by Tony Vidler
The humble electronic newsletter is the winner hands down.
Let’s begin by thinking about what you are trying to achieve with any client engagement method and you will probably come up with these core reasons:
1. Remind them we are there for them (maintain top of mind awareness of “us”)
2. Let them know more about us and what we do
3. Create a human connection
There will be others that make the list of reasons for a client engagement, or communication, strategy such as creating service efficiencies or leverage, or perhaps even direct promotion of products or services. Regardless of what you purpose is in having a client communication strategy, a key consideration in creating an effective strategy is to consider what methods the clients themselves prefer.
A piece of research on client communication preferences in Australia caught my eye this week, probably because it reinforced what I already believed to be true anyway if I’m fair. But it was nice validation, and worth drawing attention to for any in professional services who are not regularly using newsletters as a means of engaging with their clients.
“Approximately one in three clients rated electronic newsletters the most preferred form of communication from advisers. Finding that the most popular form of communication is preferred by 34% of clients emphasises the need for advisers to use multiple channels of communication to reach the majority of their clients.”
Clearly when the number one ranking method still only accounts for a third of the first choice preferences, it is essential to have a multi-medium communications strategy. Equally clear though is the need to create an engaging and regular electronic newsletter and place that at the top of the priority list. The reason for placing it at the top, apart from it being the most popular medium for the customers themselves, is that it makes the best business sense.
It is a simple commercial decision. Use the highest preferred method, which is the easiest to implement.
Being the most effective, and easiest to implement, and most preferred method of communication makes it likely to be one of the most cost efficient methods of client engagement too. It makes commercial sense.
It begs the question as to why so few professional service firms engage in using a regular engaging electronic newsletter. In my experience there are a proportion of course who have one, but it isn’t regular. There are also a higher proportion who have a regular newsletter, but it isn’t engaging. There are a proportion that just don’t have one at all.
The most preferred and the most effective client engagement tool is an electronic newsletter, and that is enough to make the argument that every professional services firm should be using it.