Member Since: 23rd May 2007
4th Apr 2017
I've been producing a monthly newsletter for about 4 years for clients & contacts, based in the UK. As background, I was a sole practitioner until recently - I took on a partner in January. I currently have just over 400 recipients on my list - always gradually expanding.
I write almost all the material myself, except for budget news, and even then I tweak the text to suit my style. It's mainly tax-based, but not necessarily topical. People a;ways need to be reminded of the basics, preferrably in simple terms. It takes perhaps a day a month - a considerable investment, but I consider it well worthwhile, as suggested above. I've gained business through it - clients have forwarded it to their contacts and family - and I often get replies from clients. It seems to act as a prompt to them to get in touch - which can lead to extra or earlier work.
We have little contact with some clients except for thinking about the accounts or tax returns, so it's a way of keeping in touch with them, reminding them that we're there, and letting them know that we can do things outside the normal service that they see from us.
For the last few months I've been using Mailchimp (formerly I just used Outlook with Mailmerge to greet recipients by their first names) - fascinating extra information and statistice! I generally get a 40% open-rate, which I gather is pretty good. I see surprising people opening the email - people I haven't been in touch with for ages, but who are still evidently remembering me via this email and so in due course they may contact me for advice.
So I'd definitely recommend it. However, the caveat is that it needs to be regular and as personal as possible, and that takes time. I am convinced that just using a bought-in letter would be useless.
8th Jun 2012
Why stop at recruitment?
I wonder whether this approach could contribute to a risk assessment for anti-money laundering purposes. I think I'd tend to be a little more worried about a potential client with "stressy" pictures in his home or office (eg. Munch's Scream) than more peaceful scenes (Constable).
And a predilection for fantasy novels might produce less confidence than realist fiction when you're considering someone's explanations in your audit analytical review.