November 10, 2009 – Newsletters are a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with current or past clients as well as start new relationships with the potential clients who have contacted you through your website. When planning out the content for your newsletter there are a few important factors to keep in mind:
1. Length – Newsletters shouldn’t be very long, 2-3 pages is fine. More than that and you may lose readers along the way instead of ensuring that your best content is being read by your target audience.
2. Format – Newsletters don’t have to look as fancy as a web page but your layout is just as important. Look at newsletters that you find stimulating to get a sense of how to place your content as well as how to use color blocks, images, fonts, etc. to break up the text to create interest and allow readers to easily identify one complete article from another.
3. Cover your bases – Don’t include several articles in your newsletter that all basically say the same thing. Not everyone on your email list will have the same type of lawsuit, so include valuable tips and information on a variety of the type of cases you specialize in.
4. Get personal – Newsletters are a great opportunity to get your clients informed about your practice. If you have added a new lawyer to your firm, won a significant case, received an award, or were involved in a successful charitable event, make a note of it in your newsletter. These don’t have to be 300 word articles and they go a long way in helping to put a human face on your law firm.
5. Stay seasonal – You want your newsletter to sound as immediate as possible, so when planning out your content, think about what is happening in the world at the time you intend to distribute. For example, a newsletter sent in Nov/Dec can have an article about how to drive defensively around drunk drivers or the importance of going to consumer websites to look for toy recalls and other hazards. Of course the information should in some way correlate to the type of law you practice, but you also want to include information people want to read, so think outside the box! If you are sending out a newsletter near an important election, you can discuss what new/potential laws (if any) may affect your clients and how.
6. Start with your website – If you constantly produce new content for your website (including blogs!), these are fabulous resources to look at first. Many of the people on your email lists have not seen every piece of content on your website. If you have written a great article (or several), publishing that content in an online newsletter is a great way to get that information to your target audience. The best part is that since you are emailing this newsletter and not publishing it online, you can safely pull your already published content without worrying about creating a duplicate content situation.
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