Creating e-newsletters for law firms is one of the most cost-effective ways to regularly communicate with your clients, referrers and potential clients. However, considered effort is required to ensure your subscribers look forward to receiving each and every edition.
Below is a step-by-step guide for those law firms who prefer to self-manage the creation and distribution of their own e-newsletter. When creating each publication keep in mind that you should maintain a conversational tone, remain personable but professional and don’t oversell your legal services, the job of the e-newsletter is to provide valuable information and to engage with your readers.
Choose Your Email Marketing Software
There are a few reputable email marketing software companies that offer various solutions to suit the email requirements of most businesses. Such marketing tools generally offer email templates, campaign analytics and subscriber management. When selecting an email marketing solution take into account its ease-of-use, as this will affect your enthusiasm for sending regular e-newsletters.
When preparing your e-newsletter for distribution use the ‘personalisation tags’ feature in your email marketing software to personalise each email for the recipient – making them feel as if the email has been written just for them.
Design Your Template
It’s a good idea to design your law firm e-newsletter template beforehand, as this allows you to know in advance how much space (or blocks) you have available for creating content. You don’t need to opt for a fancy design but it should be easy to read, well organised for easy scanning of its content and mobile-friendly. If you don’t like the newsletter templates provided by your email marketing software, a quick internet search will reveal other designs you may prefer. It’s also important to spice up your e-newsletter with images that support the topic at hand.
You can view some newsletter template samples in our Newsletter Gallery.
Identify the Topic of Conversation
Often a barrier to sending out e-newsletters is the ‘chore’ associated with finding and writing informative content. However, it is not always necessary to send long, detailed newsletters to your clients. Single-topic newsletters, particularly for important alerts, are not only easier for your readers to digest, but can also be helpful for keeping you on-point and focused when creating your content.
Be Concise and Aim for a Click
With most people being time-poor these days, it’s important to keep your legal firm’s e-newsletter succinct, on-topic and scannable. Whilst it is important to give your subscribers useful content in order to build trusting relationships, it’s not unreasonable to remind yourself that your newsletter has a business goal too. Give your readers valuable information but leave them eager enough to want to know more. Link your e-newsletter to your law firm blog and social media channels, for example start the enlightening conversation in a newsletter but conclude it by directing the reader to your blog with a link such as ‘learn more’, ‘read more’, ‘watch the video for more information’ etc. These clicks and website visitors will help rank your website and grow your social media following.
Craft Informative Content
When creating your law firm e-newsletter be sure to write and include useful, educational and interesting content aimed at your audience. Consider the following ideas as inspiration for your e-newsletters:
- Repurpose high-engaging posts from your law firm blog
- Relevant videos for example an interview with a partner speaking about a new law that has come into play and how it will affect certain individuals or industries
- Articles that focus on tips or ‘how-to’ content, for example, steps to take immediately after a relationship breaks down, or ‘how to’ get market-ready for your property purchase
- Infographics to assist your readers understand concepts, for example, a diagram setting out the steps to take in writing your Will or planning your estate
- Educational articles that focus on industry news
- Seminars and events that you are organising or perhaps events offered by other organisations or professionals (i.e. accountants or financial planners) that may be of interest to your customers
- Success stories that you have permission to share with your subscribers
- Testimonials from happy customers
- Resources that may be of value to your subscribers
People buy newspapers because the leading headline piques their interest. Likewise, for your legal e-newsletter, your featured article should draw readers in and entice them to continue reading the rest of your newsletter. With that in mind, a compelling subject line for your legal e-newsletter is imperative to lure your subscribers into opening your email. The more captivating your subject line, the higher your potential open rate and the more your subscribers will look forward to receiving your regular newsletters. That said, ensure the content of your newsletter delivers what your subject line promises.
Proofread Your Copy
Your e-newsletter reflects your law firm, having several pairs of eyes to proofread your copy will assist in ensuring it reads well, is grammatically correct, free of spelling errors, and of a quality synonymous with your practice. After your newsletter has been proofread and is ready to go, we suggest you first send the email to yourself or a colleague to view what your readers will receive. This way you are able to fix any design errors or typos beforehand.
There is nothing worse than receiving an email from a company with a ‘do not reply’ email address. This gives the impression that you don’t want to engage in communication with your readers. Instead, encourage communication by allowing readers to respond to your e-newsletter or if you link back to your blog, allow comments on your law firm blog. Of course, you then need to make the effort to respond to these comments. But that’s the purpose of your e-newsletter – to nurture engagement and develop long-lasting relationships with your subscribers.
Also allow your subscribers to share your e-newsletter content with others on social media, as this extends your reach and helps you grow your subscriber base.
Abide by the Australian Anti-Spam Laws
There is no point in making it difficult for your subscribers to opt out of your e-newsletter. So when designing your newsletter, make sure you comply with the Spam Act 2003 by inserting an ‘unsubscribe’ link in your email that is easy to find.
Be Reliable and Consistent
Decide upon a sending frequency that best suits your legal firm and stick to it. It’s also good business practice to inform your subscribers at the time of their opt-in, as to how often they can expect to hear from you. Finding the best day and time to send your newsletter can take some testing – it may be worth experimenting with sending your e-newsletters on various days and times and measuring their performance to identify the optimal sending schedule for your law firm.
Your e-newsletter is the voice or spokesperson for your practice and deserves your valuable time and attention. The steps mentioned above will assist you in creating a regular newsletter that your customers will look forward to receiving and will go a long way to cultivating ongoing relationships built on trust and respect.
Remember, sending regular e-newsletters is a long-term marketing strategy that is likely to deliver long-lasting results. Don’t expect to open 10 new matters immediately after sending your first edition. Not everybody will need your services immediately your newsletter hits their inbox – the idea is to keep your firm front of mind when your recipients do need you.
If you would like our free comprehensive guide to a successful law firm e-newsletter you can download it here.
We specialise in law firm marketing – in fact, law firm marketing is all we do. So, if you need help implementing effective marketing strategies to grow your business or want to build a website that is visually attractive, functional, and secure, please contact me.