The art of developing a highly effective newsletter: Part 1

Posted by Dec15, 2015 Comments Comments Off
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How much revenue did your newsletter generate in 2015? If you are doing it right, this will be a difficult question to answer. I have written a newsletter each and every month for the past 13 years. Sometimes they generate immediate new leads. But sometimes prospects contact us citing a newsletter they read 2 years ago. So then what is the aim of a newsletter? Is it to generate immediate leads or something else? If you cannot answer this question, stop sending a newsletter out because you could be wasting your time. In my opinion, before you do anything, you have to start with the end in mind first, you must have a purpose. i.e. what do you want to achieve, what is your goal.

In my opinion, the aim of a newsletter is to “create positive brand recall”. That is, to remind the client you exist and that you are a valuable resource of information. If you achieve this, when the client needs help, they will think of you first. And when the client speaks to their friends and family, they will refer them to you. Because they know, like, follow and trust you.

I think it’s wrong for “lead generation” to be the primary goal of your newsletter. Why? Firstly, if all you do is chase the next transaction, the value of the content you send out will be limited in terms of topic and value. Your newsletters will start to become very salesy. Secondly, by trying to chase the next transaction, you will educate your clients how to think and alienate most of your list. Let me explain by using an example. A common newsletter topic that brokers write about is reviewing their loan to hopefully generate some refinance business. The article will talk about lower interest rates and potential savings. What impact does that have? It trains your clients that interest rates and savings are very important – you’ll turn your clients into rate shoppers (rates are important but there are many other factors that cleints take into consideration also that are equaly important to them.). Secondly, for those clients that have no interest in refinancing, the article will not be relevant to them and will not add any value.

Furthermore, each time you send a salesy newsletter you have to shout louder to get the same attention. This means your articles become more and more about helping your business and less about helping your clients. Eventually, everyone will stop listening/reading (actually, all the good clients will stop engaging , the disloyal and unprofitable clients will love you even more).

However, if the goal of your newsletter is to, for example, “create positive brand recall” then what you will need to do is send your clients information that is both 1) relevant to them and 2) useful and valuable. It might not result in immediate business. But, in the long run, it will result in significantly more business. My advice is to stop aiming for the quick sale and instead view your newsletter as an important and highly valuable investment into your client base.

The more value you invest in your newsletter, the more expondential your return will be . So the better question to ask is: how much revenue did the past 13 years of newsletters generate in 2015 – not how much revenue did only the newsletters published in 2015 generate – the distinction is very important. Take 10 minutes now to think about and plan your newsletter strategy for 2016. What can you do differently?

 

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