Law Firm Newsletters
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way for a law firm to maintain regular client communications?
The answer is newsletters, and today that means electronic newsletters. Sending newsletters electronically is both efficient and cost effective. You have the advantage of the receiver being able to on forward it to others and therefore benefit by being able to leverage off those in your contact database.
Who should receive your newsletters?
You should send newsletters to your all of your current clients, clients you have done work for in the past – your former clients and people who refer work to you, as well as family friends, people you know in other business and social circles.
You should build your database so it contains as many clients and potential referrers as possible. You should take active steps to build on its current size on an ongoing basis.
Why is marketing using newsletters so successful?
Newsletters create a communication channel with your clients and this enables you to maintain regular contact with your clients and referrers.
Even if you are doing the best possible legal work for your clients, providing legal services can be an ad hoc process and it may be difficult to develop lasting relationships. Clients may forget you if you don’t keep in contact with them, they may not remember you or all the work areas your firm does, the name of the firm, its location and so on. Every lawyer can relate to stories where clients have instructed others to do work you could have done because they didn’t remember you or what work you do.
How do newsletters enhance my relationship with my clients?
You will enhance an existing relationship or start to develop new relationships and you will be appreciated if you consistently keep clients informed about relevant, interesting and meaningful legal issues in an understandable way. To a client the information is valuable.
As a trusted adviser, you are keeping your clients informed about the law and for that you will be remembered and appreciated.
What style should your newsletter take?
Newsletters need to be practical, interesting and engaging. They need to make sense to the reader. Forget legalese and formality.
Your clients just want to know what they need to know that’s new, or to be reminded about. If the client thinks you are ‘talking over their heads’ they may think you are being deliberately arrogant. Our articles try to demystify the law so it is meaningful.
What is the style of the articles?
The articles are written in a simple to understand way avoiding legalese, acronyms, case names etc or citing legislation and Courts.
They provide practical help on topics that your clients will find interesting and current. This shows you are able to communicate in a way that is easily understood.
How will the articles look?
The best newsletter articles have interesting headings that attract attention, the headings help describe and enhance the subject matter, then they deal with a few points – not in an over complicated way – and draw the article together at the end often with a summary or conclusion.
The articles set out in the newsletter are visually appealing and contain relevant photos or images. The style will reflect the image you want to project about the firm. You don’t want that to be dated, old fashioned or behind-the-times.
Who should be the sender named in the newsletter emails?
As the newsletter is an ongoing conversation, it should be personalised and come from an individual rather than the firm.
The firm’s newsletters should be sent from a senior person within the firm, or if there are a number of partners perhaps ‘partners@’ rather than a junior employee or a sterile email address such as ‘info@’ or ‘accounts@’.
Can newsletters help me in other ways?
Newsletters are a great communication tool so you are able to let your clients know about special events, functions etc.
Smart law firms promote other activities they are involved in via their newsletters. For example the firm might be running a seminar on a particular issue, for example Family Law, and so it is sensible to let your clients know if such an event is upcoming- they might want to come or tell their friends. You may be offering a ‘special’ on say Powers of Attorney and can let all your clients know by telling them in your newsletter.
Can I promote my website via the newsletter?
Posting a new article on your website is a great idea but it is not very useful if nobody knows it is there, newsletters are a great way of letting your clients know about new things like new articles, a website upgrade, changes in the law that might affect them, a social event….the list is endless.
Why should your law firm send newsletters to clients?
If you maintain regular contact with your clients and keep them informed of practical and useful legal matters, your clients will appreciate that and when they need help, or know of someone else who needs legal help, they will think of you and your firm.
Basically, the more you put in the more you will reap.
How often should newsletters be sent?
You should send the newsletters regularly and consistently as the cornerstone of your law firm marketing strategy. Generally, about every month or 5 week cycles works well.
What should the newsletter articles be about?
