Anatomy of an Effective Legal E-Newsletter

Monthly e-newsletters can be a great way to connect and nurture relationships with current and past clients, colleagues and referral sources. Developing an effective e-blast that resonates with recipients can however prove to be a major challenge for many attorneys. Below you’ll find some of the key components that you need to consider as you craft your e-newsletter.

It’s important that recipients recognize the correspondence as a message from your office. Having a professional header graphic appear at the top of your e-newsletters can lend some credibility to the email and encourage recipients to read on. The graphic should include your firm’s name (or the name of the attorney who wrote it) and branding. In some cases, you might consider naming your monthly e-blasts. For example, if your office is on your Main Street, you might name it “Main Street Insights” or if your firm is Smith Law, the “Smith Gazette.”

A subject line can have a major impact on whether recipients pay attention to your e-blast or simply discard it. Generally speaking, you want to avoid generic subjects like “June 2014 Newsletter” which fail to make your message stand out in a crowded inbox. To spark the interest of recipients, dare to be different and include a funny or thought provoking subject line. You might also consider making it benefit-focused or highlighting a date for action (e.g. this is your last week to claim our free report on funding your parents’ nursing home care) to increase open rates.

As you draft your e-newsletter, remember that the goal is to deliver valuable information to recipients, reminding them of your work and expertise. Newsletters should never be used to pitch your services. Think of questions that you receive on a daily basis and set out to address at least one of them in each of your blasts.  As with copy on your website, keep it simple with the understanding that your reader is likely a layperson and not a legal professional.

It also helps to give your e-newsletter a more personal feel by sharing some events that are happening at the office. If your paralegal just gave birth to a beautiful baby boy or you sponsored a local charity luncheon, be sure to share these details with your readers. Inserting photos into the body of your e-blast can help to break up the copy and give your message some visual appeal.

Your Closing & Footer
Every part of your e-newsletter from the subject line to the footer is integral to its success. Many people overlook the value of a well-crafted ending.  Research has shown that including a postscript (PS or P.S.) can be a valuable addition. P.S. statements might include a summary of the content explored in the publication and invite your reader to take action. The footer should follow this statement and include a number of items:

  • An unsubscribe option that allows people to opt out of future blasts
  • A way for recipients to share the information in the e-newsletter (e.g. social media sharing tools or an option to “send to a friend”
  • Your firm’s contact information
  • Invite your reader to ask a question or reach a member of your team.
  • Any required disclaimers

As with all marketing initiatives, consistency and regular reviews are imperative to success. Make sure that you schedule at least one e-newsletter per month and following the blast, take time to review some key metrics such as open rates, click through rates and bounces.  By taking note of these statistics you may find that some messaging, or sending your newsletters on certain days of the week, increases your open rates or action by recipients.


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Dolores Obrien

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