While they may not be for generating quick hits or fast leads, does that mean they’re not for generating revenue?
E-newsletters have very specific purposes -- namely keeping the firm name top-of-mind among clients, referral sources and prospects, highlighting very specific areas of expertise and cross-selling firm services. And while, as stated, they may not be for generating an immediate slew of new business leads (particularly if they’re being sent to the firm’s own database), they are for steadily increasing interest in the firm. And of course, more interest means more business – from both current as well as new clients.
Armed with an understanding of what e-newsletters can do, legal marketers are wise to implement such programs based upon some very basic concepts. First, keep each issue short – preferably to one topic. Almost anyone you meet will tell you they’re “very busy,” (even if that term has different thresholds for different people). We are besieged by hundreds of communications each day, so make yours short, sweet and standout.
Second, keep the content to that which affects your target recipients. Again, as with all good marketing endeavors, the message is not about you. It’s about the individual reading it.
For this reason, a third imperative is to use your database wisely. Segment your target lists as deemed necessary, perhaps by practice area, perhaps by B2B vs. B2C, or perhaps even by current versus potential clients.
Fourth, if yours is a firm with multiple practice areas, be sure to explore ways in which clients from one practice area can be made aware of services they might utilize in another practice area.
Fifth, and this may almost sound heretical – you should fret a lot more about the subject line under which you will send the e-newsletter than about the content of the e-newsletter itself. That is not to say you don’t want your e-newsletter to be of the highest quality possible, just that you need to recognize that the majority of recipients will either never even open the email or if they do, they may never bother to read the material. Hence, that subject line is the only opportunity you may have to convey your message. Make it count. Let the recipient see the knowledge you have about a very specific subject, about a service that may be applicable to them or a warning about the impact a new legislation may have.
Finally, be consistent in creating and disseminating firm e-newsletters. We all get very busy at times (hmmm, seems I’ve said that before) and the temptation is there to let such initiatives go for a while. Resist that temptation, because it’s the consistency and continuity that gives merit to e-newsletters. You’re staying in your clients’ and prospects’ faces – but doing so in a very nice way.
Different marketing tools serve very distinct purposes and this is true for e-newsletters as well. But one advantage e-newsletters hold over many other marketing options is that are darn inexpensive to create and disseminate.