Email marketing remains one of the most effective client engagement tools at the disposal of financial planners and advisers. Yet it comes with many varieties, technologies and moving parts. So it’s natural to have lots of questions about how best to use a client newsletter.
In this article, our team at ClientsPlus offers this first set of answers to commonly-asked questions posed to us about financial newsletters. We hope you find this content useful. Don’t forget to get hold of your free piece of content from our library of articles, guides and newsletters if you have not yet done so!
#1 Why send a client newsletter?
Many financial firms do not bother with sending out a newsletter to clients every month or so. This may be possible to get away with in certain situations, yet most firms will be missing a trick by neglecting to offer continuous thought leadership to their clients.
There are many benefits to a financial newsletter – not least that it provides clients with regular brand touchpoints, and gives the impression that you care about them. Client newsletters are powerful for building relationships and trust, increasing perceptions that you are an authority in the space and that your business is worth sticking with – through the ups and downs.
#2 How often should I send a newsletter?
This depends on your clients and your overall marketing strategy. The starting assumption is that you could send out a financial newsletter once per month. However, if your clients indicate that this is too often, then a bi-monthly or quarterly frequency might be better.
For some clients (e.g. those of investment firms) they might want regular market updates – e.g. once per week – so that they have a regular “round up” of how equities and other investments are performing.
#3 When is the best time to send my newsletter?
It depends on your clients. This is why it’s so important to run A/B testing when sending out your client newsletter. This can allow you to measure the performance of different sending times against each other. For instance, might a Monday morning work better than a Tuesday morning? Test your campaigns and find out.
#4 How do I write a good subject line?
Here, you’ll need to be creative and try to think which subject lines cause you to open emails in your own inbox. Boring titles like “December newsletter” are unlikely to work very well, for instance.
You could try leading with a question such as: “Life insurance – could you save £100s this year?” Another idea is to use intrigue, such as: “How this portfolio made X% return in 6 months…”
Just be careful not to come across as too “tabloid”, and also be mindful of compliance issues. However, be careful not to be so cautious that your subject lines look unappealing or boring.
#5 Should I personalise my emails?
Again, it depends on your clients. Yet as a general rule, personalisation (e.g. Dear “John”) in the opening line is a great way to increase engagement with your financial newsletter. It makes the recipient feel like you are speaking directly to them, rather than sending out a blanket message (even if that’s what you’re likely doing with an email service provider – ESP – like MailChimp!).
#6 How can I tell if my newsletter is working?
You’ll need a robust measurement system in place to find out. Fortunately, most ESP platforms all you to access campaign reports which tell you useful information such as bounce rates, open rates and click-through-rates (CTRs).
You can then compare your most recent report with previous campaigns to find out if these metrics are steadily improving, or not. For instance, if your open rates are declining, could it be because you are not offering the right kind of content to your audience? Perhaps they want you to cover other subject areas in the articles?
#7 How do I make sure the newsletter shows correctly?
Different people will look at your email on a range of devices (e.g. laptop, smartphone etc.) and email clients such as Gmail and Outlook. You’ll need to make sure that your financial newsletter works across these different contexts.
One way to check this is via your “Preview” function on your ESP platform. MailChimp and similar ESPs, for instance, allow you to view your email on a test smartphone “window” before sending. Another good step to take is also providing your newsletter in an HTML format.
#8 What should go in my newsletter?
It’s totally up to you, but at the very least you’ll likely want to include some great articles in there on a set of topics which are interesting to your subscribers. If it’s a PDF client newsletter, for instance, then this “magazine format” is likely to be the best approach.
If you’re using an “e-newsletter” format, however, then you can start to be more creative. Perhaps you could include a link to a client survey, for instance, or a link to your latest company video. Again, you can use A/B testing to try different variations and see what works.
#9 How can I tell if my newsletter is coming through?
Here, you’ll want to check the “delivery rate” metric within your ESP provider’s campaign reports. This is usually represented as a percentage. So a “90%” delivery rate means that 10% of the intended recipients did not receive your email. From there, you can often drill down further into “hard” bounces and “soft” bounces.
#10 Can my client newsletter generate new leads?
With the right marketing strategy, email can certainly be a powerful means for financial firms to generate new business. For instance, perhaps you could include a referral scheme within your client newsletter to encourage recipients to pass it on to friends, family members and colleagues who might benefit from the information.