- Create your mailing list. Who is your audience? If your audience is current clients, then you should already have their email or mailing address. If you are trying to reach out to new contacts, you may want to consider purchasing a mailing list. Many associations will rent you a list.
- Have a clear purpose. Why are you writing a newsletter? What topics will you cover? How often will you publish the newsletter? Write a tag line or sentence to describe your newsletter. For example, "A quarterly newsletter focused on employment issues facing small businesses in Massachusetts."
- Determine how you will publish the newsletter. Will you send a printed newsletter or email newsletter? Yes, printed. Some law firms are going back to printed because clients are overwhelmed with email. You may need a design program such as InDesign to prepare a printed newsletter. Constant Contact and MailChimp are two email marketing services that provide templates for enewsletters. They are both relatively easy to use and are reasonably priced.
- Assign responsibilities. Know who is going to write the article, who is going to review and approve, who is going to be responsible for designing and sending the newsletter out, and who is going to track the results.
- Set a schedule. Consistency is critical to the success of a newsletter and will help you build a following of readers. Determine how often you will publish the newsletter. Newsletters can be time consuming so monthly may not be realistic for many small law firms. Consider a quarterly or every other month schedule. Set deadlines for drafts and final articles. Plan the schedule out for the next 6-12 months.
- Content is king. When you create your schedule also identify the topics or specific articles that will be included in each issue. You can always add breaking news. In addition to subject matter articles, consider adding interviews, client spotlights, attorney spotlights, a calendar of industry events, or even a joke.
- Keep it short. Articles should be 250-500 words. If you have something longer, try breaking it into separate articles or a series that can be published in future issues.
- Write for non-lawyers. Remember your audience and write for them. Avoid legalese and include key takeaways.
- Promote your newsletter. Announce the newsletter internally, post it on your website, link it to your law firm bio, post it on your LinkedIn page and the company LinkedIn page, Tweet it, post it to Facebook, add a link in your email signature, include it on advertisements, hand it out at events.
- Track your results. Constant Contact and Mail Chimp will provide you a report detailing who opened your newsletter and which links they clicked. This information will help you determine what topics your readers are most interested in reading.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
10 Tips for Creating a Successful Law Firm Newsletter
Are you thinking of starting a newsletter to promote your law firm or practice? Newsletters, like blogs, can be an effective tool for establishing attorneys as thought leaders and reaching new clients. Here are 10 tips for creating a successful law firm newsletter.