How Soon Will Asset Managers Be Texting Advisors?

If financial advisors are planning to communicate with their clients via text in the next five years—as reported in recent InvestmentNews research—will they also be expecting to text with fund companies?

Here’s the survey data that prompts the question. InvestmentNews also reports that 20% of surveyed investors under the age of 45 expect to be communicating with their advisors via text in five years. 

Note that direct, personal communicating via text is practically swapping places with communicating via U.S. postal mail.

In a May post, BlueLeaf made the argument for the convenience of advisor/client texting:  

“You have a very busy day on the road, but need to contact your client about something quick. You don’t want to call and leave a voicemail in the chance that they won’t listen to it in time (or at all). Email’s no good either, as they could potentially miss important information about your upcoming meeting. You need a tool that will help you to make immediate contact to leave your brief message.

All of the above could apply to wholesaler-to-financial advisor communicating. Texting provides for a direct, time-sensitive communication that other means don't.

And, I dare say (and the reason for the mention of SMS messaging here), Marketing might well tiptoe into permission-based texting.

But in five years? Five years in this industry is like tomorrow in others. Is it on your firms’ roadmap?

I’m aware of firms that offer text messaging capability related to: 

  • Shareholder accounts (see T. Rowe Price)
  • Retirement accounts (see Vanguard)
  • Retirement account enrollment via text (see The Principal)
  • The availability of market and economic commentary (see Northern Trust)
  • A whole host of commentary and reports and fund event options (see Fidelity

This is almost the same list of automated content pushes that I offered in my 2012 blog post on the topic. I haven’t heard a peep yet about firms adding SMS to their call center support, enabling wholesaler-to-advisor texting or organizing for opt-in marketing communications by text.

Not A Regulatory Concern

Evidently, texting does not break new regulatory ground.

“We haven't talked about text messaging in a while,” says Theresa Hamacher, president of NICSA. “It doesn't seem to present any new areas of concern from a regulatory standpoint. My sense is that texts and emails are lumped together and handled similarly. Social media is a much bigger issue, since it's more public and harder to capture.”

How would a regulated enterprise support one-to-one (as opposed to automated) texting? I found this 2011 video about a SalesForce app that will help you visualize how a CRM might enable the communication, in the same way that a CRM supports Sales' emails. This is just for illustration, note. I know nothing about SMS Magic and have no idea whether this developer's storage of the outgoing and incoming text messages would meet FINRA recordkeeping requirements.

For Wholesalers' Best Clients

In fact, wholesalers today are using text but “only for their best clients with whom they have a relationship,” according to Rob Shore, founder of Wholesaler Masterminds.

"The great wholesaler understands the various methods of effectively communicating with their advisors and, today, texting is one of those options. That said, if wholesalers launch into a texting dialogue without knowing that this form of outreach is welcomed by the advisor it will backfire. Spam texts are more invasive than spam emails," Shore says.

True that, Rob.

(I appreciated being able to create the images above on, but future asset manager texting will almost certainly take place on 4G-plus devices.)  

Cross-Functional And Complex

Mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) marketers are well aware of 1)the high reliance of advisors and investors on their phones and 2)the immediacy and impact that text messages have. In fact, these SMS messaging stats have been cited so frequently that the date and the source have long since been shed: Reportedly, 98% of text messages are read and responded to within 1.5 minutes versus 2.5 days for email.

Texting offers the potential to improve the relevance, timeliness and even usefulness of what's being communicated. At the same time, preparations for texting will need to be cross-functional and will be complex. My assumption is that these are in the works at least a few firms.

Do you work for the rare firm that has established an SMS capability already? If so, please let us all know below. Others' thoughts are welcome, too.


Nobody Gets The Last Word—An Investment Content Remixing Case Study

Sometimes when you’re a big ole brand producing high-quality communications containing data and insights of the intellectual capabilities of your quants and eggheads around the globe...well, there’s the tendency for the communications to have a certain finality to them. As in, what you have to say is the last word on the subject. 

But the whole notion of having the last word is contrary to taking part in a conversation. Broad participation from everybody—global asset managers, financial advisors, the media, investors, Occupy Wall Street sympathizers—using social media platforms is what makes financial services discourse less predictable nowadays. 

Online “conversations” start when someone/anyone publishes something and somebody else notices and weighs in.

