Chris Englebert: Senior Investment Counselor, Beirnie Wealth Consulting

Chris started his career in finance in 1984 and noticed that many in the industry have been slow to adapt to modern ways of connecting and communicating.

Chris was eager to find a way to stay ahead of the curve and innovate went out seeking marketing and engagement solutions to help him improve his customer service, retain more clients, and ultimately continue to grow his business.

We’ve noticed a lift in our 401(k) plan participant engagement… they’re more likely to take action.

His team signed up for a video email marketing service called BombBomb. “Since utilizing this video email service, we’ve noticed an eye-opening lift in our 401(k) plan participant engagement.”

Engagement is always a good sign, but the real victory is when you begin to see improvement in action. “Participants open our emails with videos at a significantly higher rate than emails without videos. More importantly, they’re more likely to take action, whether it’s a first time investor in the plan or increased participation for existing participants.”

We believe human interaction is the key to this email marketing success.

Chris credited the success of the videos to their human touch. “Of course, there is a ‘wow’ factor, as most participants have never received such videos, but we believe human interaction is the key to this email marketing success.”

His company even collaborated on a case study to look at the impact of the video emails. “Of the 300 participants, 135 of them opened the email (45 percent open rate) and of the 135 people that opened the email, 45 of them watched the video (33 percent click through rate).” These are great rates in the world of marketing, which shows that Chris had a good pulse on what mattered to his audience.

The open rates and CTRs weren’t the only success. The play rates were also great. Chris suggested this was a red flag that the finance industry needs to take better steps to improve communication and provide better educational resources that meet the modern demands of their clienteles’ lifestyles.

“As part of our study, we discovered that approximately 10 percent of participants that requested a contribution analysis took some kind of an action as a next step. This demonstrates a need out there for 401(k) participant education and communication. These tools could possibly be a way to communicate better to participants.”

Chris used BombBomb to do just that. He sent an email to his 401(k) participants and suggested a couple ways to take better advantage of the services and benefits they might not have otherwise been aware of, like company matching programs, contribution analysis, and market outlook reviews.”The BombBomb software not only keeps a permanent record of each video for compliance purposes, but it also tracks if the email bounced back, was delivered, or was opened and played. It also timestamps when the email is opened and records the number of times the email was opened and played. Many times within minutes of sending the email, we got a notification on my smart phone that the email was opened and played. It is a very interesting exercise to see how many people actually opened and played the email. What surprised us was the number of individuals that opened and played the email video on Friday or Saturday night at 10 pm.”

To compliment the video marketing efforts and improve service to their participants, Chris and his team also introduced an app.

It allows us to track downloads, open rate and the path the participant took on the app.

“We encourage participants to download it onto their smartphone. This app has my contact information and provides several ways to contact me via phone, email or even text. Similar to the BombBomb software, it allows us to track downloads, open rate and the path the participant took on the app.”

The response to the app has been awesome.

Chris and his team shared the app via email to his 401(k) participants and highlighted all the various benefits that they could receive from downloading the app.

Within minutes, they were on their phones, downloading, sharing and opening my app.

“The response to the app has been awesome. I recently did a participant ‘flyby meeting’ where I stop in and do an informal visit to share the participant’s current statements. I happened to catch five employees in the break room and showed them my app. Within minutes, they were on their phones, downloading, sharing and opening my app. It looked like a bunch of grownups playing Pokeman Go.”

I am happy to see that what we are doing is actually driving results.

Introducing a little technology to his company differentiates Chris’ business from his competitors and demonstrates to his participants that his team cares about the value they are able to deliver to them.

“I am a big believer that technology is going to improve our service delivery, especially with 401(k)s, and I am happy to see that what we are doing is actually driving results.”

Here’s an example of the email he sent to his 401(k) participants featuring his new CardTapp app:Dear 401(k) Participant,

I am excited to share with you a new and innovative way that I can be even more connected with my clients! I now have an app that you can install on your smartphone!

If you are interested in this tool and would like to have Chris Englebert at your fingertips, please go to the following link on your computer: https://cenglebert.cardtapp.com/. After clicking on the link, you will be instructed on how you can send the app for Chris Englebert to your iPhone or Android. This app will provide you with access to my contact information, a referral mechanism, a service request button, an overview of our lines of business, my biography, news from Market Watch and my weekly market commentary right at your fingertips.

Once my app is installed on your smartphone, you will be able to contact me via phone, email or even text message! This app is a way for Beirne Wealth Consulting Services, LLC (BWC) to provide even better service to our clients.

If you do take the opportunity to try this new and innovative app, please let me know what you think. We, at BWC, always appreciate feedback from our clients on how we can best serve you! Please tell us when you have suggestions on how we can improve and if there is something that we are doing that you are excited about.

Thank you for giving me and my team the opportunity to serve you as a client.

Sincerely,
Christopher P. Englebert

Quotes from article was originally published at 401k Specialist Magazine.