In my job, I see many firms' newsletters and firm's Web sites. There are some very good ones. The best ones show a continued effort to make them attractive and easy to read. The information is usually presented so the user can quickly get to what interests them. I particularly like those firms that list useful links in their newsletters or on their sites, and briefly describe why the sites are useful. is one of those useful sites that may be listed. It was just launched by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The site contains an extensive discussion of insurance needs at four life stages -- young singles, young families, established families, and empty nesters. It also details the possible premium discounts that apply to the various types of insurances -- many that clients probably don't know about and could take advantage of.

Another I like is That site, maintained by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, contains hyperlinks to the state sites where you can search, usually by an individual's or business name, for unclaimed property turned over to the state. For example, the state of Washington's site shows three properties belonging to a regional accounting firm based in Washington. These sites usually have easy online access to claims forms.

Listing useful Web sites in a newsletter and on the firm's Web site encourages use of both. Many recipients of the newsletters will probably check for those "useful sites" listings when they get the newsletter. A listing of useful sites on a firm's Web site will similarly encourage repeat visits. The links are easy to find and this information is easily maintainable on the site. You just periodically check if the hyperlink works, and if the description is still accurate. An additional benefit is such a firm is also publicizing how technologically savvy it is.

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