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The sole purpose of your law firm’s newsletter should be to provide high-quality information that your readers look forward to receiving and which builds trust – such that you nurture lasting relationships, encourage interaction and keep your law firm front of mind when your subscribers are in need of the services you offer. The key benefits of e-newsletters for law firms are achieved if valuable information is provided to clients and referrers.

Most internet users will receive multiple newsletters over the course of any month. People choose to subscribe to newsletters to receive information that promises to solve a problem they have, to answer questions or to learn more about a particular topic of interest. If the information in the newsletters fails to meet the reader’s expectations, or the quality is of a low standard and the content useless, it’s likely that the unsubscribe rate for such newsletters will be high.

As a law firm, most of your communication with your clients is of a formal nature. However, your e-newsletter provides you with an opportunity to communicate with your customers, prospects and referrers more informally – allowing you to cast your law firm’s personality in a more casual way. The saying, “people buy from people” rings true and your e-newsletter is the perfect platform to showcase your expertise in a down-to-earth way that reflects the personality of the partners and staff behind your legal firm’s brand. It’s the ideal way to form relationships with people even before meeting them in person.

Receiving valuable content in an e-newsletter from a legal firm is different to receiving information from the local dog catcher or a party balloon hire business. Statistics we keep suggest that people place a higher value on information that is sent from their lawyer. We infer that people take the view that if their lawyer is good enough to give them a ‘heads up’ about a legal topic, then they should have a read. In a basic sense people appreciate you going to the trouble of drawing this information to their attention.

There are numerous benefits as to why your law firm should be communicating with your customers and referrers on a regular basis through an e-newsletter, which we will discuss briefly. But before we do, there are two significant benefits that often seem to get overlooked yet offer substantial business value.

Longevity

There’s a misconception that once a newsletter is read it’s soon forgotten. This is not necessarily true. The “shelf-life” of a high-value e-newsletter goes way beyond a few days after being delivered to its intended audience. Take the following example:

One of our clients followed our recommendation of communicating with their customers through a regular high-quality newsletter. One day an existing customer needed their services and the only way this customer could remember the law firm’s contact details was from retrieving one of their past e-newsletters. But the story gets better. The newsletter that their client responded to via the “respond to” email address within the newsletter, was 18 months old. No, that is not a typo… 18 months! Further, the content within this particular newsletter had no relevance whatsoever to the services the client required, yet the trust this law firm had built with their client through ongoing nurturing, gave them the confidence that the law firm would be able to deliver.

This example illustrates three interesting and valuable lessons:

  • Regular communication with your customers and referrers leads to an ongoing subliminal relationship that comes to the fore when in need – even if it is 18 months later.
  • The level of trust that forms and the depth of the relationship goes beyond the topics and content of a newsletter. Don’t confuse this with thinking content is not important – it definitely is. In fact, it’s the quality and value of the information you share that builds the trust and the ongoing subliminal relationship in the first place. The point is that not all content in every newsletter will resonate always with every reader, but if the content falls short of expectation and value, your subscribers won’t hang around long enough for a relationship to develop.
  • If your content is worthwhile, it gives your readers more reason to keep your law firm e-newsletter for future reference.

Referral Business

As social proof continues to gain popularity, it’s become second nature for people to share recommended businesses, services and products with their circle of influence. e-Newsletters provide the ideal opportunity for your audience to share valuable information by forwarding your newsletter onto others or by clicking your share icons in your individual pieces of content on your law firm website. As a result, there is the potential for your informative newsletter to go viral and for your marketing database to grow exponentially without any additional effort on your part. This is the true power of an engaging, value-adding e-newsletter.

If these two reasons alone are insufficient to persuade your law firm to implement a customer communication strategy that includes an e-newsletter, below are more benefits your legal practice can reap from regular, engaging communication:

  • Newsletters drive quality traffic to your website, thereby improving your search engine rankings through increased traffic.
  • Your e-newsletter is your personal communication channel to portray your legal practice’s expertise and brand personality.
  • Regular communication develops trusting relationships with your audience which attracts new business and retains existing customers.
  • An e-newsletter is a cost-effective means of staying in contact with your clients, maintaining mindshare and increasing the lifetime value of your clients.

With the trend in buying behaviours changing and customers seeking out businesses they want to deal with, rather than businesses seeking them out, the need to nurture trusting relationships with your marketing database becomes imperative. While the details of the content in each newsletter may be forgotten, your brand is not – it continues to live for as long as your law firm continues to provide information of value.

When it comes to marketing, many lawyers don’t know where to begin or just can’t find the ‘right’ time. Law firm marketing is all we do and the only ‘right’ time is ‘now’. We provide busy lawyers with effective content, marketing and communication strategies. If you want to grow your business, build trust and rapport with your clients and referrers and stay front of mind in the consumer search for legal services, please contact me.

About the author
Peter Heazlewood

Peter Heazlewood

Peter Heazlewood is a management and marketing consultant, he specialises in helping law firms develop their practices using business planning marketing and performance reporting techniques refined in his own successful law firm. Peter lives in Sydney with his wife and is the father of five adult children.
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