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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Hourihan

All About Email Marketing Strategies for 401(k) Advisors

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

In our ever-connected digital world, email is an essential part of conducting business. Whether you are communicating with clients, conducting new business or reading the latest news articles, it all happens over email.

Email marketing enables you to easily promote your advisory services while keeping your contact list educated and informed. You can use email marketing to build relationships with current clients, generate leads and earn new business. But it can be challenging to stand out in inboxes.

To maximize your email marketing efforts, there are some strategies you can use that will help ensure your emails stand out in everyone’s inboxes. From leveraging personalized messages to useful content curation, utilizing these tips should provide invaluable results when it comes to acquiring new business or building stronger connections with existing customers.

Let's take a look at a few strategies that can help you get the most out of your email marketing efforts.

Subject Line

Crafting the perfect email subject line for the maximum open rate that engages your 401(k) list is both an art and a science. As a 401(k) advisor, the subject line should speak to your audience and how your email information is going to serve them. Here are a few examples:

  • Select 401(k) investments made easier

  • FAQs to help manage 401(k) plan fees

  • How much is employee stress costing you?

From a technical standpoint, the email subject line should be 7 words or less and below 40 characters. It should contain helpful words such as “can, do, important” and avoid negative words such as “money, free” which can trigger spam filters. By staying within these parameters, your email recipient can easily read the full subject line on their phone, desktop, watch or tablet, allowing them to understand what the email is about so they can make an informed decision to open it.

Preview Text

Give the people what they want – a taste. Entice readers with a snippet, so they’ll be tempted to open your email. Ideal preview text is less than 10 words or 90 characters.

Greeting Tag

A greeting tag in your email is like a handshake for communication. It lets the recipient know you're taking the time to communicate with them directly. Not only that, but most email providers make adding this tiny personalization incredibly easy and straightforward. So don't forget to include a greeting tag within your email.


You may be surprised to learn the recommended email length is short and sweet. The ideal word count is between 50 – 125. That’s about 6 sentences. Within that space, you should be able to explain what the email is about, the value your content delivers and how you can support.

Retirement Plan Topic

Right now is a great time to be a 401(k) advisor because there is an abundance of retirement plan topics. From the new SECURE 2.0 legislation to financial wellness trends to total reward strategies, the points of view are endless. Take advantage of all these topics and create content that seeks to inform, educate and delight your readers.

Focus on one topic per email and try to keep it under 125 words so readers won't feel overwhelmed by information overload. Avoid using jargon or overly technical language; instead, strive for an easy-to-read tone that will engage plan sponsors without alienating them.

Call to Action

Finally, at the end of the email, make sure to include a call-to-action (CTA). This could be something as simple as "Click Here to Learn More" or "Schedule a Consultation." A strong call to action conclusion should tell the readers what they will get once they click. Aim for 2 – 5 words. Place your call to action in an easy-to-see place and use a different color button to draw the eye to it.


Creating a unique and recognizable email template is key to delivering professional outreach. Incorporate your firm's logo, brand colors, font type and imagery into the design for the maximum visual impact that complements your message. Standardizing this look will make it easier to create an impression of trustworthiness with each individual you reach out to.


Another best practice is to include an email banner customized to the enclosed content. This helps the reader understand what the email is about and creates a strong connection to your brand. The banner should be a jpeg file that is approximately 650 x 150 pixels and less than 80 KB. This will fill out the email look and the lightweight design allows for easy inbox delivery.

Email marketing can be a powerful tool for advisors who want to grow their client base and stay connected with existing clients. By crafting catchy subject lines, creating engaging yet concise content and personalizing messages whenever possible, you can ensure that your emails stand out in inboxes and drive results for your advisory business. With these strategies in mind, you'll be well on your way to success!

Thanks for reading!

About Us

401(k) Marketing is the modern marketing agency for the retirement plan industry. We are proud to support our clients through custom engagements, content marketing campaigns, sales material innovations, thought-leadership consulting, interactive workshops and speaking events. Our mission is to empower the retirement plan industry with high-quality marketing, ultimately inspiring Americans to become financially prepared for their future.

Retirement Plan Marketing is the solution for retirement plan advisors looking for an ongoing and scalable marketing process to generate awareness, streamline sales opportunities and earn more 401(k) business. This comprehensive, strategy driven marketing program includes digital content and sales material specifically designed to help retirement plan professionals attract the right decision makers.


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