How to Create a Newsletter That’s Worth Reading

Newsletter that's worth reading

Almost every advisory firm I know sends out a quarterly, if not monthly, newsletter. Many of those newsletters are created in Microsoft Word with an image or two from Excel dropped in, and then saved to a PDF. That PDF gets mailed to every client the firm works with.

While this type of workflow was acceptable ten years ago, most industries have moved on to better ways to communicate. We now have email delivery options that allow us to communicate with clients any day, at any time; Orion has even released a text messaging app so clients can (among other things) receive information about their portfolios.

When communication is instantaneous and constant, how do you set your newsletter apart and make it worth reading?

Here are seven thoughts on how to make a newsletter that’s worth reading.

Do you need a newsletter?

Before we go any further, ask yourself: Do I need a newsletter? The answer might be no.

If you’re the type of advisor that sends out regular email updates, records yourself on video when an important market movement happens, and reaches out to clients in other proactive ways, then a newsletter may not be necessary.

If you’re already providing relevant content regularly, look hard at what additional value you’re going to add in your newsletter.

And that brings us to my next point …

Identify the purpose of your newsletter.

Once you’ve decided to go ahead with creating, or continuing, your newsletter, you need to establish a singular purpose. Orion’s monthly newsletter exists to highlight our advisors and integration partners to help our clients become more aware of our ecosystem and industry as a whole. It’s a pretty simple mission.

You need to decide on a purpose that you can share in one sentence. Is the mission of your newsletter simply to let clients know what investment decisions you made the past quarter or to identify what the markets did and why? Those are both fine mission statements, but you need to write your newsletter with the end goal in mind, whatever it is.

Identify your audience

Who do you want to reach with your newsletter? The answer might seem obvious: Clients.

But for some advisors, there may be another end purpose in mind. It’s possible to create one newsletter for clients, and another for prospects. Or if you’re the type of advisor we talked about in point one who doesn’t need a newsletter because of regular contact, you might create a newsletter solely for prospecting.

Whatever you decide, know who you want to reach, and create the newsletter with information they will find valuable.

What kind of newsletter will you make?

Your newsletter can be more than text in a Word document.

You can post it online, send it through email, make it a blog, or record a video. You could create a combination of those suggestions.

If you want to make a newsletter that’s truly engaging, take a look at Orion Engage. Engage allows you to record a video and then overlay actual client information on top – so every client that views your video gets a customized and personal experience.

Seek Professional Design

The example I used for most advisor newsletters is a Microsoft Word document with a few Excel graphics. I would recommend against this strategy.

You want to present your firm in the best possible light, and you want to get professional help with the design of your newsletter. If you’re sending an email newsletter, it could be as simple as choosing an email solution that gives you custom templates so you can create a beautiful email.

If it’s more advanced, you may want to explore a marketing or design company to work with your firm on putting your best foot forward.

Set Your Length and Frequency

A newsletter sent too far apart might be forgotten. A newsletter sent too close together might be deleted as noise. The frequency you choose is important. This can be different for everyone, so track how many people are reading your newsletter and how many are unsubscribing from you, and adjust accordingly.

As you plan out your newsletter content, shoot for a consistent length so your reader knows what to expect. It’s jarring when you send out a few 2 page newsletters and then distribute a 15 pager.

Never Stop Iterating

Perhaps the most important part of creating a valuable newsletter is to constantly change. The needs of the current year may be different from last year. Take a look at what others are doing, and stay current with design trends or new communication methods.

If you’re sending out a newsletter right now, what methods have you found work well for you to create engagement? I’d be interested to hear from you.

 

If you have questions about Orion’s Engage solution for creating personalized video newsletters, or you’d like to take a look at how Deliver can help transform your email communication, please reach out to Orion today.

 

0338-OAS-9/19/2016

 

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Kyle Hiatt

About Kyle Hiatt

Kyle Hiatt is Orion's EVP for Business Development. Kyle is a native of St. Louis and a big Cardinals fan. He also excels at playing hoops and dunking on 7 and 8 year olds, and trying to keep the ball in the fairway while golfing.

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