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Nov 13, 2008 10:36 pm

I am really trying to create a quarterly client newsletter that I can mail/email to clients, post on the website, send to prospects, whatever as a 2009 business goal.

For those of you that do them or have seen them, how many pages do you think is adequate?  And what topics would you include?

I want to put a seminar schedule (also a 2009 business goal) in the newsletter, market/economic update (very short), small note thanking clients who have referred clients in the quarter, short story with metaphors/analogies, topic of the quarter (Roth IRA conversion, stuff like that), small note thanking new clients, maybe a recommended book if there is one from time to time.

That's all the ideas I have.  What else would you add?   I'm thinking it can be done on one page, front and back.  Is that too short?  I would rather have it be too short than long, I think...not sure though.
Nov 13, 2008 11:18 pm

You might want to scrap the newsletter idea and make a quarterly phone call to clients and prospects. It will make more money for you.

Nov 14, 2008 3:04 am
Hank Moody:

You might want to scrap the newsletter idea and make a quarterly phone call to clients and prospects. It will make more money for you.

  Snags, unlike Captain Sunshine above, I've come to the conclusion that there is value with the quarterly newsletter.  I've never had a client call me up and tell me he was headed right down to the office with a large check strictly because of what was in my newsletter, and it doesn't take the place of actual prospecting, but it's a great way to stay in front of everyone.  I've learned that less is more, so pick 2 or maybe 3 topics for each newsletter, and don't skimp on production quality.  You don't want it to look like the church bulletin.  If you do it nicely, you'll be surprised how many clients/prospects will comment on something you had in there.  It's a "top of mind" thing, with some branding benefit thrown in.  That's my take.
Nov 14, 2008 5:52 am

I don’t quite get mine out quarterly…about three a year.  Mine is four page color and I get it printed at .  I think my last run was about $230 for 500.  I also print to a PDF file and email an advance copy to clients who furnish an email address.  Your topics are in line with what I do.  One other thing you might consider is a client business in focus section.  It’s free advertising for your clients and I literally have them lined up on a waiting list for this.  I ask them for a writeup (I maintain editorial rights) and go to their business to snap some digital photos.

  I really like the idea of a homegrown newsletter and have gotten plenty of positive feedback from clients.  Most people tell me they are interested in hearing what I have to say about the investment climate, so I always lead off with that.  This next newsletter will have a piece on my two summer interns and our recent client cookout in addition to the regular stuff.
Nov 15, 2008 4:54 pm

Something related, our firm does a very personal christmas/winter holiday newsletter.  We do not talk about the markets at all.  Have a blurb from each of the staff members, and gives the advisors a chance to reflect on the last year, and the next year. 

I get a lot of positive responses from clients.  I’d say 80% of our clients don’t read the bi-weekly/monthly market related newsletters that we send out.  But a good majority of them read our Holiday newsletter. 

Nov 15, 2008 5:45 pm

Thanks for link Indy.  I didn’t realize it could be done that economically.  Do you do the layout and copy yourself?  It sounds like a lot of work.

Nov 15, 2008 7:34 pm

It’s not that bad with something like Microsoft Publisher.  I do all my own work, but can select from a variety of layout templates that make the job pretty easy…just insert your own text and pictures and you’re in business.

  BTW, PS Print does a nice job.  I send them a PDF and usually have a proof back in a couple of days.
Nov 20, 2008 10:22 pm

I know that I’m a little late to this discussion, but…

  We publish a quarterly newsletter for our clients.  They love it.  It's 8 pages every quarter.   Dont' get too technical in the piece... people won't read it.  Make it in plain english, and include ONE item that is a bit more advanced.  Highlight your staff, write a soft front-page piece, and be sure to do something with lots of color (women seem to comment quite a bit on our photos).  Anti-fraud items, Roth IRAs, estate planning matters, profiles of certain asset classes, acceptable withdrawal percentages, when to re-finance mortgages, yield spreads - what they are, and why they are important - Morningstar ratings, etc.   We publish the entire thing ourselves... just take the PDFs to the local printer, include an Excel spreadsheet with the mailing list, and they print, tab, and mail the entire thing.  Our clients LOVE it.   That's what we do.   C
Nov 23, 2008 5:53 am

Just wanted to mention, be mindful of what you put in writing especially if your clients are savvy… I’ve seen clients pick apart newsletters with some very credible points that essentially proved the newsletter pieces to be inaccurate, this can make you look very foolish.

  I will leave the firm nameless but when the market started pointing down a year ago the general message of the newsletters being sent, keep in mind this was a research department piece just general market commentary published by the firm which was optional to send, were basically saying "yeah this isn't as bad as the other firms say, keep buying and do not rebalance, only 5% of people are not paying mortgages, we'll pull back up soon enough", then following quarterly newsletters kept the same message flowing out as the market approached the cliff we recently fell off. I advised against sending this newsletter to clients because I thought the research piece was garbage but the final decision was not my call... Keep in mind this was sent out in writing, some clients don't throw it in the garbage they actually file these newsletters with their statements, unless you know exactly where the market is headed I would avoid giving even genral advice in a newsletter, I'd even be careful of sending certain approved pieces unless you are really certain they are correct. I just think once it's in writing and it's sent to a client you'd better be correct or your clients might punish you for it, I mean when you're a client and you have a newsletter from a year ago saying "stay the course" then you have a statement saying "ytd -30%" it seems to not make sense why there is a fee attached for bad advice leading to negative returns. If you want to educate on concepts in a newsletter that's one thing but the moment you dabble into the grey area of where anything is headed you are essentially picking a side to bet on. I don't think this is where you'd be headed with a newsletter but just wanted to mention these points.
Nov 25, 2008 1:11 am

so for someone not wanting to devote a ton of time to content generation, has anyone used some sort of pre-approved newsletter and simply affixed their logos?   i know it is not near as personalized, but am debating it myself.

Nov 25, 2008 2:07 am

too bad you’re not with EDJ, when I was there we had the killer Investment Perspective and Investment Focus… extreme sarcasm…

Nov 25, 2008 4:19 am

too bad you’re not with EDJ, when I was there we had the killer Investment Perspective and Investment Focus… extreme sarcasm…

Those rocked!!! How did they ever come up with the names? My personal favorite was Tax Talk!!!!!!!
Nov 26, 2008 12:04 am

For sure Noggin, those original names and the FA’s snappy mugshot on the back…

Nov 26, 2008 1:41 am

Hey, are you on my mailing list?