Sales & Marketing

Provide content that is valuable to your audience

By Leah Golob |

Your clients and prospects are already overwhelmed with information every day, so gaining their attention requires content with real value, says Linda Daley, e-newsletter specialist with Daley Progress Inc. in Halifax.

The key is providing information your clients can't get anywhere else, Daley adds. A newsletter containing a "unique value proposition" will amp up your subscribers and, ultimately, enable you to increase your business.

Here are three tips for creating newsletters your audience will read:

1. Find engaging content
Many advisors may be hesitant to create a newsletter because they are not confident in their writing skills. But you don't have to write great articles yourself to create a good newsletter, Daley says. Instead, you can be a resource for unique, compelling content.

For example, one of Daley's clients distinguishes herself by including a section in every newsletter that highlights important conversations occurring on social-media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. For clients who are not avid social-media users, this list provides opportunities for them to stay abreast of important topics and ongoing conversations they may have missed.

2. Be a resource, not an advertisement
Most business owners start a newsletter with the intention of promoting their services or products. But if you give your audience material that is valuable to them, you'll become a trusted resource, which is a much more effective marketing technique in the long run.

"[Newsletters] are about sending your readers or subscribers what may be useful to them," Daley says, "as opposed to what we might want to send them."

For example, if you live in a small community and your focus is on families, your content doesn't have to address financial issues. To appeal to young families, you could write about family events in the community, Daley says. The only requirement is that your content is directed toward your target audience.

When you do need to promote yourself, either through a "lunch and learn" or a webinar, you'll have already earned the trust of your audience.

3. Create an editorial calendar
Plan well in advance what you will post in each newsletter. This strategy helps avoid your having to race against the clock to meet deadlines.

A quarterly editorial calendar will give you leeway when planning your content, Daley says. It also is important if you need to submit your content to your compliance department before publishing.

This is the first part in a two part series on creating e-newsletters.