Very few IFAs think they can live without a financial newsletter. After all, you need to engage your clients on a regular basis. What better way to communicate with them than to “touch base” with them every month or so with an update, your company news or some industry tips or insights.
The trouble is, financial newsletters are hard to get right. They are indeed an important client engagement tool, but many financial advisers we speak to seem to have unrealistic expectations of them.
An example. It may sound harsh, but some IFAs seem to have unrealistic expectations when it comes to open rates, reply rates and so on.
The fact is, a good email marketing campaign will get at least a 20% open rate in the professional services industry. A good click through rate (CTR – i.e. someone clicks on your link in the email, to say, your blog) is around 2.47%.
So if you send your client newsletter out to 100 people, you can reasonably expect about 20 will read it. About 2 or 3 will then click on a link, say to your website.
Does this mean financial newsletter campaigns are unimportant for engaging your client base with your brand?
No. Over time, those people who read your newsletter will come to expect your content. If it’s good, they may even look forward to it. They may share links in your newsletter with their friends on social media.
Combined with other marketing efforts, like social media and remarketing, your financial newsletter can generate more and more power over time to connect current clients and new prospects with your brand.
The trick is creating a financial newsletter people actually want to read. How do you do that?
Here are some tips to follow, based on our experience in financial services marketing:
#1 Discern What Kind Of Financial Newsletter You Want To Send
One big problem with IFA newsletters is they’re often generic, unfocused, and cluttered because they’re trying to support every aspect of your business.
Company news, PR stories, testimonials, blog posts about an event next week. It’s all a bit of a mess.
Just like any effective piece of information, an email or newsletter needs a common thread to hold it all together. One way to achieve this is to focus on one specific topic.
An example? Find out which blog posts on your website are especially popular. Are there particular topics which attract particular interest?
Then, run a survey with your clients. Which topics do they say they’d like to read about? Is there any alignment with what people are reading on your website?
You may find, for instance, that your clients and prospective clients are particularly interested in what you may have to say on political affairs.
So, perhaps your monthly newsletter could focus in on your perspective regarding the political affairs of the past 4 weeks, from a financial intermediary’s perspective.
Certainly, at the moment you wouldn’t be short of material…
#2 Make Your Newsletter Content 90% Informational, 10% Promotional
It’s been warned against over and over again, but it still crops up in financial newsletters blasted out across the UK by IFAs. Financial advisers all too often fall into the trap of talking too much about themselves, rather than about the client.
Our service. Our advisers. Our event coming up. Our unique approach. Our values. Our team.
Rather than your pension. Your family. Your dreams and aspirations. Why you don’t need to worry so much about X. Why you should be more concerned about Y.
If you make the bulk of your content about the latter, people will begin to see real value in your financial newsletter. None of us like being sold to, and we all especially hate pushy sales people.
That’s not to say, however, that you should avoid promotional content altogether. About 10% of your emails or content should be.
People understand you are a business, and need to attract clients. Just don’t be annoying.
#3 Set Subscriber Expectations
Your website’s landing page should outline, very clearly, to the visitor what your financial newsletter contains, and what value they will be receiving by signing up.
Tell them how often they can expect to hear from you, and what you will do with any information or personal details they disclose to you on your website.
Why do this? Because it directly addresses the fears of your potential subscribers, and helps to remove them as a barrier to your newsletter signups.
Of course, potential subscribers need to be able to actually find your website’s landing page in order to consider subscribing to it. But that’s a topic for another post.
#4 Be Creative With Email Subject Lines
Even if people sign up to your financial newsletter, there’s no guarantee they’ll actually open your emails when you send them.
Often, IFAs try to increase open rates by using the same subject line day month after month, in hopes that it will breed familiarity and trust.
This might make sense for the first few sends, but typically this soon gets old really quickly for your subscribers. Why? Because they no longer have reason to open “this specific email this instant.”
A better approach is to have a creative subject line for each email you send. A good example of this is Thrillist, who’ve used the following subject lines to great effect:
#5 Use One Main Call To Action
Fair enough, part and parcel of any newsletter is that it is a collection of content with multiple calls to action. However, that doesn’t mean each CTA should hold equal prominence or weight.
Rather, go for one main CTA – the main thing you’d like the readers of your financial newsletter to do. The rest of your CTAs should be for people “in case you have a moment.”
#6 Copy & Design – Less Is More
Remember what we talked about earlier, regarding clutter in financial newsletters? Well, one great way to avoid that is to keep copy to a minimum, and use lots of white space in your design.
Why do you want things concise? Well, you don’t actually want your subscribers to sit around and read your newsletter for hours on end.
You want them to do something. Share the content with a friend, or finally get in touch about that pension transfer.
Keeping things short and to the point allows your subscribers’ appetites to be whet, just enough for them to click and want to learn more.
Phil Teale is the Sales & Marketing Manager at MarketingAdviser, an agency specialising in marketing for financial services – and especially for financial advisers. Along with our sister company, CreativeAdviser, we also provide bespoke website design, branding, graphic design and video production services to financial clients.
Contact us on 01923 232840 or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org