“Why would I send newsletters? My clients don’t want to read about markets.”
These are the words of one financial planner I spoke to recently about newsletters.
And, he’s half right. Actually, probably a third right. Clients, prospects, and professional connections (the three key groups newsletters should go to) don’t usually want to read investment commentary.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule and in times of significant volatility (think February/March 2020) many clients needed additional information, confidence, and reassurance.
Those occasions aside, your clients probably don’t want to read about investment performance and markets.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t send newsletters though. They are great for communicating efficiently to large groups of people. And, done well, they add value to the recipient while demonstrating your knowledge and expertise, and position you as the ‘go-to’ expert.
They also give people a gentle reminder of your brand. That’s particularly important for nurturing prospects until the time is right for them to engage with you.
The three types of articles to include in your newsletters
So, if you shouldn’t be including articles about investment performance, what should you be writing about?
We believe articles should fall into three broad categories:
First and foremost, your clients look upon you as their financial adviser or planner. Consequently, your newsletter should include articles about matters which affect their finances.
Once again (for anyone who skipped the first part of the blog) that doesn’t mean you need to talk about markets or investments. If you do, expect engagement levels to fall.
Instead, articles should be used to:
- Highlight issues (and solutions) relevant to the reader
- Explain your point of view or perspective on issues
- Demonstrate the value of financial planning.
Naturally, articles should be interesting and engaging, and the reader should take something away from every article you send them.
Remember, too, that it’s topical financial planning articles which tend to do best – for example: “What coronavirus means to you if you’re planning to retire in the next five years”.
We’re not talking about turning your newsletter into Tatler, Vogue or GQ. However, analysis of the newsletters we produce for advisers/planners shows that including articles which have a lifestyle rather than financial focus are incredibly popular.
They give your audience something different from what they might expect from you, and another reason to open and engage with your newsletter. They’re an ideal opportunity for financial planners to practise what they preach, talking about experiences and aspirations rather than money.
During the pandemic, we’ve found that lifestyle articles have been particularly popular. Here are some great examples over the past few months:
- Your lockdown checklist – 7 ‘do it tomorrow’ jobs to tick off your list now: This article doubled the click-through rate in a client’s newsletter back in May at the height of the pandemic
- The Top 10 days out in Essex, according to TripAdvisor: This article was published as lockdown restrictions began to ease and was the most popular article in that particular newsletter
- The 10 best restaurants in the West Midlands: This article achieved an astonishing click-to-open rate of more than 54%
The key to lifestyle articles is to be topical and interesting. If you can be a bit quirky, that helps too.
As an aside, articles which contain links to other businesses (as two of the above do) are perfect for sharing on social.
Write your posts tagging in the other businesses (one in each post) and there’s a good chance they will share the article with their followers and connections. Some of those will click and start to engage with your brand.
3. Your business and your people
Clients are often more engaged with your business than you might believe they are.
It’s why many clients are happy to advocate on your behalf; providing referrals or agreeing to appear in videos. It’s also why clients are interested in what’s going on in your business. It might be:
- Exam passes
- Charitable fundraising
- Community initiatives
- New members of the team
- Births and marriages
Many prospects and professional connections will also be interested. When selecting an adviser/planner to work with, your ethics and culture are often just as important as your skills and knowledge.
Don’t believe us?
For the next few months add an article in each category into your newsletter. Next, analyse the results.
We’d happily place a small bet that the articles about you and your business, as well as those which focus on lifestyle, are equally, if not more, popular than the financial articles.
Give your content a makeover
Our content team:
- Know how to keep on the right side of compliance and still write engaging copy!
- Have huge financial services experience; they know a SIPP from a SSAS, a first-time buyer from a Buy to Let investor, and an ISA from a bond
- Know what engages readers, and what clients and professional connections like to read.
If your newsletters are dull and unengaging, or if you’re talking about markets or you’re struggling to produce content consistently, we’re here to help.
We work with sole adviser/planner firms right up to nationals with hundreds of advisers. So, if you’d like to hear more about our Yardstick Membership options (that’s what we call our blog and newsletter packages) click here to request more information and we’ll be in touch.