How does a piece of content spread? Just last week, an excellent post listed the several “elements that can form the catalyst for viral exposure." High viral content, according to blogger Kelsey Libert, is: 

  • Original, authentic and brave
  • Simple and concrete
  • Remixable and easy to remix
  • Validated from a few influential initial followers
  • Highly visible and initially exposed to a community of similar users
  • Speaks to the interests/values of the community it is shared within

The third element—remixable and easy to mix—was what gave me pause when I read the post. We don’t see a lot of remixing investment content.

But there was some remixing over the weekend. Thanks to Reformed Broker Josh Brown’s blogging about an “exchange that demonstrates the usefulness of a crowded and vibrant financial Twittersphere,” we have an instant case study.

It took place on Twitter, yes, and I agree with Brown’s points about the Twitter community. But there’s no reason to think that this couldn't happen with a blog post, a LinkedIn post or a YouTube video, assuming most of the elements are in place. 

Check the case study against Libert's list of what's required for viral exposure. 

A. Original, authentic and brave

J. Lyons Fund Management is an RIA with $10 million in AUM. It’s not unusual for the firm to comment on charts and data using its Twitter account @JLyonsFundMgmt (500 followers as of yesterday) and StockTwits account (almost 6,000 followers).

After the disappointing Q1 GDP (-2.96%) reported last week—the 17th worst in 50 years—the firm took a look at what happened to the economy after the earlier worst GDPs. A recession followed in every other instance, prompting the firm to wonder what would happen next. 


B. Simple and concrete

J. Lyons could have published the data and insights on its blog, and tweeted a link to it. Instead, it uploaded the table itself. Smart. And, the inclusion of the last column was genius. Ordinarily, you don’t need a separate column if every entry in every row is going to be the same value (Yes). But that column, along with the copy in the tweet, stimulated the conversation.

C. Validated from a few influential initial followers
D. Highly visible and initially exposed to a community of similar users
E. Speaks to the interests/values of the community it is shared within

The tweet was published early Saturday morning, and Brown (whose 78,000 followers are both influential and concentrated in the investment community) helped it along. As of Monday evening, the tweet had 64 retweets and was favorited 45 times.

F. Remixable and easy to remix

The tweet had some loft from Saturday to Sunday. On Sunday afternoon the Twitter account @MarginalCapital directed its own tweet to J. Lyons and Brown. Brown says he’s never heard of MarginalCapital and the account bio offers no more than mystique.

MarginalCapital remixed the J. Lyons data—in other words, ran some of its own data and added a fifth column.

The conversation continued, taking a different turn. While the J. Lyons data seemed to point to a recession and the accompanying negative outcomes, Marginal Capital tweeted, “What happens next is that the S&P500 is up 79% of the time in the year after.”

(I should probably note that the original data wasn’t really easy to remix because Marginal Capital needed to recreate the table. Oh, and the copyright line was dropped.)

A general tweet followed the tweet directed to J. Lyons and Brown. As of Monday evening, this tweet had received 36 retweets and was favorited 39 times.

By the end of Monday, at least one more RIA tweeted yet another chart it had produced in response and the original chart had inspired at least one blog post. J. Lyons and Brown passed those tweets on to their respective followers, too.

Keeping The Faith

There are a few things about this episode that just tickle me.

It’s pretty awesome that an RIA could surprise the investment community with an original report.

“Even most professionals—myself included—were probably not aware of this particular point," Brown writes.

I love the fact that the original tweet surfaced first on a Saturday morning and the response happened on a Sunday. When investment types have something new to say, there is no waiting for the work week to begin. What’s also instructive is that there were people paying attention at those times, too.

To be sure, marketers of investment content are a step removed from all this. You need somebody else to do the analysis and crunch the numbers, the results of which no doubt needs to be reviewed and approved along with the communication about it.

Process can slow us down but it doesn’t need to break our spirits. Hopefully, you always do your part to make the case for content that means enough to somebody that they’ll share it, challenge it or remix it. 

The last word? Who'd want it? No matter what its size, the firm that's willing to mix it up—including asking the community questions, taking in their input, doing their own validating—will be better off in the long term, I do believe.

Here’s to a safe and fireworks-filled Independence Day celebration with loved ones. I’ll be doing some IRL boat-rocking so please don't look for another post until the week of July 14.


