A client newsletter is one of the most effective ways to ‘speak’ to your clients. A newsletter not only provides a regularly scheduled touch (or contact), which makes your clients feel connected to you, it also builds loyalty and drives sales.
If clients are loyal, they rarely leave your firm and often will up-purchase services. And what firm doesn’t want their clients to stick around long term and buy higher-billable advisory services? Of course, the power of your client newsletter depends on content. Here are a few tips to ensure the success of your main client communication.
1. Offer Educational, Timely Content
Part of showing your clients that you care is to offer them good information…stuff they can really use. As such, make sure that your newsletter content is informative and timely. For example, provide tips during tax season, small business advice for operating more efficiently, or updates to the best technology for small businesses. If the content is educational and accurate, your clients will look forward to reading your newsletter each month. If the content is not helpful, you will get a lot of unsubscribes.
2. Avoid Too Much “Salesy” Speak
Your clients get marketing emails all the time from multiple vendors trying to sell them something. They don’t want a lot of sales pitches from their trusted advisor. When writing your content, the best advice is to stay on an educational track. You can place a small advertisement off to the side—for example if you want to announce a new service offering. But these types of announcements should be kept to a minimum. You don’t want your clients to tag your newsletter as a sales rag.
3. Give Your Clients a Voice in What Content is Included
Who knows better what type of information your clients want to read than your clients? Now and again, be sure to ask your readership what they would like to see in future newsletters. You can do this through a brief email survey or by placing polling questions on your website. You can also simply add a concise announcement to the end of a newsletter that states, “We want to hear from you! Please email us at [email@example.com] and tell us what types of articles you would like to see in future newsletters.” This will also help to gauge the effectiveness of your newsletter content. Suggestions will shed light on the type of information clients want to see, which you can compare to content you’ve offered in past communications. Be sure to enhance your content if clients are providing suggestions for topics that have never been included in past newsletters.
4. Educate Yourself on Email Marketing
Don’t just assume that your newsletter is flawless and on target. Take the time to do some research and attend some webinars on the topic of email marketing. You may be surprised at what you learn. Many educational webinars dedicated to email marketing (which includes newsletters) offer a great deal of sound and proven tips for marketing success. One good source is the email marketing service giant, Constant Contact. The company offers several free webinars.
You should be using your newsletter to build loyalty and stay in consistent communication with your clients. Your newsletter is a tool for building relationships and establishing a two-way dialog where both sides see value. If you already have a client newsletter, consider these tips to improve content. If you have yet to launch a newsletter, this article provides sound advice for writing content that will be effective. Now, get to communicating! Clients love that.
Kristy Short, Ed.D, is partner and Chief Marketing Officer in RootWorks LLC (RootWorks.com) and president of rwc360, LLC (rwc360.com)—firms dedicated to providing practice management education, branding, marketing, and public relations services to the accounting profession. She is also a professor of English and marketing. Reach her at kristy.short@cpapracticeAdvisor.com.