How to Build a Drip Email Series that Will Engage the Right Prospects for Your Advisory Firm

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Marketing automation has changed the way advisors bring in prospects. Yet so many advisors fail to remember the “automation” part, which makes the whole process so much easier. Building an email drip campaign is the first step toward automating part of your marketing funnel. Before we jump into how to build a drip email series that will engage the prospects you want, let’s do a quick primer on a couple marketing phrases you’ll need to know. If you already know this stuff, feel free to jump down to “So What Should Your Drip Campaign Look Like?”

Drip Campaign This is marketing speak for an email series that automatically “drips” on prospects for a predetermined period of time. If you’ve ever downloaded something and then received a couple follow-up emails from the company over the next week, then you’re more familiar with drip campaigns than you think. It might sound cheap and impersonal, but drip campaigns have been proven to increase the number of sales-ready leads by as much as 50 percent. Using an email marketing system like Mailchimp or Hubspot, you (or an assistant or intern) can easily build a drip campaign based on pretty much any trigger – the most common is typically when visitors download a resource like an ebook or fact sheet, but you can also create drip campaigns to follow up after you visit with someone in person or they use your contact form. After visitors perform one of those actions, you can automatically send another email a few days later, followed by another a few days after that. The content of those follow-up emails is up to you (but we’ll talk about best practices later on, so stick around).

CTA (Call To Action) This is the button, link or sentence that calls the prospect to perform a desired action. Some of the most common CTAs you’ll see out there are:

  • Download Now
  • Subscribe
  • Contact Us
  • Register
  • Click here to learn more about (services, event, firm, etc.)

So What Should Your Drip Campaign Look Like?


Three emails is typically the sweet spot for investors. Less than that and you might miss out on an opportunity; more and they could get annoyed.


Keep in mind that the point of a drip campaign is to write the content all at once, and then set up workflows to automatically send them emails over the course of a week or two that will move them further down your marketing/sales funnel. In other words, you don’t want to just send them three emails that all say, “Hey, let’s talk!” With that in mind, let’s begin:

Quick note: Everything is easier with a template! That’s why we created a customizable drip campaign document for you. Click here to download it, then plug in your firm’s name and a couple other items to set up your drip campaign.

Email 0 – Here’s Your Download, a.k.a., the Autoresponder

This one is easy, but you don’t want to forget it. When someone requests a resource, this is the email that sends it to them. If your current process links visitors directly to their content rather than sending it to them in an email, you might want to consider going the email route. For starters, it cuts down on the number of people who give you fake email addresses, not to mention that it helps establish a precedent for future emails. When writing this one, remember the email’s purpose: to provide their requested resource. Don’t lead in with a long greeting or history of your firm. The link to the resource should be in the second sentence, if not the first.

After you’ve given them what they asked for, add in a brief CTA to contact you with any questions. It is very tempting to launch into your whole value proposition here. After all, they asked for a resource, so you already have their attention. Why not hit them with everything you’ve got? The simple answer is this: they’re probably not going to read it. Go ahead and add it in if you want, but you are more than likely wasting your breath (and possibly getting on their nerves). When someone gets a resource download email, 99 percent of the time they’re going to click the link and ignore the rest of the email. If you put your entire spiel here and are counting on it to bring great results, you’ll be sorely disappointed.


Hi, Thanks for your interest in our (resource). Click here to download it now (this sentence should be hyperlinked). After reading this resource, if you want to learn more about (insert topic of resource), feel free to reply to this email or use the contact info contained in the resource you downloaded to schedule a complimentary consultation. Take care, (Signature)

Email 1 – Checking in, a.k.a., “The Feeler”

Once you are beyond the Autoresponder, you want to tread lightly. You’re now in “I didn’t subscribe to anything, I just wanted one resource” territory. Your readers could very easily and justifiably become annoyed by any emails beyond the one that contained their resource. That’s why it’s so important that you play it cool. You’re just checking in – putting out some feelers – to see if they’d be interested in talking sometime. Come on too strong and they’ll unsubscribe or, even worse, mark your email as spam. “Slow play” is the name of the game here. You’re just letting them know that you have a lot more information on their subject if they want to talk about it sometime. No pressure. We’re all friends here.