The articles need to inform and be useful. Providing esoteric legal points may interest a group of lawyers but will bore the socks off your clients. So you need to consider the audience. The tone needs to be informative and be practical. If the audience thinks you are ‘talking over their heads’ you will be irritating. So you need to find the right balance.
In future posts we will delve into the types of articles you can write and why your clients will appreciate receiving them.
Why doesn’t every law firm send newsletters out regularly?
Running a law firm is hard enough and doing all the marketing tasks that should be done, is harder still. Most law firms know they should send regular newsletters out but don’t because they feel they won’t be able to produce one when it is due to be sent out.
Some firms do nothing and hope the work comes in and doesn’t get referred to your competitors.
What should you include in a newsletter article?
Forget about doing an article on the most recent exciting High Court case on some esoteric legal point.
Mum’s and dad’s clients are not experts at legal matters and don’t want to be. They just want to know the short answers to simple issues that they want to know about – issues you may think are a little bit boring. More sophisticated clients need to have the articles pitched at a level that works for them.
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.
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 content directly relevant to the work you do or are seeking to do. You can actually sculpt the firm you want with article and subject matter selection.
How do you tell clients what you do and who you are?
This is very important. A newsletter should not only inform people about interesting and worthwhile issues but it should also inform them about what it is that your firm does.
Even good clients don’t know all of your areas of practice or who your key people are. If you don’t keep on reminding them they will forget or simply won’t know and you will miss the chance of doing that work.
What sort of news should I include in my newsletter?
Be informative and 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. Celebrate the milestones and community involvement. Let 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 a contact database ready for newsletter marketing?
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.
Don’t be worried if your database needs maintenance or a clean-up. Although you should delete people who have died or have left for overseas permanently.
When is the best time to start my newsletter program?
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!
What about sending newsletters by snail mail?
It’s not something we recommend as it’s expensive and hard to measure.
You never know who is tearing the newsletters up and who is deeply interested in the different articles or offerings. Apart from the postage, the time taken by solicitors to draft the articles is significant.
Are newsletters cost effective?
Using modern email marketing technology you can send out newsletters to your clients via your contact database, avoiding the cost of postage and you can measure the results.
How do you measure the results?
After the newsletters are sent, you can access reports that identify who has opened the newsletter the most and who has clicked on what. You can see which articles were of most interest to your clients (remember that for next time) and those clients who are most interested in particular articles (make a note to contact them).
Will the newsletter look like it is sent from me or Lift Legal?
The newsletter will appear as though it is sent from you straight to your client’s inbox. Your client will not know and doesn’t need to know we are involved.
Do I get to read and approve all the articles in advance?
Yes all legal topics are selected by you and then we provide you with a draft article that you can amend as much or as little as you want.
Can I suggest article topics or even write one/some?
Yes, we are happy to work with you and write on a topic you might have in mind. We have a large article library so we might even have the article you want already.
Can we add to our contact database once we have started?
It is a good plan to continually increase your database. All you need to do is to send us the additional names a couple of days before your next newsletter and we will ensure they are added to your list.
What feedback do I get after the newsletter is sent?
After the newsletter is sent we provide you with a Report which sets out who has opened the email and what articles they ‘clicked’ to read. We also tell you who has unsubscribed and the email addresses that have bounced (so you can update the email address).
What if someone doesn't want to receive any future editions?
Our newsletters have an ‘opt-out’ button and our system automatically prevents that email address from being sent another newsletter.
What do I say to my Partner who hates receiving newsletters via email?
Our statistics from firms all around Australia suggests that only a very very small portion of your contact list will opt out. He/she may fall into that small percentage. Your competitors are the only beneficiaries if you are not communicating with your clients on a regular and ongoing basis. If your partner is against newsletters contact us as we have some compelling material we can send to you that you may want to share with him/her.
Do you provide paper copies?
We don’t, however you can print off and keep in your reception, or even send out, any of the newsletter articles we provide. It is prudent to continue to increase your email addresses in your database list in order to avoid printing and postage costs.