Law Firm Newsletters Frequently Asked Questions (Part 2)

As readers of this blog would know we are very passionate about newsletters being the best way for a law firm to kick start its marketing.

Sending a newsletter means you are thinking about the problems that your clients might have and by communicating directly with them you are demonstrating that you are able to help.

Creating the articles for the newsletters, or having them written for you, also means that you can have content on your website that is new and current, that will continue to provide information long after your newsletter has been sent.

New visitors to your website will also get to read the articles which can also be shared among friends and family.

Some of the most commonly asked questions raised by lawyers and practice managers were highlighted in our first post on this topic, here are a few more pieces to add to the puzzle.

What should you include in a newsletter article?

It’s important here to remember you have a deep interest in the law but your clients and referrers (the readers) probably don’t, so forget about doing an article or blog post on the most recent exciting High Court case on some esoteric legal point.

Clients are not experts at legal matters and don’t want to be. They just want to know the short answers to simple issues- issues you may think are a little bit boring.

Unless the readership is a sophisticated group such as a group of Accountants you should write the articles in a simple to understand way avoiding legalese, acronyms, case names etc or citing legislation and Courts.

Essentially you want to demystify the law and provide practical help on topics that your clients will find interesting and current. This will also show that you are able to communicate in a way that is easily understood.

How often should you send your newsletter?

Sending newsletters will definitely stimulate more work for your law firm, highlighting current topics and communicating directly with all your clients and referrers creates interest and awareness about legal issues.

We believe that sending newsletters out regularly is like commencing and continuing a ‘conversation with your clients’.

You should send newsletters regularly and consistently to your clients with a mix of general and business related content. If you have a large number of business clients and referrers or special interest groups like property developers, financial planners, real estate agents etc then by all means tailor a newsletter specifically for them.

You should draw up an editorial calendar setting out the topics you want to cover and allocating responsibility and time frames for writing the articles.

Keep in mind the slow months like December and January as well as school holidays, so timing the delivery of your newsletter is important, to maximise the impact and your return on investment.

How do you tell clients what you do and who you are?

This is very important. A newsletter should not only inform the client about interesting and worthwhile issues but it should also inform the reader what it is that your firm does.

You may think all of your clients know exactly what it is that you do but the reality is that this is not so. Even your good clients would not know all of your areas of practice or who your key people are.

Another problem here is that some law firms fall into the trap of boastfully stating they are good at this or that area of law, just like other firms up the street. It is better to be informative and to talk about an issue the client is (or should be) interested in, rather than talking about your firm. It should be all about them not you!

The exception to this is an article about a milestone or event that reflects on a person or the firm.

You want to let your clients know that someone has just completed a Masters in Law, or a well-known staff member has just celebrated a milestone of 15 years’ service, or that the firm has just made a charitable donation to a stated charity. Here it is perfectly acceptable to turn the spotlight on the firm.  Here your clients discover and learn about the firms DNA, its values and it’s role or beliefs in say the local community or for its staff.

How do you get your database ready for newsletter marketing?

The easiest way to send newsletters is via email and so all you need to do is to gather together all of the email addresses in your database, remembering that some contact information will be on PC’s or phones or in personal address books.

It should be borne in mind that we are yet to find a law firm who have their database in perfect shape, so don’t be worried if yours needs maintenance or a clean up. That said it is wise to go through the list and delete people who have died or say left for overseas permanently.

When is the best time to start?

Sending newsletters is such a good way of maintaining contact with clients and referrers and for getting work from people who know and trust you….. that you should just start!

In our experience, too many law firm principals try and get their database in perfect shape before starting their newsletter marketing and this is exactly the wrong thing to do and will end up costing you money.

So even if your first couple of newsletters are only to part of your database that is a good start because your marketing is happening.

Conclusion

Delaying your marketing, whatever it may be, only delays the introduction of work and could mean good clients are being attracted to competitor firms. Our strong message is don’t delay.

If you have other newsletter related issues you would like us to cover or there are any marketing topics you need information about, please send us an email, we’ll do our best to provide the information.

About the author
Brian Hicks

Brian Hicks

Brian has more than twenty years’ experience in marketing and management across diverse industries including legal, real estate, tourism and technology. Brian lives in Sydney with his wife and two daughters.

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