Why It Matters:
  • Americans are exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 messages per day.
  • Your clients’ inboxes are much like yours— full of junk.
  • There are simple steps you can take to reach clients through the “noise.”

The angle of your chair back. The brightness level of your screen. The subtle clacking of coworkers typing away on keyboards.

Chances are, you weren’t focusing on these things until I pointed them out. Our brains have a remarkable talent for tuning out “noise,” the multitude of stimuli we face every day — whether physical or digital. Your clients are no different.

Now, add to the mix the presence of an always-on digital world, and it’s no surprise many of your communications with clients (both current and prospective) could be falling on deaf ears. So what can you do about it?

Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab founder and director Joseph Coughlin, Ph.D., challenges those who offer a service — including financial professionals — to provide consumers with relevant, easy-to-understand solutions that remove any guesswork.

“There is so much digital noise coming to the consumer in such a way we’ve got to prioritize it for them,” Coughlin told Transamerica. “Studies have been done around helicopter and fighter pilots. They have so much


at them, they have to be able to have the discipline to know what’s critical and how to give it the most attention.”

Considering most of your clients likely aren’t fighter pilots, we suggest trying these strategies to help break through the noise:

Make every email count: You may assume that the more information you send clients, the more value you provide, but consider the state of their inboxes. It could be hard to distinguish the important stuff from the not-so-important. When you take on new clients, consider telling them upfront that you don’t often send emails, but when you do, it will be important information that needs their immediate attention. If this doesn’t work for their communication style, nail down another method that does (phone calls, texts, etc.).

Add a personal touch: Chances are, your clients’ inboxes are much like your own — full of junk. Consider adding “you” or another personalized element to your subject lines to help stick out from the clutter. For example: “Have you talked to your parents about their financial stability?” Or “Are you paying too much in investment fees?” Or take it one step farther. If you’re sending something highly personalized, use clients’ first name in the subject line. That way they know you’re speaking directly to them and not a mass group. Consider keeping notes in each client’s file of how to best communicate to ensure you always connect.

Get to the point:Americans are exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 messages per day. With so much competing for your clients’ attention, you should make your point quickly before they tune out. Structure your communications with the most pressing information upfront, followed by supporting details or related information. In addition, make the desired call to action clear and easy to accomplish.To further strengthen your client communications, read our post on phrases clients prefer.

Things to Consider:
  • Every client is different. Establish the best form of contact early in your relationship.
  • Clients are overwhelmed with messages. Cut through the noise by personalizing your email subject lines.
  • Attention spans are shorter than ever. To avoid drop-off, structure your communications with the most pressing information upfront.