Every month, mailboxes at law firms across the country are crammed full of newsletters from other firms. Some of these newsletters get read and provide value for both the sender and receiver. Many others don’t, but rather, end up in the trash can. To help you with your next newsletter, I’ve create a list of “The 7 Deadly Sins of Newsletter Production.”
- Thou shall not create a “brag rag.”
While communicating your successes in recent trials and settlements helps validate your credentials, this cannot be the only focus. Over time, the respect that you may build often turns to disdain. Your newsletter needs to focus on your readers and their needs, not the victory lap of your recent courtroom conquest.
- Thou shall not be lazy and send out newsletters infrequently.
Newsletters, like all advertising works on the concept of frequency. To keep top of mind with your readers and build a connection, your newsletters can’t be something that “you will get to when you have the time.” They need to be published consistently – whether monthly, quarterly or every six months. Create a schedule and stick to it.
- Thou shall not be aimless.
You editorial strategy can’t be just to fill up your newsletter with random “stuff”. You must have a specific editorial calendar and a plan on articles and information that you want to include. If you fill your newsletter with “filler”, you are wasting your readers’ time. Don’t waste your readers’ time.
- Thou shall not be tedious.
A good newsletter has several different types of articles. You may have a couple of case write-ups, perhaps an article designed to educate your readers, a spotlight on your client and information on recent laws or legislation. Variety is critical to a good law firm newsletter.
- Thou shall not be unfocused.
Sending out the same newsletter to everybody on your State BAR attorney list is inefficient and ineffective. A generic message to a general audience is a waste of money. Focus on specific messages to specific audiences. Technology exists today that enables you to personalize your newsletters with relevant information based on specific segments of readers. A highly targeted approach will beat a shotgun approach ever time.
- Thou shall not be penny wise and pound foolish.
Often, there is a tendency to focus on sending out as many newsletters as possible, while trying to cut costs on the newsletter production. A good newsletter has strong production values and quality content. A dated, cheap-looking, poorly written newsletter does more harm than good.
- Thou shall remember that the benefit you receive is based on the value received by the reader.
It’s simple – a high quality newsletter with articles that benefit the reader will be read, and will have a greater impact on your phones ringing, while a low quality newsletter with little information will just be thrown away.
Producing a firm newsletter requires a significant investment of time and resources. If you are producing a newsletter, make sure that it is consistently of high quality with content that your audience actually wants to read. Otherwise, find something else to spend your money on.