An email newsletter is an easy and effective way to contact all of your clients at once. It helps keep your name in mind when you are not in regular contact.
Identify your goals. What do you want to accomplish with a newsletter? Perhaps you want to keep clients informed of changes in the law or to increase your referral base. Knowing your goals will help you decide on the content and how frequently you’ll publish.
Review the ethics rules. The rules regarding advertising are found in Rules 7.1–7.5, or Information About Legal Services in the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct. It’s a good idea to read the rules and follow them. If you’re not sure about a rule, contact the SBM Ethics Helpline at (877) 558-4760.
Select your audience. Invite clients to subscribe and contact past clients and professional colleagues. Only send to those who opt in for the newsletter. The most important rule of email marketing is don’t spam. Include your firm name and contact information on your email and include a working unsubscribe button.
Remember to choose a marketing platform. There are several platforms available and the cost varies depending on the number of people on your list.
The Content of Your Newsletter
Repurpose your most popular blog posts. An analysis of your blog will reveal its most popular topics. Select a few of those with a description of their content and include links to the actual site.
Answer FAQs. Clients generally ask the same questions. You can answer them in your newsletter so they will be better prepared for their office visit. You could add a column discussing the legal concepts of your market.
What is current in your office and community? Clients like to know of changes in your office—a new associate, a new practice area, or simply a new piece of art. They also like to know what’s going on in the community. Include events that the firm is participating in and other events such as a library book sale or maybe the county fair.
Are there any recent changes in the law? The law changes by small and big steps and both can be important to your clients. Include the changes and, if warranted, you could offer a workshop on the new legislation. List the times, dates, and locations with an active registration form.
Niche market news. You could include news relating to the business of your client. For example, agricultural clients might like to know the rules regarding the Michigan Frost Laws, seasonal road load weight, or speed restrictions.
After you launch your newsletter, pay attention to its response and determine what changes must be made. Also, remember to share the newsletter’s publication on social media and in the SBM Member Directory.
After years practicing law, Roberta Gubbins served as editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides legal content writing for lawyers. She is editor of The Mentor, the SBM Master Lawyers newsletter. Writing as Alexandra Hawthorne, she published a cozy mystery, Murder One in Midvale Corners.
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