Email marketing presents one of the best ROI (returns on investment) of any marketing strategy, including social media, content marketing, SEO, direct mail, and the like.
According to the trade organization Data & Marketing Association, the average ROI of email marketing is $42 for every $1 spent. In this regard, publishing a family law firm newsletter is potentially worth the time and effort. However, many firms don’t have one because they don’t know how or where to start.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything lawyers should know about newsletters. Once equipped with the right know-how, their newsletter will become an excellent way to build a network, promote services, and grow their brand.
Why Does Your Family Law Firm Need a Newsletter?
A study from Law Technology Today revealed that up to 86% of law firms fail to collect email addresses when acquiring a new lead. Launching an email newsletter is one way to prioritize growing an email list and noting down information to nurture potential clients.
With that in mind, email newsletters are more than just sending a generic email month in and month out. Instead, it can be an effective tool to drum up new business for your family law firm. Besides, it gives you a medium to share your firm’s news, build trust with subscribers, and promote your brand.
Email newsletters offer many benefits to your law firm, such as:
- Traffic – An email newsletter can work to drive more visitors to your official website and social media pages.
- Reputation – You can build rapport with your target audience, get ahead of bad PR, and eventually build trust in your firm.
- Sales – Email newsletters offer a convenient way for prospects to reach out to your firm, increasing the chance that they’ll become your new clients.
- Connection – It’s easier to build relationships with your potential and new clients by telling them more about your law firm and providing a way for subscribers to respond to your email directly.
- Community – Sending consistent newsletters can help drive users to your social media pages, thus growing your visibility and community.
How to Grow Your Newsletter List
Your email list is as essential as your newsletter itself. The more subscribers you attract, the more potential and new clients you can reach.
However, buying email subscribers is not advisable because they’ll likely be dead accounts or users who will never work with you. Instead, try the following ways to grow your newsletter list organically. Here’s how to pull it off.
- Embed signup forms on your website. This method is one of the classics. You just need to add a subscription form to your official website where visitors can enter their information. You can either put the form on your webpage or add it as a popup ad.
- Offer lead magnets. People may need a little extra nudge to sign up for your newsletter. Consider creating a resource that anyone can access for free, such as an ebook, legal guide, infographic, special report, video, or any content your target audience might find helpful.
- Publish helpful blog content. Another way to find subscribers is to promote content on your law firm’s blog. If someone reads your blog, it often means they’re truly interested in some aspect of your practice. By publishing valuable content, you can demonstrate your expertise and willingness to help, which gives prospects more reason to subscribe to your newsletter.
- Reach out to existing contacts. Reach out to people you’ve already interacted with, such as former clients, current clients, professional acquaintances, family, friends, and referral sources.
- Use social media. If your family law firm is active on social media platforms, raise awareness for your newsletter by promoting it across every channel you use. For example, you can reference the newsletter in your posts, add a signup link to your bios, and invest in paid social media ads.
- Host webinars. This method can draw a serious crowd, which lets you answer questions, get to know your audience, and show off your personable side. You can require attendees to sign up for your newsletter before joining in, promote it in the webinar, and use the recording as a lead magnet.
- Encourage word-of-mouth. When finding subscribers for your newsletter, motivate them to share it with others. Add buttons that subscribers can use to forward emails to friends or reshare your content on their social media profiles.
7 Tips for Writing an Effective Newsletter
Before you sit down and start typing your newsletter, it’s vital to understand the fundamentals of what it takes to craft and market great newsletters. Here’s how to get started.
1. Identify your target audience
Unless you define your target audience, which is the persona and interests of the people you’re trying to reach, you’ll risk offering the wrong content to the wrong people. Remember that generalism is the killer of many marketing campaigns.
You’ll want to analyze several factors to ensure you’re writing for your ideal audience.
- Which legal services are your audiences interested in?
- Which legal issues are they struggling with?
- Which questions/concerns are they likely to have about the legal process?
- What are their goals when hiring a family lawyer?
- Which interests do they have in understanding the legal system, law, etc.?
You can ask your existing clients, networks, and social media followers these questions to better understand their interests.
2. Plan your content
After defining your target audience, you can start planning your newsletter content. Consider choosing a “theme” and build your newsletter based on it. For instance, in one month, you may talk about common mistakes people make when hiring a family lawyer. So, write four newsletters–each addressing a different mistake and how to avoid it.
You can use Google Docs or Sheets to plan your newsletter content and keep it organized. Try to plan at least one month in advance, so you’re prepared with ideas ahead of time. Nowadays, email marketing platforms even let you write your content and schedule the delivery for months or weeks.
3. Write your newsletter
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when producing your newsletter.
