Like many advisors and planners, you want to improve on the communications you provide to clients and prospective clients, and you are looking for the best approach.
Some choose to go with a ready-to-send newsletter as a quick and fairly easy solution. They can be written, formatted and made available from your firm or broker-dealer or produced by third-parties, such as Broadridge or WPI Communications.
The advantages of ready-to-send newsletters are convenience and minimal compliance issues. The disadvantages include cost and the reduced likelihood that your clients will actually read them. (Seriously, when was the last time you actually read a “canned” publication from any service provider? I thought so!)
To increase the probability that clients and prospective clients will read your newsletter, you could write and publish it yourself. That way you can include topics that may be more relevant to their needs and interests. You can include articles to introduce members of your practice, invitations to social or educational events, and other items.
The challenges of creating your own newsletter include the time and effort involved in writing, editing, getting approvals, formatting, printing (for hard-copy newsletters), and delivering them to your clients.
That’s in addition to putting together sufficient interesting content to get something out to your clients and prospects monthly, quarterly or however frequently you decide to publish it. Unless you have the discipline to keep up with your editorial calendar, you may find yourself overwhelmed by trying to develop good ideas for topics, and you might even be tempted to give up altogether!
Here’s our suggestion. Rather than tackle publishing a newsletter, why not embark on a plan to send single-topic letters (physical or email) to your clients? Here are the advantages:
- Letters are perceived as more personal than newsletters, both in style and content.
- They are easy to write and send – no complicated formatting.
- They are adaptable for email or hard copy.
- They don’t have to go out on a fixed schedule. Send something when you have something to say, not when the calendar tells you that it’s time to get it out the door!
- When personalized and kept short, they are more likely to be read by the recipient.
Here are a few guidelines for writing great client letters:
- Begin with your audience. Whether you are writing to a broad group of clients and prospective clients, or you’ve segmented your audience into targeted groups, write as though you were speaking to one individual. Do not address them as a group (e.g., “Many of you….”).
- Position your central topic as a concern that your clients face. Explain your purpose and why it matters. Give them a reason to want to read further.
- Clarify the issues surrounding your topic. If possible, describe how it may be different from what they have always thought, or perhaps it’s something they have never thought about. People generally want to learn more about what they didn’t know they didn’t know.
- Use stories to show they could be impacted. Stories are effective because people relate to them and remember them. Use fictionalized or composite versions of real-life situations to protect privacy.
- Demonstrate your experience and knowledge regarding the problem and explain the options for solving it.
- Describe how you can help. Let them know that you have the expertise, strategies and solutions to help them address this concern.
- Include a call to action or next steps. What do you want them to do next? Attend your workshop? Call for an appointment? Get them started in the right direction.
- Remind them that they may know other people in a similar situation. Ask how you might best connect with their friends, associates or family members to help them, too.
Need some help getting started on your own letter or email campaign? Send an email, and let’s schedule a time to talk.