“We must start sending a newsletter out to our client!” We hear financial advisers often say.
This is usually a great idea, especially when you consider the statistics. For instance, nearly 3/4 millennials cite email as their preferred means of communication with brands, and subscribers are up to 3x more likely to share your content on social media.
However, many financial advisers and similar firms realise pretty quickly, upon starting a client newsletter campaign, that “success” requires much more than designing an attractive email, putting in a good subject line and sending it to their email list.
These are all very important tactical element to your marketing newsletter plan, but you first need to take a step back and consider your wider marketing objectives and strategy.
In other words, don’t simply start with what you will do in order to run a client newsletter. First, think about where you want to go with it (objectives) and how you will get there (strategy).
Then, focus on the tactics (i.e. what activities this will entail), and also outline what you will do to measure performance and ensure that everything is being kept on track.
Where are you right now with your financial marketing, and where do you want to be in 12 months time? How about in 3 years, 5 years or even 10 years from now? For instance:
- Increase inbound enquiries from the website by 100% over the next 12 months, on the previous year.
- Grow our email subscriber list by a minimum of 15% each quarter until 2020, to reach a minimum of 1000 subscribers.
Notice that in each of these examples we have sought to use the SMART criteria, to ensure that each one is as focused and easy to monitor as possible. This is really important.
Also notice, however, that with marketing objectives such as these clearly defined from the outset, it becomes much clearer whether or not a new client newsletter is worth the time and investment. Will it aid you in your marketing objectives, or would you be better-off committing resources elsewhere?
In the above example, a client newsletter could conceivably fit into objective 2 – growing the size of the email list. On the tactical level, this could be achieved by including a “Refer A Friend” incentive scheme within the body of your newsletter – offering existing clients money off, for instance, if they successfully refer a friend or loved one to subscribe to your newsletter.
Strategy & Financial Newsletters
Think of objectives and strategy as a physical journey. The former helps identify where you are right now, and where you eventually want to go. The latter (strategy) outlines, in broad terms, how you will get there.
This is where lots of financial advisers make mistakes in their marketing, by jumping immediately from objectives to tactics – missing out the strategic component in-between.
For instance, one might think: “I want to grow our email subscriber list by a minimum of 15% each quarter until 2020 [objective], so I’ll send out a newsletter each week to all of my clients asking them to forward it on to a friend or family member [tactic].”
The strategy here is missing. It might look like you are answering the question: “How will I achieve my objective?” Really, however, what you have done is outline what activities you will do along the way. You still haven’t plotted out your overall strategy.
Think of the journey illustration again. You know where you want to go, but which form of transport will you use to get there (car, plane, trains etc.)? Will you travel by day, or by night? Who will drive?
For your client newsletter, how will you position yourself to them in order to increase your subscriber base? For instance, will you attempt to make people see you as a cost leader in your particular field (i.e the “cheapest” and “most cheerful”?), or will you seek to differentiate yourself in some other way from competitors?
Moreover, what is your overall content strategy with the newsletter?
One strategic approach could be to focus your content primarily on a “hard sell” approach, continuously making clients and customers aware of the latest deals and offers.
Another strategy (a better one, in our opinion) might involve building trust and relationships with your subscribers by offering helpful, useful and valuable content which people want to read, and which builds their perception of you as a trusted, industry thought leader who they would feel comfortable referring their friends and family.
Financial Newsletter Tactics
So, with a clearer picture of your objectives and strategy for your newsletter – what will you now do to ensure it is a success?
This is the point where you can start to think about your marketing tactics. For instance, which topics will you select for the articles/content contained within the newsletter itself? How often will you send it out, and which days do you think would produce the best results?
Which subject lines will you use to encourage open rates, and which calls to action will you feature in the newsletter in order to drive meaningful action from your subscribers? Will you run any special, ad hoc newsletter campaigns at various points throughout the year, to add further value (e.g. a “tax guide special” newsletter in the weeks running up to the end of April)?
How often will you review performance reports from the campaigns you run, and which aspects of your newsletter do you intend to optimise in order to increase the conversion rates (e.g. subject lines, email template layout, calls to action etc.)? Will you keep track of progress for your key metrics using a live dashboard, to provide a “quick glance” view of how the whole thing is going?
At CreativeAdviser, we specialise in assisting financial firms to answer these sorts of strategic and tactical questions when it comes to their client newsletters and overall marketing plan. If you’d like to find out more about our client newsletters, then we invite you to get in touch for a free phone consultation with a member of our team.
Otherwise, we hope you continue to enjoy our content, and hope to hear from you soon!