Marketing At The Morningstar Conference: Finserv Goes Funserv

Instead of publishing a blog post related to asset management marketing last Thursday, I headed over to the Morningstar Investment Conference in Chicago (my hometown) to see what I could see in action. I didn’t expect to meet up with many marketers onsite, and didn’t, but I certainly saw a lot of your work.

What follows are a few random, ragged observations. The overall event itself was packed with information and opportunity. Congratulations to Morningstar's Leslie Marshall, Director – Events, Magazine and Social Media, and the entire conference team, and my thanks for having me as a guest.

MainStay: In It To Win It

MainStay Investments was at the conference to win it. The firm has had a great couple of years, and it’s a reasonable assumption that advisors would have more than a little interest in the MainStay booth. Why not test some cool tech to drive engagement?

In this video, Frank Ranu, Senior Associate, Social Media Digital and Creative Services, explains an innovative Morningstar-focused campaign that involves a box of Cracker Jack, a smartphone app (Taggar) and a woman who walks out from around the box of Cracker Jack to greet Morningstar attendees and encourage them to enter a contest.

This was a campaign with more than a few pieces, and Frank’s analytics suggest it was positively received.

A Slice Of Life

Over at the William Blair booth, my friend, former colleague and, I should say, current client John Jackson, Intermediary Marketing Manager, was leading with content—two-minute-ish video clips that are at the core of the firm’s Watch and learn alternatives campaign.

A single image doesn’t quite capture the effect of dynamic portfolio manager Brian Singer mid-delivery so I took a few rapid shots on my Android phone and let the Google+ Auto Awesome feature do the rest.

The result shows a slice of life in a fund company booth—Marketing does its job while the Sales guy does his.

Natty Marketer

After having been named the #1 fund family for 2013 performance in the annual Barron’s/Lipper Fund Family Ranking, Natixis took a victory lap by serving as principal sponsor of the conference. Natixis was everywhere, sponsoring the mobile app, the complimentary charging station, the beverage cups and the chewing gum.

We might have talked about all of that but when John Refford, Natixis Vice President, Strategic Marketing Technology, and I met up for the first time, I was drawn to his Pebble. The Pebble is a watch he helped fund on its first day on Kickstarter in 2012. John received it about a year later.

If wearable tech truly takes off in 2014, John has a headstart in familiarizing himself and thinking about its value for this space. Way to stay sharp, John.

Our Very Own Meme!

In opening the conference, Morningstar’s Kunal Kapoor, Head of Information Products and Client Solutions, promised an upbeat get-together. And, with the exception of some comments from selected portfolio managers, the conference delivered. At one point, Refford even invoked the term “funserv” in the #MICUS tweet stream.

Ironically (given the recent $50 billion outflows from PIMCO Total Return Fund), from the general session dais it was PIMCO’s Bill Gross who introduced levity. As Carlos Santana-esque music played, Gross took the stage wearing sunglasses and he even paused to check his cool factor out on the big screens.

It prompted some entertaining tweets, and finserv social media hit a new high when Michael Kitces posted this meme-worthy image. Animated gifs and selfies (see more below) followed. 

Asset Managers And Social Media?

When meeting up with like-minded people in the Social Media Lounge in the middle of the Exhibit Hall, the conversation naturally turned to the state of social media in the asset management industry. These are my latest thoughts, colored by what I saw at the conference.

Kudos To Morningstar For Leading The Way

I sincerely believe that Morningstar itself, led by Leslie Marshall, is to be credited with helping accelerate the awareness of and adoption of social media in the investment industry.

The origin of Morningstar’s business was in the compilation, standardization and distribution of fund data and analysis—basically making it easier for investors to understand and follow funds. Then Morningstar was easily the first investment industry publisher to seize on using social platforms to advance the exchange of insights using the new content formats.

Onsite during the event, it’s not just Leslie who works the #MICUS hashtag. It’s also the business leaders whose full-on participation gives the social channel added editorial cachet. This assures that the stream isn’t overrun by tweets promoting booth numbers and giveaways, and that’s important.

The level of engagement this year rounded out the content planners’ on-stage personas while also demonstrating their interest in how the audience is reacting to the content, accessible via the Twitter backchannel.  

