5 Common Newsletter Mistakes

Advisers are increasingly aware of the benefits of regular communication with their clients. But there are also a number of traps that are easy to fall into. Feedsy founders Steve Holmes and Gavin Klose share their tips for creating effective communications…

Keeping in contact with clients is good for business. And in this regard, newsletters still reign supreme as the most efficient and effective way of keeping clients connected with brands.

But could your newsletter be doing you more harm than good?

According to Digital Brand Strategist, Gavin Klose, and Adviser Marketing Specialist, Steve Holmes, there are five key mistakes people are making with their newsletter strategy.

Over the past three years, Klose and Holmes have spoken with dozens of advisers and examined hundreds of digital newsletters. Whilst some are getting it right, Steve has observed that “many are getting it wrong”.

“Most people understand that when the iPhone became mainstream it disrupted the way we did things,” says Klose. “We recognised that smartphones replaced the need for a camera (and film), a street directory, desk calendars, an iPod, and a calculator, but with people now reading emails and engaging with social media more on their mobile devices than their laptops and desktop computers, the way we ‘consume’ content has changed too.”

Holmes adds: “With an explosion of phablet sales and the rapid decline in printed newspaper readership, digital should be the primary strategy for distributing business news content.”

Both have noticed five problems that are keeping adviser newsletter practices out of step with the lives of their intended audience – the client:

1. Not doing anything at all

The thought of the time needed to research and set-up a website, print and email platforms, let alone the regular resources needed to create and distribute some eNews, is simply too daunting for some advisers to even begin.

“This is most common with small practices who are always ‘too busy’”, notes Klose. “But staying in contact with clients is a way of saying ‘I am not too busy to care about you’.”

2. Nothing to say

Coming up with ideas for things to write about or share on social media is not easy. For most advisers, marketing and news editorial is not their key strength, nor passion (after all, that is why they became advisers).

“Writer’s block can kill a blog. Having nothing to say nor the time to find things to share can also turn people off from following you on social media,” says Holmes.

Coming up with ideas for things to write about or share on social media is not easy

3. Using PDFs

PDFs have their place, but reading one on a smartphone is not one of them. There was a time when simply placing a PDF version of your beautifully laid out printed newsletter on your website, or sending it by email kind of worked.

But now, with over half of the world’s emails read on iPhones alone, PDFs are the worst choice when it comes to distributing eNews today.

Click here to find out why.

4. Never enough time

Dates on online newsletters are a good idea as it gives the reader context (eg: an article about ‘The Federal Budget’ makes more sense if you know which year it is talking about). But dates can also demonstrate how little time planners have (to care enough) to regularly provide this value.

“All too often you can see the long or irregular times between drinks,” observes Klose, “but this is not surprising because for many it is not easy finding the time to create content, employ a designer, have it published and then send it out somehow.”

5. Not doing it anymore

Some businesses start with the right intention, by investing in the platforms and populating them with good news, but then something happens and it all stops.

“You can usually see when the clock stopped by looking at the date of the last online newsletter. Either client work got in the way, the energy ran out, or the office newshound got a job elsewhere,” Holmes says.

If any of these sound like you, there are solutions out there. Some things to look out for are:

  • Great content
    Articles don’t have to be 100% about you or your expertise. The most important thing is – does it fit your beliefs, add value to people’s lives and is it appealing enough to be opened in the first place? Some services provide content for you and allow you to add your own to the mix if you wish.
  • Easy to share
    So you have great content, now what? You want to make sure that it is easy for people to share it with others and that your brand is attached to it somehow. A click on your shared article should lead the reader back to you.
  • Look great – on any device
    Does you news display beautifully whether it is on a large monitor or an iPhone 3 without needing to pinch zoom in and out to read it?
  • Easy to distribute
    Sending your eNews should be the easiest part of the process. You should not have to copy and paste content from one platform to another. Ideally your newsletter will be sent without you having to do anything at all!

“A few years back, Gavin and I saw a need to help advisers streamline how they stay connected with their clients. This is why we created Feedsy,” says Holmes. “We have been constantly observing and listening to financial planners and have evolved our product range to include branded email newsletters, news web pages, news apps – all populated with news articles that people love to read – sent out automatically, but still giving our clients as much control and input as they wish. Our primary goal was to make the process simple and only take five minutes to get started.”

Gavin Klose and Steve Holmes are the co-founders of Feedsy, a specialist provider of digital content and marketing channels solutions for financial advisers. Feedsy is the easiest way of keeping in contact with customers. Gavin has a vast and broad experience in brand and digital strategy.

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