Weekly? Monthly? Quarterly? Never?
Every adviser and planner has their own opinion. Before we answer though, let’s start with a more fundamental question…
Why send newsletters at all?
Simple. Because they are a tremendously efficient way of:
- Adding value to the people who receive them
- Demonstrating your knowledge
- Touching the recipient with your brand.
Email newsletters are our preferred option. They are cheaper than printed newsletters, timelier and more trackable. In contrast, printed newsletters take longer to produce, are more expensive and completely un-trackable; you’ll never know whether it was read, went straight from the doormat to the recycling, or the dog ate it!
Electronic newsletters are more environmentally friendly too.
Ideally, the content should be added to your website with links in the newsletter email to each article. That way, your mailing system will show which articles were clicked and Google Analytics will tell you how long people spent reading them.
Oh, and never, ever, send PDF newsletters! Hit reply to this email if you want to know why.
What does the content have to be?
Every time you interact with a client, prospect, or professional connection it either enhances or detracts from your brand. That means your newsletter content must be as relevant and interesting as possible. If it puts a smile on the recipient’s face, even better.
We recommend including three types of article.
- Articles that relate to financial matters – either evergreen or topical
- Lifestyle articles. We’re not suggesting turning your newsletter into Tatler, Vogue or GQ but lifestyle pieces are often the most well-read content in a given newsletter
- Articles about your business – things you have accomplished recently, charitable/community work, changes to your team, and so on.
We know that many advisers and planners will have their doubts about including lifestyle articles or those about your business. We’d urge you to set those concerns aside and try them. Our experiences show that you might be surprised by the results!
So, how often should you send them?
You have three main options:
Weekly: In ‘normal’ times we’d be nervous about weekly emails. It’s a challenge to produce the number of articles needed every week to ensure each edition remains relevant. The temptation, therefore, is to include just one article which, in turn, reduces the likelihood of it being relevant to everyone who receives it. Unsubscribes might rise and clients might start to question why they are receiving something which isn’t relevant to them.
That said, during the Covid-19 pandemic we’ve seen some firms successfully produce weekly newsletters. They’ve been popular too, with open rates at least as good on average as the monthly newsletters they were producing before Covid-19 struck. We recommend those firms who produce weekly newsletters continue to do so until the open rate drops below the average for the monthly newsletter they were previously sending.
Monthly: The majority of advisers and planners who subscribe to Yardstick Membership (our blog and newsletter package) select the monthly option.
We believe that monthly is the perfect interval for sending newsletters, because:
- It builds up a pattern of consistency and clients expect to receive them
- It’s achievable and affordable so the monthly consistency can be maintained
- It’s perfect for exploring complicated issues over the course of a few months in a series of articles
- You can repeat key messages more frequently to ensure they are understood.
Finally, our research shows that open rates on monthly newsletters are broadly the same as other frequencies.
Quarterly: We believe that quarterly is the wrong frequency.
The gap between each edition is too long which means that each newsletter comes as a surprise. Plus, you’re providing only a third of the value, and interactions with your brand, that a monthly newsletter does.
We hear some advisers and planners suggest that they send newsletters quarterly because they don’t want to “bother their clients”. This is slightly odd. If you see your newsletter as “bothering clients” you shouldn’t be sending it. On the other hand, if your content is genuinely valuable, interesting, and relevant, why would you want to hide it away, only sending it once a quarter?
Ad hoc: These make sense when you have something important or urgent to communicate and can’t wait for your next scheduled newsletter. For example, you might want to send a reassuring message after the Budget, or during periods of market volatility (yes, despite your training some clients still get concerned – they are human after all!)
So, what are financial advisers and planners doing?
We ran a poll on Twitter and LinkedIn to find out. We asked:
“How often does your firm send newsletters?”
The answers were:
- Weekly: 9%
- Monthly: 40%
- Less frequently: 33%
- Never: 18%
It’s great to see that one in two firms are communicating with their clients, prospects and professional connections at least monthly. The other 51%? We’d suggest that now, as we slowly emerge from lockdown, is the perfect time to consider your communications strategy.
One final point
We find many advisers and planners are rather ‘anti-newsletter’. Indeed, our poll showed around one in five never send them.
Even the very word seems to produce a negative reaction. Frankly, we don’t care what you call it; ‘newsletter’, ‘e-bulletin’, ‘update’ or ‘monthly online interactive communication’.
What I do care about is that you are constantly adding value to your clients, prospects and professional connections through useful and relevant content while touching them with your brand.
If you would like more information about our newsletter packages and the pricing, please click here or call us on 0115 8965 300.