Marketing when the market’s down

In the midst of a fairly normal evening last night, I decided to email my financial advisor. Not a long note… just a quick bit of unsolicited marketing advice to a friend.

My advice wasn’t at all revolutionary – you’ll notice below that it’s actually rather basic. But, he took the advice and acted on it today… meanwhile, I’ve asked at least 20 people if they’ve heard from their financial guy / gal in the past 48hrs and the only people who said yes are also clients of my advisor.

All this to say, not every marketing idea has to be earth-shattering or cost thousands… sometimes it’s enough to just be helpful and caring.

Here’s the exchange.
I said…

—–Original Message—–

From: Carman Pirie

Sent: Mon 1/21/2008 9:11 PM


Subject: today’s market events

Hi XXXX…. just a quick thought… today’s volatility in the markets has a lot of people on edge – all of your clients, in fact. This is the perfect time to send a personal, relevant note to them via email and give them your honest thoughts on what’s going on…. sure, you may well have to include a legal line to limit liability, but a nice explanation from a steady hand on the wheel would be very appreciated and worth talking about. If I received something like that tonight, I’d talk about it to my colleagues tomorrow.

This is the sort of value added information that goes a long way… the market-speak newsletters that are originally generated by fund marketers are generally a waste of people’s time and attention.

I hope you don’t mind the unsolicited advice…. I just thought you might find it helpful.

cheers, cp

oh, and PS…. should I be worried about what tiny amount of cash I have invested?!?

He replied…

From: XXXX

Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2008 16:49:37 -0400

To: Carman Pirie

Conversation: today’s market events

Subject: RE: today’s market events

Hi Carman

Your note stopped me in my tracks and I have just finished a note to all our clients which we are sending out this afternoon. Thanks for your email, let me know what you think.


Lastly, the client note was written in a warm, human tone… with none of the analyst babble. Rather refreshing, IMHO.

Previously posted on


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