Social media might be booming, but a targeted e-mail newsletter remains the most effective form of online marketing. Here’s the big question: How frequently you should send them out?

 Online marketing experts agree that the most effective newsletter strategy is to set up a schedule and stick to it. A daily newsletter? Not practical — it would take way too much work to create something interesting every day, plus the person on the other end might feel as if they’re being spammed. Which leaves you with four options: weekly, monthly, quarterly or ad hoc.

Once a week

Let’s start with the weekly option. This is also a challenge — we all know how quickly the weeks roll around! You want your newsletter to be comprehensive but not overbearing, with enough articles on varying subjects to be relevant to a wide audience.

To produce something like that every week is not easy. Unsubscribes might rise and clients might start to question why they are receiving something that doesn’t apply to them.

That said, the Covid-19 pandemic has turned everything upside-down and some firms have had great success producing weekly newsletters. Those newsletters have been popular too, with open rates at least as good on average as the monthly newsletters they were producing before lockdown. Maybe your work situation is such that you have more time to research, write or source articles? If that’s the case then carry on with weekly newsletters, at least until the open rate drops.

The monthly option

This is the goldilocks choice: not too hot, not too cold, just right.

A newsletter once a month seems to be the perfect frequency because it builds a pattern of consistency; it’s achievable and affordable so the frequency can be maintained; it’s perfect for exploring more complex issues because you can track the development of those issues over a decent period of time.  Also, the open rate for a monthly newsletter tends to be higher than a weekly newsletter.

Four times a year?

Hmmm… A quarterly frequency isn’t the best option. The gap between each communication is too long, which means that each newsletter seems to come as a surprise. Plus, you’re getting only a third of the brand interaction than you would get with a monthly newsletter.

Some financial planners argue for a quarterly newsletter because they don’t want to bother their clients. This is understandable since the general quality of newsletters is very poor. But if you trust your brand and invest in quality content that will be relevant and valuable to your clients, your newsletters will never be a bother and your clients will certainly appreciate receiving them more than four times a year.

When inspiration strikes

Sending an ad hoc newsletter makes sense when you have something important or urgent to communicate and you can’t wait for your next scheduled newsletter. The ad hoc approach has been particularly relevant during the Covid-19 pandemic — many businesses have been forced to communicate more regularly with clients to inform them about operational changes, or to reassure them that the volatile market will eventually stabilise and recover.

But sending out a general newsletter on a whim is not the best idea. Rather choose a more regular frequency and stick to it. Humans thrive on routine, after all.

Let us help you

FinCommunications is in the process of building up a database of relevant, beautifully crafted articles that your practice can use for newsletters and blogs. These articles will be available via the software suppliers atWORK early in the new year.

If you are interested in finding out more about this exciting new project, or if you want to discuss your newsletter strategy, e-mail linda@fincommunications.com