A regular newsletter is one of the best tools available to financial planners looking to engage their clients.
Not only is it a great vehicle to update clients about interesting new developments at your business (e.g. brining on a new financial planner in another local area). It is also a powerful way to deliver compelling, value-adding content to the people who look up to you.
However, crafting a great financial planning newsletter is not easy. There are a lot of moving parts to get right, and a lot rests on the quality of the design and articles contained within. Below, we’ll be sharing 5 ways to get the best from your financial newsletter.
We hope you find this useful and invite you to check out our content library of financial planning newsletters here at Clients+.
#1 Refine your list
You might have an excellent financial planning newsletter template. However, without a good email list, it is largely useless.
Here, a good starting point is your existing client bank. If you have, say, 100 clients on your books, then these are people who are likely to want to hear what you have to say about financial planning matters that may affect them.
However, email lists lose their “freshness” over time. Perhaps some clients move on, or change their email address. Here, it is important to check your subscribers every 6-12 months and clear out anyone who is clearly disengaged.
It is also a good idea to have a good strategy in place to build up your list beyond your client base. Whilst we would caution against buying email lists from third party vendors, we encourage financial planners to put clear calls-to-action (CTAs) in place strategically on their various marketing channels – such as their website.
These can encourage people to sign up and receive your monthly newsletter from you. To give the best chance of setting sign-ups, however, you need to demonstrate clearly why this is worth their while. This is where a great website blog can help – giving them a “taster” of the kind of content they can expect to receive in the newsletter.
#2 Find an ideal sending window
What is the best time to send a financial planning newsletter?
The truth is, the ideal “sending window” is different for every business. It depends on your clients, your marketing strategy and the unique nature of your business. The only way to truly know the best time and day to send your newsletter is to run tests.
Here, you could split off two sub-sections of your email list (a “segments”). With one segment, you could send the newsletter at one time of a particular day, and the other at another time. Afterwards, you can examine the results to see which one performs better.
Once you start to get a clear idea of what works best, you can start emailing out to the whole list.
#3 Invest in a great design
The success of a financial planner’s newsletter rests heavily on the way it looks.
If the newsletter is pleasing to the eye, then clients are more likely to enjoy reading it. This means ensuring a strong design layout and integrating your branding in a clear, consistent and authentic way.
Of course, if your financial branding is not up to standard, then it may be worth investing in a higher-quality visual identity first. From there, you will have an easier time making your newsletter look excellent.
You will also need access to some intuitive, flexible design software to craft your financial newsletter. A good option for financial planners is MailChimp, since it is a free/low-cost option for smaller businesses with email subscribers numbering in the 100s.
Many of these solutions use a “drag and drop” approach to newsletter design, allowing you to build a newsletter with little coding skill.
#4 Include excellent content
Your newsletter looks great. You have an idea of when you should send it. The list is ready. Now, what should you put in the newsletters?
This is where you need excellent content (e.g. articles) to populate each edition. A good starting point is to include four articles from your blog within each newsletter. If you publish write once per week, for instance, then this is a nice way to re-purpose content.
Writing financial planning content is not easy – even for financial planners. Many business owners and directors simply do not have the time to produce this, even if they have the skills and motivation. This is where a content provider can be helpful.
Here at Clients+, we offer a wide range of ready-made, relevant articles for financial planners to include in their monthly newsletter. Check out our content library to see our content library and log in to see the topics we cover.
#5 Use data to make refinements
Month-by-month, you should start to get an idea of how your financial newsletter is performing by looking at the campaign reports.
Make sure you take time to analyse these. Look out for key metrics such as open rates, click-through-rates (for articles), bounce rates and “abuse reports” (or “unsubscribes”). All of these can start to paint a picture of what is working, and what needs improving.
Perhaps the data shows that certain topics produce more engagement than others? In which case, perhaps you might want to alter your content calendar to match clients’ interests. It may also be that certain subject lines work better than others, to achieve email opens.