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Advisor tip: Stop using Outlook for e-mail marketing

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E-mail marketing should be a standard part of every advisor’s marketing strategy. Unfortunately, many advisors confuse the ability to send hundreds of e-mails through Outlook as “e-mail marketing.” Advisors who use this program put themselves at risk of violating the federal CAN-SPAM Act and also exposing private client e-mail addresses to their entire e-mail database if they don’t properly blind carbon copy recipients.

Luckily, this risk can be mitigated by using an e-mail marketing system such as Constant Contact or MailChimp. These systems such provide:

  • Visually appealing HTML e-mail templates that are available for immediate use.
  • Tools to create custom templates based on your brand.
  • Inserts an “unsubscribe” button in every e-mail sent, ensuring you are in compliance with one of the CAN-SPAM rules that requires senders to honor opt-out requests.
  • Records of the list of contacts who were sent each e-mail as well as the names of recipients who opened the e-mail.
  • The ability to create links and forms that can be added to your website.
  • The segmentation of contacts into different groups (e.g. clients, prospects, COIs) allowing customized e-mails for each group.
  • Reports that include information such as who opened the e-mail, who clicked on links within the e-mail and which e-mail addresses are no longer valid.
  • The ability to merge data into the body of an e-mail such as first name, last name, location, anniversary date, etc for personalized e-mails.

Before you send out your next marketing e-mail to your hundreds of contacts in Outlook, think about the benefits of switching to an e-mail marketing system. Not only do your e-mails look more professional, you can track the success of the e-mail and mitigate your risk.

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Kristen Luke is the principal of Wealth Management Marketing, Inc., a firm dedicated to providing marketing strategies and support for Registered Investment Advisory firms. Her firm enables independent advisors the ability to market with the same quality and consistency as their larger competitors by providing the resources of an entire marketing department at a fraction of the cost of a single employee. For more information, visit