Passy notes an increasing number of advisors publish reports or bulletins for clients and prospects delivered via email or snail mail.
“Each report tends to have some basic points in common,” he explains. “They all share a few investing or planning ideas, and offer some perspective on what the markets have done of late. They also try to forge something of a personal connection with readers. Some will do this by passing along a good recipe, others by telling a (hopefully) funny tale.”
The goal is to use the newsletter as a marketing tool, to cement your expertise in the client’s mind and therefore gain “wallet share” or referrals.
Passy identifies a few from around the country that are doing it well:
1). Dunavant Wealth Group
The newsletter: Dunavant Dialog published quarterly and sent by regular mail to about 270 clients and prospects (also posted on the company’s Web site). Each report typically runs four pages and includes an E-Insight column by firm principal Eric Dunavant.
Time/cost to produce: It takes two to three weeks to research, write and create an issue, he says, working in tandem with the firm’s public-relations agency. The last issue ran about $1,000 in production and mailing costs.
Publishing lessons learned: The newsletter “has been an effective way to introduce new staff members to our clients. They may not actually see the team members regularly, but they [become] familiar with them,” says Dunavant.
The lighter side: Sudoku puzzles and recipes are sometimes included. The last Dialog featured tips on how to make a pizza on the grill.
2). Absolute Investment Management
The newsletter: The Absolute View, published quarterly, is sent by email to about 1,500 clients and “anyone that wants it,” says firm principal Michael Lebowitz. Each issue runs eight to 10 pages and focuses on a topic, such as Japan, gold, agriculture. Plus, “we always end with a summary of the markets and major asset classes,” he says.
Time/cost to produce: One to two weeks. Costs are minimal. Electronic publishing is cost- and time-effective, Lebowitz says. “At times, our ad hoc messages are time-sensitive, which is another reason snail mail would be tough,” he says.