Email marketing newsletters can enhance the level of trust your clients and their referrals have in your firm. They generally have a much higher response rate than web pages and blog posts because they're targeted to a specific group that has decided to interact with you.
To make the most of the email marketing opportunities, you have to understand your audience and how your services solve their problems. You’re already solving your client’s issues, so consider how to transpose those solutions into marketing content. For example, if you're a divorce attorney, you probably hear at least a few common questions. You can turn those common questions, as well as their solutions into email marketing content that is sent to a targeted group of contacts (males/females in a certain age group or geographical location, for example). Make sure to review a variety of different helpful and often free resources throughout the newsletter development process. While this HubSpot post isn't directly geared towards the legal industry, there are some important takeaways that you can apply to your strategy as you start to think about your general approach to starting or re-vamping your newsletter.
Newsletters provide value to readers
You want to ensure your emails provide value to your readers. This means that sending newsletters simply announcing an achievement or award probably won’t do much for your readers or bring new clients to your firm. This type of information can be included on the side or at the end of the newsletter. The bulk of every newsletter should be reader-focused, not form-focused.
The firm of Doherty Wallace Pillsbury & Murphy P.C. has a newsletter archive (albeit outdated) that showcases their newsletters. Unlike DWPM, if you are using email marketing, your archive would include a sign-up form, and you would issue more than four newsletters in six years.
However, the firm’s newsletters are well-written and offer quality content that informs their readers of interesting issues and developments. For example, in their Summer 2011 newsletter, the attorney discusses a very specific change in the law when it comes to snow and ice removal, the history of the underlying case and the court’s decision, as well as what it all means to readers. This information is relevant and timely because it can be applied immediately by property managers before the start of winter.
Newsletters have simple designs
The design of the firm’s letter is professional, clean, and focuses on content. While this newsletter example is text-based, firms are encouraged to include images, videos, and hyperlinks to relevant information. Your newsletter should have enough space for you to collect background information about your topic and give it to your readers in whatever way makes it the most accessible, usable, and easy-to-share.
If you chose an email marketing platform, it will probably have a selection of newsletter templates that you can customize for your firm. If time is a factor, or you just don’t want to play with newsletter design, your marketing firm can probably handle it for you, or you can hire a designer for the short project.
Email marketing frequency
There are no hard and fast rules about how frequently you should issue a newsletter. The rule of thumb is to send your newsletters on a regular schedule, as long each issue is substantive and relevant to the audience.
You can send short updates on a weekly or biweekly schedule if they're important and timeliness are relevant. Longer newsletters can be sent monthly, or even more often if yours is a fast-changing area of the law. You don’t have to blow up your reader’s inbox to stay top of mind.
What you do have to do is develop a schedule and stick to it. If your readers expect a weekly newsletter, then stick to the schedule. If there's a reason why your newsletter won't be issued on the regular schedule, share it with your readers. Your readers may come to depend on your newsletter to keep them updated and informed about a specific area of the law. Don’t leave them hanging!
Teresa Shaw is an SEO consultant with 10 years of experience helping attorneys and law firms across the country increase public awareness of their services.