Pro tip: Create a template for several different complimentary review types that fit in with your resources. Say someone downloads a resource on retirement income, offer them a “Complimentary Retirement Income Review” in this first email. If you have scheduling software like Calendly or Acuity, be sure to set these up as separate events to make sure your prospects know this is not just your normal complimentary consultation – this is a special offer.

Pro tip #2: Make sure this complimentary consultation is sincere. Create a legit structure for the different types of reviews. The worst thing you can do is offer your prospects one thing and then deliver another. That’s a shaky foundation for a professional relationship.


Hi, I noticed you downloaded (name of resource) the other day. This is one of my favorite resources because it so clearly lays out the connection between (topic) and your financial future. Regardless, no single resource could answer all of your questions, so it is completely normal to be left with lingering questions. I’m always interested in learning more about people’s individual goals and financial situations, so if you ever want to chat, I’m all ears. Feel free to reach me at this email or call our office anytime. In addition, we’re currently offering a complimentary, 30-minute Retirement Income Review that touches on several of the topics in (name of resource). I think you would find it valuable. Click here to schedule a time to talk (hyperlink to Calendly/Acuity/contact page). Take care, (Signature) P.S. If you missed the resource in my last email, click here to download it now (hyperlink this sentence).

Email 2 – Here’s Something Else, a.k.a., “The BTW”

So you’ve sent them the Autoresponder and then, a few days later, followed up with The Feeler. Now it’s time for the ol’ “By-the-Way,” or “BTW.” This is where you send them another resource (preferably a blog – not a downloadable resource, so you get them on to your site) related to their original topic of interest. For instance, say they originally downloaded a resource called “5 Essential Elements of a Successful Retirement Income Plan,” in this email you would follow up with an email that points them to a blog on a topic not included in the original resource – maybe it’s an article on when they should claim Social Security or how to navigate Required Minimum Distributions.

Regardless of what article you link them to, keep this email short (in fact, keep them all short). You’re just reaching out because you thought they might like this article. No spiels allowed. Sure, include a link to schedule a time to talk, but leave it at that.


Hi, Hope all is well. I just wanted to send along an article I thought you’d be interested in since you downloaded our resource on (topic) the other day. This article speaks to (topic) from a different perspective (go on to explain how this covers another aspect of the topic that the original resource didn’t). Click here to read more (hyperlink this sentence). If you haven’t scheduled your complimentary, 30-minute Retirement Income Review, click here to reserve a time. I would love to learn more about your current situation and where you are on the path to accomplishing your goals. Take care, (Signature)

Email 3 – Before I Go, a.k.a., “The Final Word”

At last, we come to the final email in your drip campaign. This is where you check in one last time to make sure they know you’re available whenever they want to talk. Now is the time to let them know how your services fit in with their needs.


Hi, I just wanted to check in one last time to see if you’re interested in talking about your retirement income plan. I hope you enjoyed (resource title). If you missed it in the original email, here it is again (hyperlink to the resource). Here at (firm name), we… (this is where you insert your value proposition that lets the prospect know that you are the one who can help them address their financial planning issues. Resist the urge to talk about yourself, your firm, and all the awards you have won. Instead, talk about the challenges of retirement income planning and how you can help them overcome them.) I have a couple open slots for our complimentary, 30-minute Retirement Income Review this coming week. Click here to save your spot now (hyperlink this sentence). Talk to you soon, (Signature)

It’s as simple as that! Before we go, here are a few additional tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure the emails come from an email address that you or someone on your team regularly monitors. You definitely don’t want to accidentally ignore any prospects who raise their hands. I would highly recommend setting up a Helpscout/Slack integration (or something similar) for just this purpose so you never leave a prospect high and dry.
  • Ideally, these emails will come from one person, but teams often aren’t comfortable with one advisor representing everyone. If that’s true for your team, it’s okay to send these from “The (Firm Name) Team” with an email address like
  • Everything is easier with a template! That’s why we created a customizable drip campaign document for you. Click here to download it, then plug in your firm’s name and a couple other items, then set up your drip campaign.

That’s it! Remember, these emails are intended to help move prospects down the funnel, not close them. Take a light approach, stay calm, and you should start seeing prospects come in soon!

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The Financial Advisor's Guide to Effective Marketing

The Financial Advisor's Guide to Effective Marketing

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