Scott Burns, director of manager research and apparent master of ceremonies, had sent more than 30 tweets—some his own thoughts but many retweets of others’—in the first hour of the event. Then he sent this tweet, which made me smile. It's pretty obvious he's taken on tweeting as part of his job, too.

Just Half Of Presenting Asset Managers Have A Twitter Account…

By now, most of the largest asset management firms do something in social, even if it’s just a LinkedIn company page or YouTube channel with a video or two. But across-the-board adoption, best practices and accompanying gains in relevance and engagement? No, we’re not close yet.

Most of the presenters at the conference work for asset managers, and yet asset managers had little to say about their participation or their commentary on Twitter.

By my count, only half of the 27 presenters from asset management firms—and these firms were those selected by Morningstar analysts as being the most program-worthy in 2014, remember—hail from firms with Twitter accounts.

…And Most Of Those That Did Used Them For #MICUS Promotions

A few of the firms that have Twitter accounts used them and the #MICUS hashtag, but not always to the best effect.

If you’ve ever watched the tweet stream closely during an event, particularly during a general session event where most are focused on this one piece of content, it’s a bit jarring to see a promotional message (i.e., a notice about the swag available at a booth). Too many of those off-topic tweets were from firms that have much more to say but didn't.

Why were asset managers’ contributions to the conversation so marginalized?

For starters, let's consider why asset managers with Twitter accounts were mostly silent about what their presenters were sharing in Chicago.

Compliance issues would be my first guess. It does take some doing, including some of it in real-time, to use Twitter to share event content in addition to marketing updates. The possibility of being on the receiving end of tweets responding to the content has to be anticipated and planned for, too (even if the decision is to not respond). 

Below is a tweet that J.P. Morgan Funds had queued up and ready to go in support of its presenter. Note how the use of an image enables more to be said than can fit in 140 characters. There are ways to participate, as this example shows.

A second factor might be the siloed manner in which event participation is divvied up as opposed to coordinated. Marketing’s role is usually limited to the booth, any related social (in the physical world) events, maybe pre-event emails. The content to be presented is the province of the Investments professionals, who may be oblivious to Marketing's interest in it.

A third consideration may have to do with “ownership," internal governance of the account and how narrow and/or deep the owners feel is appropriate to go with tweets emanating from a single, mostly B-to-B conference.  

At the same time, there are also opportunities for non-presenters to take part in content conversations. By tracking the #MICUS hashtag, firms both in the Exhibit Hall and outside it could have weighed in with their own content contributions.

This business may be too genteel to expect any bond managers to have had Twitter fun with Bill Gross' sunglasses-wearing but maybe there was an exhibitor that could have offered him branded croakies, if that's still a thing. The dreamer in me wishes that Gross, no stranger to Twitter, would have commented on some of the post-keynote tweets. But none of that happened this year.

Morningstar delivered a vibrant, highly tracked backchannel. We'll have to wait for next year (that's just something we do in Chicago) to see whether more asset managers will find a way to capitalize on the natural opportunities that accrue from taking part in relevant conversations.

I’m not saying anything that most marketers don’t understand and agree with. It’s just another measure of where we are, and the extent to which the benefits of being social have yet to be inculcated within the industry.

Meet Some Of The Tribe

Finally, much of the energy at any conference has to do with people coming together, to learn and exchange ideas but also to see one another, for the first time or again.

So, let me go personal here and say how much fun it was to meet up with people who are active in finserv topics online. Since I’ve mentioned everyone in this photo on the blog at one point or another, I thought you might want to see an update to their avatars. More? Blane's animated gif is here.

Shown in the snapshot with me are:


A Few Ways To ‘Listen’ To Advisors

Listening is one of the easiest things a marketer can do. And, the concept behind it is rock-solid, uncontestable—taking a break from your own messaging to pay attention to what your clients have to say can sharpen your ability to communicate relevantly.

© Eric Isselée - Fotolia.comBut how do you actually do it? That’s not been so easy or obvious, at least prior to the availability of social platforms where some people participate and all can listen.

The prospect of listening has been intriguing to me for several years. Before Web 2.0, I made a habit of checking the Registered Rep message boards (anybody?) and the now departed Listening was the idea behind my 2009 development of, a Website that existed solely to publish the tweets of financial advisors (sold in July 2011 to Smarsh).

