E-newsletters are an excellent and increasingly common way to connect with existing and potential clients. E-newsletters allow you to showcase your industry knowledge and expertise in order to “confirm the purchase” with your clients. Alternatively, an e-newsletter is a great way to stay top-of-mind with prospects and continue to “drip” on them with your know-how and experience. But breaking through the clutter with compelling content can be a challenge. According to recent e-mail marketing studies, average open rates for financial services e-mail marketing pieces hover in the 20% range. Here are 7 tips to help you win the attention of your audience:

1. Content is Key
Your content must provide value that is well beyond your marketing message. Anticipate your audience’s questions and provide comprehensive answers. Be interesting, useful, and helpful. Do you regularly create educational case studies and whitepapers? Can your organization offer up timely insights on some aspect of the market? Can you share thoughts and best practices on a new regulation or piece of legislation impacting the investment community? Can you offer insights on recent market moves or economic indicators? See our blog on content marketing for more information.

2. Timing and Consistency Matter
There is much debate over the best distribution timing for your e-newsletter. Some argue that they should be sent as soon as they are ready. Others think sending them over the weekend will give your audience more time to read them and click through the link. We generally advise our clients to send e-mails mid-morning early in the business week. Most importantly, develop a regular schedule and stick to it. Your audience should expect to hear from you.

3. Study the Stats
Work with an e-newsletter service that offers robust back-end metrics. Select a service that tracks open rates, click through rates, and helps you track which content is connecting with your audience and who in your audience is engaged. There are a number of cost effective tools to choose from that offer these features. In the financial services industry, our experience suggests decision makers are most interested in case studies, white papers and articles on timely topics. Readers seek thoughtful, in-depth topics representing a firm’s experience, insights and thought leadership. Your e-newsletter analytics can provide you with valuable insights which will help you fine tune and hone future content.

4. Looks Matter
Most recipients will scan e-mail content, so pay attention to the readability of your e-newsletter. Use concise headlines. Employ pictures, charts, graphs, infographics and other visuals to make your content more interesting. Link to full articles located on your website instead of bogging down your newsletter with long articles. And keep mobile users in mind. Right now roughly one third of audiences access e-mail on a mobile device, but Forrester Research predicts that 78% of US email users will open their email on mobile devices by 2017.

5. Interact With Your Audience and Include a Call to Action
Consider asking a question in your subject line to pique the reader’s curiosity. Allow your readers to submit questions or comments in response to your e-newsletter. Solicit their feedback. Offer to schedule a meeting as a result of interaction on a topic. And be sure your e-newsletter includes clear contact information.

6. Showcase Your Team and Your Talent
Creating robust and original content “by-lined” by members of your organization or curating content with your own insights or viewpoints will go a long way with prospects and clients. One of the goals of your e-newsletter should be to showcase the thought leadership and demonstrate the depth and breadth of talent at your organization.

7. Spread Your Word
Your firm’s e-newsletter can be delivered directly to clients and prospects via email. But don’t forget it can also be posted to your website or shared with media. Send out the content in smaller pieces via Twitter or Linked In. Since Twitter and LinkedIn are newsfeeds, you can redistribute your e-newsletter content in intervals over time with links back to the full content.

Many clients want ongoing communication from their financial services firms. There is a significant opportunity for advisors to produce an e-newsletter. A recent Pershing study revealed that the vast majority of advisors do not produce newsletters or e-newsletters, yet individuals want regular, ongoing communications from their advisors. Chances are you’re already focused on content marketing and thought leadership. E-newsletter help make that content work harder and engage the interests and needs of existing and potential clients.