Newsletters: Six myths and misconceptions which might be holding you back
Written by Phil Bray on 10/01/19
Regularly touching your clients (stop giggling at the back!) with newsletters has numerous benefits. Not least, maintaining a relatively high profile to support your referral strategy.
Aside from periodic review meetings touch points might include:
- Engaging on social media
- Cards and presents to acknowledge events such as birthdays, new jobs and retirement
- Random acts of kindness
- And, of course, regular newsletters
The perfect newsletter will be engaging, relevant and informative while adding value. Furthermore, it should contain a mix of personal finance news as well as updates about your business and the people in it.
However, over the past two years (it was our second birthday yesterday) we’ve noticed some planners allowing their belief in common myths to get in the way of producing effective newsletters. Consequently, reducing the frequency and effectiveness of their client interactions.
So, here are our top six financial planner newsletter myths and misconceptions:
1. “My clients aren’t interested in getting a newsletter.”
Planner: “My clients won’t read newsletters.”
Me: “How do you know? Have you asked them?”
This conversation takes place all too frequently. The planner might well be right although our analysis refutes that hypothesis with open rates often over 70%. But at this stage, their assertion is nothing but a guess.
Surely better to ask clients whether they would find a newsletter valuable? Even better, produce content which is so valuable they look forward to receiving it.
2. “My clients will get annoyed if I send newsletters each month.”
They will if the content is boring, adds no value and is irrelevant!
We know that monthly newsletters with interesting and relevant content are well read. We also know that unsubscribe rates (the ultimate indication of annoyance) are very low.
Start sending newsletters monthly and see what reaction you get. You may well be pleasantly surprised.
3. “My clients will prefer a printed newsletter.”
That might be the case. However, before you go to the expense of producing a printed newsletter, we recommend at least asking your clients which they prefer.
We believe that (where you have an email address for a client) an electronic newsletter beats a printed version hands-down; it’s cheaper, trackable and more environmentally friendly. That’s why the default should be an electronic newsletter, only turning to a printed alternative in certain specific circumstances.
4. “Clients aren’t interested in hearing about our business.”
The evidence shows otherwise.
Clients are interested; indeed, many are invested emotionally in their planner’s business, keen for it to succeed. That means many want to hear about the latest goings on; new recruits, charitable initiatives and awards are all newsworthy.
Naturally, you need to get the balance right, but the occasional article about your business will almost certainly be well read.
5. “I’ll just send a PDF”
We beg you; please don’t.
- Are more likely to be caught by spam filters
- Carry little or no weight with search engines
- Aren’t trackable
- Are a pain to read on mobile devices
- Time-consuming to design well
- Are less likely to be opened by recipients concerned about computer viruses
In short, they are a newsletter solution from 2005.
Far better to add content to your website (which is trackable, will help improve your organic search traffic and can be optimised for mobile devices) then use an electronic newsletter (again trackable) to distribute it.
6. “There’s never anything to write about”
We all get writer’s block from time to time and a blank screen coupled with a looming deadline is a daunting prospect. However, there’s always something to write about which will tick the interesting, valuable and relevant boxes.
If you’re outsourcing your content and newsletter production, then frankly those who you have entrusted the job to should come up with most of the ideas. If you’re writing blogs internally though, it’s probably down to you. Make your life easier by:
- Keeping a folder on your computer where you can file interesting articles and research to revisit when the time comes for you to start writing
- Use dead time (the commute for example) to think of article ideas, storing them in the same folder until they are needed
- Take inspiration from the work you do every day for clients
Don’t let the myths hold you back
Because of these myths and misconceptions, the term ‘newsletters’ is as toxic for some planners as ‘pension’ is to some consumers.
It doesn’t have to be that way though.
Last week we suggested that planners should resolve to take an evidence-led approach. Never is that more pertinent than when it comes to newsletters. You can read that article by clicking here.
Of course, they aren’t the only answer to frequently touching clients. But they are a significant part of the mix and shouldn’t be overlooked because of a myth.
PS. We really wouldn’t be very effective marketers if we didn’t now at least give you the chance to review our newsletter proposition.
If you would like to understand more about our offering, please click here.
Otherwise, I hope you found this week’s blog useful.