Is your website generating referrals?
I have used the word ‘newsletter’ in this article as a generic term. At Goldmine Media, we moved away from creating newsletter formats many years ago, and now our publications visually and editorially resemble mini-magazines.
Today, our goal is to produce publications for financial services companies that look good if featured in the online supplement sections that form part of one of the weekend broadsheets.
If you need to regularly provide prospective clients, existing clients and professional introducers with your own publication, then you’re missing out on a massive opportunity.
Investing in your own client-facing digital publication – if utilised correctly – is proven to attract more website visitors, generate quality leads, encourage referrals and develop new business opportunities.
Today, your website is your most important information and sales channel.
You only have so many hours in the day
I’m not discounting face-to-face advice; higher-value clients will continue to require it. But you only have so many hours in the day, and you can only see so many clients annually.
Does it make sense to engage more regularly with clients to maintain more significant contact with them, without actually having to be with them all the time, and also benefit from inbound leads that come to you?
At Goldmine Media, our position is that digital newsletters as a format need to be updated. If you’re honest, would you rather read a well-designed digital publication with great imagery, excellent typography and quality content or an unattractive newsletter that looks like someone’s just created it in Word on their home computer?
Is it not really the impression you want to give to a prospective client looking to invest £500K or more with you?
Capitalising on a great referral-generating tool
For over two decades, we’ve provided consumer-facing digital publishing titles to consumers in the financial service sector. From our own research, someone is much less likely to delete a digital mini-magazine format than they are a newsletter format.
We’ve also seen a much greater likelihood that a mini-magazine format will be forwarded to family members, friends and work colleagues – making this a tremendous referral-generating tool.
It is worrying when we often hear some companies say, ‘Sending my clients a newsletter is a waste of money,’ ‘They wouldn’t read it, ‘We can’t afford it!’ But this is excellent news for our own clients who get it and benefit from sending out a regular client-facing digital mini-magazine.
Lifestyle articles rather than just financial content
Articles should build relationships with your clients, be timely, topical, not too technical and demonstrate how your business can help them improve their financial performance.
We are also now seeing a move editorially towards financial services companies, asking us to write more lifestyle articles rather than just financial content.
Your website is the perfect platform to showcase your client-facing digital mini-magazine and to keep your brand of clients and prospective clients, establishing greater authority and service levels. Like all marketing initiatives, your digital mini-magazine needs to have a quantifiable impact on your business.
The first step is setting measurable goals, which include measuring an increase in subscribers, open rates, and click-through rates and attributing these to increased sales revenue.
Sales campaigns or new business initiatives
These goals should be linked to various sales campaigns or new business initiatives the publication could reinforce.
For example, in the run-up to the end of the tax year, you may want to promote different ways the reader can reduce a potential tax bill or take advantage of tax-efficient allowances.
The publication could then contain the type of content about VCTs, SIPPs, ISAs, Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax planning strategies, with tracking links to different sections on your website where they can obtain further information, contact you or arrange a meeting.
Influential client-facing publications should primarily be informational rather than sales-driven. Visitors to your website are likely to be regularly bombarded with offers, sales and promotions.
Your content needs to be relevant and engaging to get visitors to your website (whether existing or prospective clients) to open and read your email beyond an attempt to sell them an investment or other service. Users are much more likely to open an email targeted to educating or informing them.
A narrative that brings more personality
Your client-facing digital mini-magazine allows your financial services company to demonstrate authority and expertise on different subjects and your services. This gives readers a reason to trust you and tells a narrative that brings more personality to your business.
One proposed methodology for the inclusion of different types of the editorial is 90/10: 90% information and 10% sales material. With the right balance – a less-is-more and educational approach – you’ll experience a greater return on your marketing outlay.
Critical components of creating a successful client-facing publication are that it needs to be specific to your target audience and published regularly. And with more people using smartphone devices, your digital publication must be optimised for tablets and smartphones for the best results.
Building further loyalty and brand awareness
Emailing clients and prospective clients your digital mini-magazine will help you build further loyalty and brand awareness and generate more referrals while also increasing your bottom line.
Clients do business with you because they’re loyal and trust you, not because you sell. So it’s even more critical today in a turbulent geopolitical world to keep connected with them!
To drive more visitors to your website, you can’t expect it to happen organically. It would be best if you worked actively to attract visitors, and emailing your digital mini-magazine will help.
You need to invite them, encourage and incentivise their presence if you want visitors to come to your site, browse through content and make contact. One crucial thing to remember is to target the right audience with the right content.
More reach will start generating more activity and referrals
Remember to include emails that also contain social sharing buttons that are likely to give you a much higher click-through rate when compared to those that don’t.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will increasingly become essential for many financial services companies’ overall growth and marketing strategies.
However, growing on these social media sites can require more time and work. Emailing your digital mini-magazine can help you build your online community – engage them through their inbox and guide them to your social media channels. There, you have more reach and will start generating more activity and referrals.
Time to find new proven ways to engage with clients and prospective clients?
Are you looking to find new proven ways to engage with clients and prospective clients? In that case, we’ll help your financial services company develop captivating creative that cuts to the core, inspiring further loyalty among your clients by leading with what matters to them most.
Jack Reid, Digital PR and Creative Team Consultant,