Shareholder strategy coming through loud and clear

Wed 21 May 2014

Mark Bullen talks about evolving communications content.

Mark Bullen, Equiniti’s Director, Share Registration Services on evolving communications content and impact to get shareholders to take positive action 

We have invested a lot of effort into implementing shareholder strategies with many of our clients, which encourage shareholders to embrace ‘good shareholder behaviour’ like e-communication and BACS mandating. But how do you address the challenges that quickly arise once the most willing, early adopters have given their authority?

One such challenge is the public’s changing view of email as their communication channel of choice. Where we were once bombarded with paper junk mail, we now experience a barrage of daily junk emails. But, whereas a letter could simply be torn up and put in the bin, junk email can pose a real threat to an individual’s security, especially those less comfortable with technology.

Understandably, our clients and shareholders are concerned about this, which we predict will have an increasingly negative impact on take-up response rates. To help us move forward, we have undertaken a number of surveys with clients and their shareholders. Feedback has told us that we need to give our clients shareholders choice. This makes perfect sense when you consider the following. When shareholders receive separate requests to consider e-communication and BACS sign-up, they are more likely to choose to accept at least one of these options. More often than not, combined requests don’t fare well, and we tend to get very low response.
We sought the help of a professional communications consultancy and learnt a great deal in terms of the value of intelligent communications can have, when they are clear, focused and use targeted messaging.

The art is in the skill of the design and content management, readers have little time, and in the world where scam threats are increasing, they are on alert perhaps to see the negative sooner than the positive. 
Of course cost control is important but we don’t need to spend more. Instead, by deploying our analytical capabilities and intelligent segmentation with our improved communication skills, a separated request to shareholders for action can be clearly defined within the same mailing. This way we can avoid the ‘all or nothing’ response. And by doing this, I am confident we will maintain the momentum we have jointly created in recent years at a time when stimulating shareholders to respond with positive action is getting harder.

Our clients’ take-up of BACS/SCRIP/DRIP/E-comm and Nominee is at such a level, those who aren’t represented by Equiniti are envious. What this tells us is that we are experts in implementing shareholder management and communications strategies and in recent years, we have seen a lot of evidence to back this up.

We are not complacent. We’re investing further in our Management Information and communication capabilities, which is of huge benefit to our clients. With this in mind, we will continue to add increasing value to our customers and shareholders by:

• Improved insight and segmentation
• Increasing the quality and range of our skills
• Gaining a better understanding of shareholders’ requirements, recognising their need for choice, education and guidance, and improving their experience so they have trust in every interaction
• Positively addressing resistance through better communications.

By continuing to drive for further shareholder engagement now, we are positive that we will protect your future shareholder management cost budgets.

For more information on this topic please contact mark.bullen@equiniti.com
or your relationship manager.

Email

The Keep Me Posted campaign is calling for the protection of consumers’ rights to choose how they receive communications. Keep Me Posted Chair, Judith Donovan, says the campaign was set up because it was felt that the dash to digital, both by private companies and by the government, was in danger of leaving large sections of society behind.

She says: “I saw how important it was for consumers, particularly disadvantaged or disabled consumers, or consumers living in remote areas, to have the reassurance of the postal service and access to communications through the post. I also understand the power paper and post have to protect and build customer relationships. It is in the best interests of a company to give their customers an informed choice.”

 

For more information visit http://www.keepmeposteduk.com