When was the last time you sent an email newsletter to your subscribers? Yesterday, last week, a month ago – never (*gasp*)? Perhaps you’ve forked out dollars for a subscription newsletter service (you know, the templated kind), but there was little to no ROI.
As a private practice accountant or financial services provider, you probably haven’t got a head office marketing department behind you curating your content and managing your subscribers. The opposite is true. It’s all you. If you’ve previously tried newsletters and they were a lot of effort for little results – stick around.
Let’s lay to rest the rumour that email newsletters are ancient history and show you how they can help you connect with your audience, build your brand and grow your business.
Email newsletters: Why they’re a golden opportunity
Newsletters aren’t new to financial services businesses – they’ve been around since pre-internet days (the internet launched in Australia on June 23, 1989), most likely as direct mailouts. But here we are over 30 years later, and direct mail appears stuck in the past, with email newsletters the centre of attention.
In 2021, the latest reported number of email users worldwide hit the 4.1 billion mark. With a worldwide population of 7.8 billion, that equates to over half the world’s population. And, because I know you love numbers, here’s another fact:
More than 149,513 emails are sent per minute – This means the number of emails sent each day is ~215,298,720Prosperity Media
With these figures, it’s hard to imagine why many financial services business owners aren’t making the most of a golden marketing opportunity. Sure, you collect emails from existing clients, but what about building an engaged email list to connect with prospects and nurture leads to become new clients?
Customised email newsletters allow you to set your firm apart from the competition – and let’s face it; there’s a fair bit of competition these days. Don’t sell your firm short by turning to generic template services that scream – BORING!
The best newsletters offer regular high-value content that helps your firm stand out from the crowd and speaks to your subscribers in your voice.
What are the benefits of free email newsletters?
81% of consumers said they need to trust the brand to buy from them. And, when you’re dealing with people’s finances, nothing could be more critical. But how do you earn trust? You can have testimonials on Google and share success stories on your socials, but isn’t it wiser to put this information directly in front of your ideal clients? Doesn’t it make sense to choose a cost-effective, easy-to-manage, and easy-to-measure marketing strategy?
Effective email newsletters can yield excellent results for accounting firms and financial service providers.
Here are a few more benefits to consider:
- Regular newsletters keep your financial services firm front of mind by giving you repeat exposure to your ideal client.
- You’ll build trust and credibility with your ideal audience by providing high-value educational content that helps them solve a problem (or identify they have one).
- Highlighting success stories of how you’ve helped other clients shows off your expertise and experience and helps others feel confident in your firm.
- Newsletters can generate interest in promotions and offers.
- When you’re building your brand, you’re building your business. Email newsletters give your readers insights into your brand’s authenticity, what you stand for and how you help.
- Differentiate your firm from your competitors by delivering content that’s uniquely yours.
- Use analytics to monitor and improve your marketing efforts
- It’s an excellent opportunity to pitch a broader range of services to your prospects.
Finally, according to Campaign Monitor, email newsletters have a higher engagement rate than other versions of digital marketing and are 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than social media.
5 trends to improve your email marketing newsletters
Now you’re sold on the enormous benefits effective email newsletters can have on your financial services firm, let’s look at how you can supercharge your campaigns with the latest email marketing trends.
1. Strategise then find the right solution
Email newsletters and marketing are big business – they’re no longer an afterthought. Before investing precious time and dollars, make sure you choose the right technical solution to support your email newsletter efforts.
Your email marketing strategy should include consideration of:
- How many subscribers you have now, and what your big picture goal is
- The type of content you intend to send
- How you’ll deliver the newsletter (i.e. manually, scheduled or automated)
- Other system integrations you need
- The quality of metrics and analytics you need
- Email design options and tools
With this information, you’ll be in a solid position to evaluate a range of email tools.
2. Artificial Intelligence is here to stay
We can’t avoid using artificial intelligence even if we want to – so embrace it. Artificial intelligence (AI) can help you write and design effective newsletters in several ways.
Here are a few:
- Improve open rates by using AI to generate optimised email subject lines
- AI will take the guesswork out of timing your emails by analysing customers’ browsing habits and preferences.
- You can improve click-through rates (CTRs) and conversions by using AI for audience segmentation – ensuring the right people get the right message.
- Improve your email deliverability by taking care of your email list (i.e. blocking spam and blacklisted emails)
The funny thing about personalisation is that most of us know it’s system generated, but we love it anyway. Seeing your name in an email subject line stops you in your tracks – it piques your interest. So too, does reading an email where you feel like you’ve become part of the narrative.
Personalisation in your newsletters gives your audience a sense that you know them. They feel like you’re speaking directly to them (not the 100’s or 1000’s of other people on your list). You can also personalise the content they receive by using audience segmentation to deliver relevant content to different audiences. For example, the information you send about your services to a younger audience will most likely differ from those considering retirement.
4. Interactive emails
Engage your audience with unforgettable interactive emails that are a far cry from the usual financial services newsletters. Try incorporating:
- Countdown timers
- Quick quizzes
Remember, it doesn’t all have to be business. Use these elements to have a little fun with your audience. Build brand awareness and boost conversions without the hard sell.
5. User-generated content
User-generated content (UGC) is free content that refers to content your followers, fans, and customers create and share and which you then use in your campaigns. The value of UGC (aside from being free) is people trust other people more than businesses.
Testimonials are the perfect example of UGC because they’re the voice of your client. They’re a digital version of word of mouth and can be the secret to giving your business the boost it needs.
Including testimonials in your email newsletters builds trust with your audience because readers listen to the voice and experience of past clients more than they trust your voice
Email newsletter examples from other industries
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in; email newsletters are a powerful marketing tool. If you’re second-guessing whether you should head down this path, look at a few of the most popular newsletters out there from other industries.
- SmartCompany is the voice of Australian entrepreneurship, publishing breaking news, must-read analysis and hearty advice. They publish a ton of information on their website and deliver two different newsletters (one daily, the other weekly) direct to the inbox of their subscribers.
- HR Brew is a twice-weekly Human Resources (HR) newsletter that provides insights into organisations and the employee-employer relationship.
- Marketing Mag delivers marketing news, opinions and tools to over 56k members Australia wide and claims to know the Australian market better than anyone.
- The Lawyer Mag promises to keep you up-to-date with the latest breaking news, cutting edge opinion, and expert analysis affecting both your business and the industry as a whole.
Make a start on your next (or first?) email newsletter
Stop procrastinating over whether you do or don’t send that email newsletter because the benefits speak for themselves. Review your email strategy and use it to choose the right email marketing tool for your financial services business. Then, start crafting your first campaign!
Don’t forget your goal is to provide valuable, cleverly created content for your reader, build awareness of your brand, and create connections with prospects who, in time, become clients. Try some of the trends I’ve mentioned in this post to stay ahead of your competitors.
Don’t have enough time to develop your email newsletter campaigns? Want an expert’s input to improve open and click-through rates? Book a free discovery call, and we’ll talk about giving your next newsletter campaign the attention it deserves.
Accumul8 Advantage offers a range of copywriting services for business owners in the accounting and financial services industry. With over 40 years of experience as an accountant and financial planner, Allan Johnson is the first choice for financial content that boosts your brand and attracts the right clients.
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