October 4, 2013

Finding more than Money in the Mail

Stephanie's newsletter
“I’m not sure that I can picture the success I've had without the newsletter being part of it,” said Stephanie Holmes-Winton, The Money Finder. This was her response to my query about the ROI of her email campaigns during a recent chat.

Stephanie’s strategy is very precise and all her own. Our role is to help her execute it and we've been working together for close to 3 years. A whole lot has changed with Stephanie’s business during that time. She’s become an international speaker, author, TV personality and software developer - and a strong voice for change in her industry.

When Stephanie and I first met over lattes at Starbucks to strategize, she had recently sold her financial services business and was embarking on a mission to change the way that industry deals with debt (or rather, doesn't deal with it, according to Stephanie). She had tried using an online newsletter service for advisors but found that it had an unimaginative, templated look. As well, the pre-selected and pre-screened content often contradicted her values and opinions. It wasn't authentic and Stephanie needed to be authentic – it’s an integral part of her brand. Stephanie said, “It wasn't my material and it was so obviously not mine.”

Stephanie had already discovered the value of getting into her prospects’ inboxes and how that helped to maintain relationships over time. It also demonstrated her persistence and commitment to her readers. Stephanie said, “You can’t be inconsistent. It’s the greatest betrayal of their trust.”

Stephanie’s target market is the financial services industry, particularly financial advisors and similar professionals. She claims that her newsletter campaigns have played an important role in growing from interacting with 200 advisors then to interacting with over 5000 advisors now on a monthly basis. That kind of list growth doesn't just happen; Stephanie has worked hard to recruit her tribe.

If you think that a newsletter is a one-way method of communication, ask Stephanie about all the people who have sought her out at events and said, “Hey, I read your newsletter!” She told me, “There wouldn't be a reason to connect so quickly and so deeply without the newsletter.”

Stephanie shared other benefits, too. Her blog readership has increased. Her newsletter has enabled her to inject more of her personality into her marketing. It’s also a conduit for promotion, but that promotion is offered up among a whole lot of real value. Stephanie advises, “You can’t only do a newsletter when it’s convenient to promotion. You have to maintain the capital you establish.”

Has Stephanie ever got any real business due to her newsletter? You bet. Her newsletter goes out and advisors sign up for her Bootcamp. Recently a speaker’s bureau approached Stephanie by replying to her newsletter. And that's not the first speaking gig she’s landed that way. Being an advocate for change, Stephanie has been able to grab the attention of key people in her industry and further her cause. She’s been interviewed many times about topics that appeared in her newsletter by journalists who subscribe.

To execute her strategy, Stephanie told me that she appreciates the accountability that comes with working with a service provider like us. The reminders keep her accountable and on schedule.

Stephanie feels her newsletters are “robust, tangible and helpful” and she knows that because they get shared... a lot.

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