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Why Financial Advisors Need a Newsletter

I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of people say this before, or read statistics about the effectiveness of newsletter marketing; I’m here today to add my voice to that chorus, and to give you some practical tips.

WHY

Regular written communication with clients, prospects, and centers of influence (COIs) is important in any market, and is especially crucial now, in times of extreme market volatility. For example:

If you have a quarterly, monthly, or bi-weekly newsletter, you can use the infrastructure you have set up to send an ad hoc email to clients to check in about volatility and let them know you are available to talk.

If you have a weekly newsletter, you can forgo your scheduled weekly content for a message about market volatility and checking in. This is ideal, as your clients are accustomed to hearing from you weekly, and won’t be surprised to see your name in their inbox.

During calmer times, a regular newsletter keeps you top of mind for clients, prospects, and COIs. If a client has been pondering their financial situation, your email newsletter makes it easy for them to hit reply and get in touch. If your client’s friend asks them for a recommendation for financial help, your newsletter in your client’s inbox is easy to forward.

WHO

Who does it go to?
An email newsletter should go to your clients, prospects, and COIs. (They have to opt in or agree to receive emails from you.) You can also add a subscription link on your website, so that if prospects are checking you out but aren’t yet ready to call you, they can get to know you better through your newsletters.

Who writes it?
I suggest a short, personal intro from the advisor. In a firm with multiple advisors, the intro letter can come from a firm executive. Write the intro in the first person and link to your blog for longer form content. (See “What” section below.)

WHEN

Frequency
In a perfect world with infinite time, I’d suggest a weekly newsletter. For small offices, this rapid pace is overwhelming. Instead, choose bi-weekly or monthly. Quarterly is too far apart and your clients probably don’t mentally break up time into financial quarters like you do.

When to send
Many studies show that Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings are the best times for high open rates (percentage of people who open the newsletter). This is a detail  you can experiment with once you have a regular newsletter.

WHAT 

Your email newsletter should include a personal introduction (see “Who” section above) and a link to long form content on your blog. (You should have a blog. If you don’t, you should start one. If you can’t have a blog for some reason, consider using LinkedIn’s article feature. If you can’t do either of those, you can put long form content into the body of the email.) Linking to your blog is ideal because it brings clients and prospects to your site, and prospects have the opportunity to book an appointment with you or contact you for more information.

Blog content should be 500-1000 words.

Write about the topics you often talk to clients about.

Right now, timely topic examples include:

  • 3 questions to ask yourself about your investments during market volatility
  • Writing a check to the IRS this month? Our top 5 tax planning tips for next year.

Content ideas that work any time of year:

  • Thinking about retiring soon? 3 steps to get ready.
  • A look at the impact of your investment in XYZ company. (Use this post to share the impact an individual company or loan has had, or share the story of a successful shareholder engagement action. You can ask your fund and investment managers for ideas. I have examples here.)

HOW

I use Mailchimp and find the user interface is relatively easy for do-it-yourselfers to manage. Other popular services include ConvertKit or Constant Contact. Whichever you use, pick a template you like and stick with it. Readers like regularity and knowing what to expect, so don’t change graphics and format frequently.

Send yourself test emails when you think your email is ready to go. Read your test email out loud to yourself - this is a good way to find errors in your text. Double check all links.

Make your email subject line interesting. I often see subject lines like, “Quarter 1 update,” which is neither descriptive nor compelling. Write a subject line that makes people want to read your email!

After you’ve sent the email out, share the URL for your newsletter on social media, and on a subsequent day, share a link to blog content. (Sharing your content on social media is a secondary step. First, start writing and get that regular email newsletter started.)

Related: 5 Tips for Talking About Sustainable Investing