedIn profile, website, and business address. Make the process of communicating with you as easy as possible. 

11. Send yourself a test email

Reading a draft versus actually getting an email can lead to two vastly different experiences. A test email helps you see how people actually experience receiving your message. 

Does it stand out against the hundreds of unread messages? Is the subject line click-worthy? Are your margins aligned? How’s the load speed?

12. Create a cold email sequence 

You already know that several prospects will ignore your first email. This is where a drip campaign can be effective. 

I like spreading out five emails over a month. If they still ignore your message, then it’s time to make a judgment call on whether or not to prune your list. 

13. Don’t leave your clients waiting

Now that you’ve got people responding to your emails (Way to go!), one important rule is to never leave your clients waiting. 

There are many ways of doing this. You could hire a virtual assistant or maybe set up automated responses. You could even do both. Just make sure you respond quickly. 

Also, the quick responses show a level of professionalism that’s apparently related to high-quality work. Deloitte’s 2021 investment management outlook describes how numerous clients relate technological prowess in customer interactions with skill in the investment management process. This is an excellent way of manifesting your capabilities as a Virtual Financial Advisor™.

14. The fortune is in the follow-up

One huge advantage of having systems, or structures, designed specifically for financial advisors is that you don’t miss follow-ups. Well-planned follow-ups are effective at keeping you top of mind. Therefore, it’s good to have scheduled follow-throughs even before sending your first email. 

A good system also tracks the results of your campaigns. Are open rates better at certain times of the day? Do prospects tend to respond better to certain subject lines?

Iterate to Great

Prospecting through cold emails is a continuous and iterative process. While it isn’t the best technique to get leads, it’s still a method you’ll want to include in your arsenal. You never know how things will work out.

Jeremiah Desmarais

Jeremiah Desmarais

Jeremiah is the founder and CEO of Advisorist® and is a 23-time award winning financial marketer, a TED speaker and philanthropist. He’s been featured on Forbes, CNN, and Worth. His work has generated over $2 million insurance leads and helped advisors in over 51 countries generate over $300 million in sales commissions. He is the author of the best selling book, SHIFT.

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