by Tony Vidler
Engaging with clients and prospects is critical to getting the right business from the right people, and there is a surefire client communication winner (still): The humble electronic newsletter.
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 your primary 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.
“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.”
That was from a piece of market research a couple of years ago. But I keep seeing the same result from other surveys and research, even when surveying millennials!
It must be said that 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 as it is going to appeal to more of the people more of the time. Apart from that though it makes the best business sense for a practice.
It is a simple commercial decision. Use the highest preferred method, which is the easiest to implement, and which carrries one of the lowest costs/engaged prospect or client.
It begs the question as to why so few professional service firms engage in using a regular engaging electronic newsletter. By “regular” I do not mean 3 X per year either. That may be regular, but it is not regular enough to be deemed valuable by consumers I believe. Even worse though is sending a newsletter 2-3 times per year but at odd time intervals.
The most preferred and the most effective client engagement tool is an electronic newsletter, but there are some simple principles: