There are essentially four possible answers to that question:
- Not at all
The answer is simple. You should publish your newsletter as often as you can add value. That probably means sending your newsletter weekly or monthly.
I know that many people reading this will disagree. Stay with me though and let me explain why newsletters should be sent weekly or monthly and not quarterly.
Let’s start by dealing with some of the objections we hear from advisers/planners.
“No one will read a newsletter that often.”
If the content is valuable, interesting and relevant to them, yes they will. From the trade press to daily newspapers and bloggers (Seth Godin publishes every day) there are plenty of examples where we’re happy to receive content far more frequently than we are prepared to send it.
You know why? It’s because those organisations and people add value, but also have the confidence to publish more frequently.
We’re not saying you should publish a daily newsletter. However, as we’ll demonstrate shortly, you can certainly publish more frequently than you might initially think.
Finally on this point. It’s easy to understand if you’re engaging your audience. A bespoke email system (under no circumstances should you ever send a PDF newsletter attached to an email) will provide plenty of information to show open rates and other engagement metrics.
“I don’t want to bother my clients.”
This one is easy. If you’re adding value, you’re not “bothering” people. If you’re not adding value, you’ve got no right to be sending a newsletter in the first place.
Again, your email system is your friend. It’ll tell you which articles are popular and those that gain less interest. Use this information to continually improve the content of your newsletters.
“I haven’t got time to send a newsletter every week/month.”
Fair enough. We get that. If you don’t have the capacity, it doesn’t mean the job shouldn’t be done. It just means it needs to be outsourced.
Shameless plug #1: if you would like to learn more about Yardstick Membership, please click here and we’ll send the information over.
Add value, demonstrate knowledge to become the go-to expert
Your newsletter has three key functions:
- To add value those who receive it (your newsletter should be sent to clients, prospects and professional connections)
- To demonstrate knowledge and position you as the go-to expert, or in the case of a prospect who hasn’t quite made it over the line yet, the go-back-to expert. Most advisers and planners only convert 25-50% of all new enquiries. You need to make sure those that don’t immediately become clients come back to you in the future rather than looking for another recommendation or heading to Google
- Provide a light touch with your brand, something that’s crucial to your referral and recommendation strategy.
Why wouldn’t you want to tick those three boxes 12 or even 52 times each year, compared to just four?
Data supports a higher frequency
We could easily be accused of talking up our own book here. So, let’s look at some further evidence.
To begin with, our research shows that:
- Open rates on monthly newsletters are almost identical to quarterly newsletters
- Unsubscribe rates are incredibly low, well under 0.5%
- It’s virtually unheard of for people (including those who aren’t clients) to report newsletters as spam.
These three facts alone should put to bed the accusation that sending newsletters more frequently “bothers” people.
Research from elsewhere supports the view that increasing the frequency of blogging improves results.
The 7th Annual Blogging Survey published by Andy Crestodina says: “High-frequency bloggers are getting better results. In fact, more than any response to any question in the survey, daily bloggers are the most likely to report “strong results”. Conversely, inconsistent bloggers are the least likely to report “strong results”.
6 other reasons to send newsletters at least monthly
Data aside, there are several other reasons why you should send newsletters at least monthly:
1. Consistency builds confidence
Sending weekly or monthly newsletters means you to tick the three boxes we mentioned above more frequently. That consistency creates an expectation, builds confidence and demonstrates reliability.
We know how important this is, which is why we publish our newsletter every week. Rain or shine, it pops up in your inbox every Friday at 7.30 am.
Of course, you need to set a frequency that works for you. Starting with the aim of sending newsletters weekly, but failing, isn’t a good look. So, set a schedule that you can definitely keep or outsource the job (shameless plug #2!).
2. Build your narrative
Weekly or monthly content allows you to write follow up articles and explore subjects in more detail. A three-month gap means you lose momentum and people will have forgotten what you wrote about in the last newsletter.
3. Packing too much in
A quarterly newsletter means you’ve often got a lot to pack in. So, your key messages can get lost in the noise. It’s far better to space things out over a few months.
4. More content to promote on social media
Sending newsletters weekly or monthly means you need more content than if they’re sent every three months. That’s great, it gives you more content to share on social media.
5. Communicate in a timely way
Quarterly newsletters make it hard to communicate in a timely way.
For example, right now there’s speculation about changes to the State Pension Triple Lock which might worry some people. If you’ve got a weekly or monthly newsletter, it’s easy to keep people updated. It looks like you’re on top of things and you’ve got their back.
That’s not so easy if your next newsletter isn’t due until October.
6. Unfamiliarity increases unsubscribe rates
As we said, consistency breeds confidence. The opposite is also true, a lower send frequency can mean people who are less familiar with your brand are more likely to forget who you are, why they’re on your distribution list and consequently unsubscribe.
Hopefully, this isn’t an issue with clients. However, it could be a problem when it comes to prospects and professional connections.
Weekly, monthly, quarterly?
As we said, the answer is simple: as frequently as you can add value but at an absolute minimum, monthly.
If you’re nervous, don’t be. We’ve got your back and are here to tell you that as long as you’re adding value, your clients, prospects and professional connections will welcome hearing from you more often.
If you’ve got a different view, we’d love to hear from you.
Equally, if you’d like to learn more about Yardstick Membership, our blogging and newsletter package, please click here or call 0115 8965 300.