7 tips for getting more value out of your client newsletter
17th, Nov 2014
Client newsletters are ubiquitous among professional services firms. They take a lot of time to produce, yet often, they are only sent to clients by mail or email and then forgotten. So how can you maximize your efforts and get more value out of your newsletter? Of course, having great content comes first. High-quality relevant content gets read and is well worth the investment. Assuming your newsletter is already packed with good content, here are some ideas for getting more out it.
1. Pay attention to design.
Not everyone has a budget for a sophisticated design, but even small changes can make a difference in readability. Lots of dense text will discourage reading. Adding white space, using bullets, changing fonts and including subheadings can help. You can also box off and highlight statistics, interesting quotes and takeaways from the text. You want to make sure readers can quickly scan it if they are in a hurry. It’s especially good to add visual elements to break up the text like charts, graphs, infographics, and photos. Studies show that 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. Remember to think about design in each format that someone will read the newsletter. Firms often create a PDF version of the newsletter for mailing or downloading as well as versions for email and web.
2. Distribute it through multiple channels.
There are lots of options here including regular mail, email, website, blog and social media channels. I know some people don’t want to print and mail copies anymore, but firms still have clients who like print and printed materials may get noticed over emails. Remember to get individual members of the firm involved in helping to distribute the content through their own networks. If you went to the trouble of creating the newsletter, you should be making sure your audience sees it. Different people have different format preferences. As with advertising, it also helps for people to see the same content a few times before they pay attention to it.
3. Include calls-to-action tailored to the distribution channel.
Entice your readers with some additional action. If you’re distributing the content via social media, you want to push readers to sign up for your newsletter so you get their contact information. If you emailed them, encourage them to download a whitepaper or sign up for an event or webinar. The idea is to continue to interact with your audience and build the relationship.
4. Test headlines and subject lines.
It’s hard to get attention when everyone is being bombarded with content. You only have a few seconds to get a reader’s attention. Make headlines and subject lines interesting and keep track of what types of language get better results.
5. Slice it up.
The newsletter can be pushed out in whole, but then repurposed and promoted as individual “chunks” of information for different social media channels. Articles can be shortened or rewritten for a blog or LinkedIn post. Even those charts and infographics can be separately marketed.
6. Reuse and repackage it.
Periodically you should go through your old content to look for opportunities to get extra use out of it. If you have good relevant content, find ways to update and promote it again. You can also pull together a bunch of related articles that were previously published. Revise them where needed with new developments, takeaways, lessons learned, etc. and repackage it as a multi-part series, a whitepaper or ebook. Looking at the content this way also may give you ideas for additional articles you could write in future months to help fill in gaps. It also may be helpful in identifying topics for webinars and live events. Those articles can then be distributed to attendees as supplementary materials.
7. Enhance it.
It’s beneficial for design reasons to add visual elements like charts and infographics, but even more importantly it’s great for content purposes. It grabs attention quickly and gives the reader some useful content at a glance. A great visual also entices people to read the text that explains the picture. Some other ways to enhance the content include adding in checklists, FAQs, case studies, interviews, surveys and video segments. You can also curate content that your audience would be interested in – that is, give them suggestions for other great resources (beside you) they would find helpful on the topic.
Your client newsletter can be an excellent vehicle for content marketing. Start with great content and then make the most of it.