I’m still following lots of advisors and I manage to glean insights from what they’re saying. It’s a squishy undertaking, I’ll admit, and I’m always looking for more systematic ways to improve upon it.

Two Lists Do The Vetting

Good news: There have been two lists published in the last several weeks that make listening to advisors more easy and straightforward. Both lists are powered by BrightScope, whose business includes providing the first comprehensive and publicly available directory of financial advisors.

The list of the Top 100 Most Social Financial Advisors in the U.S. (2013), published on the BrightScope blog, is based on the BrightScope Social Influence Rank. The rank considers several individually weighted data points around an advisor’s Twitter profile and blog, such as followers, tweet activity, Moz Page authority, and more. BrightScope components also make up a small portion of the overall rank.

You’ll find a second list, the Top 50 Advisor Blogs And Bloggers, on Michael Kitces’ Nerd’s Eye View blog. Inclusion on this list is determined using Website metrics measured by Moz Analytics, including page authority, external links to the blog and total links.

I don’t get hung up on which individual ranked where; I’m just happy to see this surfacing of advisors. Their engagement numbers suggest that the advisors are posting updates that resonate with others, which makes them worth following for what they’re saying.

Now what? Here’s what I suggest.

Subscribe To The Blogs

Subscribe to the blogs. Follow the links to each blog named on Nerd’s Eye View, pick up the RSS feed, add it to Feedly and you now have a routine for monitoring what influential advisors are commenting about. The closer you pay attention, the better you’ll understand.

Two notes:

  • If you’re not an RSS feed reader user, you might be interested in this explainer post I wrote for RIABiz recently.
  • Yes, you could assign the subscription process to a minion but I wouldn’t. Invest the extra time to visit each advisor’s site yourself to take in the full context of the firm's business. It won’t kill you. Think of all the time you saved earlier by not listening.

Follow A Twitter List

Both lists also provide each advisor’s Twitter account name. We’re going to use those to create a third list, a Twitter list that will give you real-time monitoring capability. To make up for the snarky comment I made above about you not listening previously, I’ve made the Twitter list for you. It’s a compilation of all Twitter accounts on both lists.

A few observations on the Twitter accounts of these influential advisors:

  • Don’t expect to see a high number of tweets or followers or even Twitter best practices across the board. At least one account on the BrightScope list still uses the default Twitter egg as his avatar.
  • The tweets are not purely focused on what you’re going to care about. One of the accounts is @LinkedInNinja, influential for her LinkedIn advice to advisors but perhaps her content won’t be as valuable to you.
  • Not all advisors are working as such, as in the case of SEI’s John Anderson (@SEIJohnA).

If you want to prune some names from the Twitter list I’ve created, use to copy my Twitter list and edit it.

In the 24-hour period between Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon, the influentials produced 436 tweets. They have a lot to say, which means that the tweets will scroll through your Twitter client at a fairly good clip.

An Aggregated View

As someone who regularly sends tweets that don't get the support of even one retweet, I know from experience that there can be gold in the orphan tweet. But as a listener, you can get ahead of the game even if you pay attention to just the content that advisors are swarming around.

That's why I was happy to get this compilation of names to finally be able to produce an aggregated view of the top content that influential advisors are sharing.

For this, we can use Tame. It will show you the top links shared by those on the Twitter list, the accounts that are being mentioned and—really important for those of you who are doing some mad improvising with your hashtags—hashtags that advisors actually use.

Above is a screenshot from yesterday, showing the highlights of those 436 tweets. If you expand the individual links, you can see what was said about the content in the underlying tweets. Using Tame your monitoring can be sporadic and yet you won't miss the highlights.

There must be hundreds of tools for industrial strength monitoring, but these lists give us a tuned look at what influential advisors, as vetted by the social data, are up to. If you don't already have a listening system in place, the combination of these lists and the capabilities of Tame is an easy-to-set-up and non-taxing way to start.


The Added Significance Of Multiple Email Opens

How are you measuring the effectiveness of your email marketing? You’re looking at open and click-through rates (CTRs), no doubt. But recent research suggests that multiple email opens may have added significance. 

Failure to understand multiple email opens could result in an under-assessment of the appeal of your emails. This is particularly germane for those of you who pay advertising partners for email blasts.

We’ll get into it below but fair warning: This delves into a fuzzy area of email campaign performance measurement.

