I know that quite a number of financial advisers like to communicate with existing clients through newsletters which can be effective if the required level of commitment is put into them. I’m going to start by pinning my colours to the mast….. I’m not a huge fan of them as too often they fall by the wayside. However for those out there who are ready and committed to making a success of their newsletter, here goes on 5 tips to maximise their impact.
1. Be Clear on your Objectives
Why are you sending out the newsletter? Unless you’re very clear about this, it’s unlikely to have the desired effect. Often newsletters are used as a tool to reconnect with existing clients – a good reason for doing them! If this is the case, don’t oversell. Focus on the reader and what will engage their interest. Are they worried about protecting against a life event or are they concerned about how they will fund their later years? Focus on these types of needs, the approach that you take to helping clients plan to deal with these events and the benefits of your approach. Only after this stage do you talk about your product as the solution to addressing the need.
Too many newsletters talk only about products. This won’t be of interest unless the reader can make the jump themselves to the need that the product provides a solution for.
2. Make sure you’ve enough Content and are Committed
Hands up how many of you have had plans to send out 3 or 4 newsletters a year and ended up sending out just a single edition a year……or a single edition ever? This is a very frequent occurrence and usually is down to 2 factors.
Often it is because there is great enthusiasm to produce the first edition and this energy then wanes after the effort of producing the first one. Don’t start with newsletters unless you (or someone for you) is going to put the effort into producing the future editions.
The other factor is that all the good ideas go into the first edition and you end up stuck for good content for future editions. The way to avoid this is to plan at least 75% of the content for the first 4 editions before you start at all. This will help you avoid “writer’s block” with future editions.
3. Have a time sensitive article
It’s a good idea to have an article that is based on very current analysis or relates to a current issue. This will show the timeliness of your newsletter and usually will be of interest. The challenge that this creates is that once this article is written, you’ve got to quickly swing into production and also to get the newsletter in front of the reader quickly.
If you’re not going to be able to turn the newsletter around quickly or indeed want to use the newsletter over a long period of time, leave out the time sensitive article.
4. Have a Call to Action
Make every effort to get the reader to engage in some way with you. Obviously encourage them to ring or email you as a follow-up. Find a way to encourage them to visit your website – maybe there’s more detail on one or a number of the articles on your website? Ask them to send in their email address to allow you send them more, relevant information by email. Maybe consider a competition? Use the newsletter to start an ongoing engagement.
5. Use all Distribution Channels
Many financial advisers will post out their newsletters as they don’t want to exclude clients for whom they don’t have email addresses. However also post the newsletter on your website. When you’ve done this, send an update to your LinkedIn connections, pointing them to your website. If you use Twitter, tweet the link too. Finally, email all your clients too, encouraging them to read it. Online distribution costs nothing so use all these channels!
Newsletters take effort. If you’re willing to commit and produce excellent content, they can be very effective. If they under-deliver in terms of frequency of issue or indeed quality, they will turn your client off and should be avoided. It’s up to you which camp you’re in!