Finserv Content Isn’t So Easily Dealt With

For the last few years, data has shown that mobile devices are being increasingly used to read emails. And, email marketers have made design, layout, content and even functional (e.g., click to call) adjustments to drive opens and click-throughs on smartphones and tablets.

Mobile devices are an efficient way of using stolen moments on the go to stay on top of an Inbox. But not every email—and I’m thinking of investment management offers of whitepapers or videos here—can be dealt with so quickly or easily while on a phone.

In fact, YesMail last year reported some interesting data on financial services emails in general (probably not asset manager emails sent to financial advisors) accessed on mobile devices. While financial services email subscribers topped the list of industry email subscribers who preferred to view emails on mobile, it was at the very bottom of the list of those who clicked to open on mobile.

A 'New Standard' Of Engagement

In this latest report, email provider Campaign Monitor is highlighting a new email consumption habit it refers to as “triaging”—aka flagging the good ones to be read later, possibly on a different device. A triaged email was opened, not clicked through then and there, but possibly saved to be read again later.

“The shift to mobile has made it more difficult to get readers to engage with your content...The new standard in successful email marketing is not only capturing a subscriber’s attention but holding it long enough to get them to return and engage with your content,” says Campaign Monitor in its Email Marketing Trends report.

As email opens shift to mobile devices, there’s been a correlating decrease in click-throughs—a 10% decline from 2012 to 2013 alone, according to Campaign Monitor.

Unique Opens Vs. Total Opens

Of course, your reporting is duly tracking click-throughs. But if all you’re tracking is opens and CTRs, you may be missing something.

Here’s where it gets frustrating. Data that reports on email open activity is routinely accompanied with a few qualifiers that seek to explain why open data may be both under- and over-counting.

Email open tracking depends upon the downloading of an invisible 1×1 pixel gif image as embedded by the email provider.

As the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) warns, “some opens may not be detected when, for example, the user has images disabled, is on a mobile device, or has elected to receive text-only emails.” That would lead to under-counting.

And, as Campaign Monitor acknowledges in its study, “Apple devices display images by defaultthereby automatically registering an openwhereas many Android email clients don’t.” This could result in overrepresentation of Apple users in your data.

On the other hand, the IAB explains, “the metric may also falsely indicate some impressions when the message is briefly loaded into the preview pane but may not be actually viewed by the recipient.” Some email clients render HTML within the preview pane—every time the user scrolls through the Inbox and passes your message, it will count as an open.


The industry’s answer to this has been to focus email senders on Unique opens, a metric that eliminates the duplicates included in Total opens.

But the Campaign Monitor research raises a possibility that makes sense, especially for investment firms that are heavy users of emails to communicate with mobile-reliant financial intermediaries. It stands to reason that the multiple opens number includes some opens that indicate your content’s ability to prompt a second look.

A second look isn’t a click-through but it’s something. It’s more than an open and out. And, at a time when click-through rates are falling at a rate of 10% per year, multiple opens seem to be worth spending some time to better track and understand over time.

I would try to get my hands on your firm's Total Opens and Unique Opens data, including from media partners whose lists you use. Data that enables you to segment email response by device and email client would also be valuable to add to your reporting.

Your Best Prospects Are On A Non-Mobile Device

Mobile complicates an already complicated reporting dimension. Ready for more? Here are some additional findings included in the Campaign Monitor report based on its analysis of data for more than 1.8 billion opens from almost 6 million 2013 campaigns: 

  • The first battle is to win the mobile open: As has been well documented, an increasing percentage—41% according to Campaign Monitor—of email is being read on mobile devices. The most common time to click on an email is when it’s initially opened. 87% of clicks will happen then.

And yet, the fewest clicks happen the first time an email is opened on a mobile device. Only 78% of clicks on mobile devices happen on the first open.

  • Multiple opens more common than click-throughs: If users open an email on a mobile device, they are more likely to open it a second time than they are to click from their phone or tablet. Overall, 8% of people who opened an email on mobile clicked right away, while 23% opened it again later. (This would be a very broad benchmark to measure your own multiple opens/total open rate against.)
  • A second device optimizes the second chance: If a mobile reader opens an email again from a different device, more clicks happen. Mobile readers who open emails a second time from their computer are 65% more likely to click through. The Campaign Monitor Web page has a flowchart that visualizes this.

Your thoughts?