- Craft an appealing subject line. Instead of simply saying “newsletter,” you can include an eye-catching subject of your email to entice subscribers to click. For example, “Don’t make this mistake when hiring a family lawyer!”
- Add value. The point of your law firm newsletter is to promote your brand, showcase your expertise, and offer subscribers something worth opening. Remember that it’s not a sales email, so resist being too “salesy” in your newsletters. Instead, include content that your audience really wants.
- Make your newsletter scannable. Break your email content into shorter sentences, paragraphs, and bulleted lists instead of typing a long wall of text. It’s easier for readers to “scan” your content and find the part they’re interested in.
- Try the “close the loop” approach. Open newsletters with a “hook,” such as a question, tip, or story intro, and then resolve the hook at the end of your newsletter. For instance, open with “Many clients make a big mistake in hiring a family lawyer….” Then, at the end of the newsletter, you say, “Want to avoid that mistake? Here’s what you should do….” This approach keeps readers interested in your newsletter from start to finish.
- Write in plain language. Legal jargon and complicated language won’t impress your subscribers and may make them unsubscribe. You should write and explain complex cases simply.
- Showcase clear design. Your newsletter design matters as well. You’ll want your newsletter to look consistent (with only a few fonts, styles, and colors), uncluttered (not too much content in a small space), and visually pleasing (with pops of images, colors, and contrast to break things up).
- Add a link. Include links to social media posts, related blog posts, etc., to drive traffic to other channels.
- Include a call to action. Encourage readers to contact you directly (i.e., “Respond now to schedule a free consultation”), respond to a question (i.e., “What do you think about…?”), or visit your other platforms (i.e., “Visit our website to learn more about us”).
4. Consider using an email marketing platform
Email marketing platforms make scheduling, writing, formatting, and delivering your newsletter content easy. You don’t need to create a long CC chain of subscribers and send emails manually. These platforms allow you to schedule the delivery date, send your newsletters to an entire list, add media, and many more.
In short, the best email marketing software can help you:
- Follow anti-spam laws
- Create branded, eye-catching newsletter templates
- Create and manage segmented contact lists
- Automatically send specific emails to certain subscribers once they take action, such as filling out a contact form, visiting your website, etc.
- Schedule and send newsletters at pre-appointed times
- Track the performance of your newsletters
5. Schedule the sending of your newsletter
How often should you send your newsletter? Weekly? Monthly? Or quarterly?
The frequency of sending newsletters is up to you. It depends on your target audience’s demands and the resources available. The point here is to keep consistent. Create a schedule and stick to it.
A topic like family law is broad, with almost endless potential content that may fill a weekly or fortnightly newsletter. However, as a general rule, a monthly newsletter could be manageable for most small law firms with an active content marketing plan.
6. Preview and test your newsletter
Previewing your newsletter to check if you made any mistakes is vital. Moreover, send yourself a test email to ensure no delivery issues. You can also see how your newsletter renders on different devices and decide whether you should change your content.
Once your newsletter is complete, give it a final once-over for any spelling mistakes or issues. Then, you’re ready to send it to your subscriber list.
7. Track your newsletter performance
Most email marketing platforms provide analytics regarding your open rate, click rate, subscriber growth, and unsubscribe rate.
These metrics will help you evaluate your newsletter’s success and make the necessary adjustments over time. For instance, if you see a low open rate, you may need more engaging subject lines.
Or, if there have been many unsubscribes, recipients may not enjoy your content.
9 Creative Law Firm Newsletter Ideas
Not all newsletters are created alike. Your family law firm newsletter should strive to provide helpful content and keep your audience in the know. You should get creative and test new content ideas to remain impactful and ensure subscribers return for more.
Here are nine newsletter ideas for you.
1. Case studies
Consider highlighting interesting cases or successes that your family law firm has worked on in your newsletter. Doing this helps establish your firm’s credibility while generating ideas for your prospects or clients and offering education they’ll value.
Are there specific questions that you get asked all the time? They may pertain to your firm’s particular practice areas, or they’re questions commonly asked as a part of an initial consultation.
Whatever they may be, it’s smart to lay out several frequently asked questions and their answers in your newsletters. Practice social listening and stay on top of trendy topics. Then, you can answer the target audiences’ most pressing questions in your newsletter.
Do you know an expert who has a perspective to share? Include an interview with them and provide value to your audience in your newsletter.
You can do this method several times in your email marketing strategy. It can get your subscribers to ask questions, which is excellent for deliverability and engagement.
You see examples of this idea all the time if you’re on Twitter. Newsjacking is the practice of taking advantage of current news stories or events to bring attention to your content. It provides an immediate impact, and legal is a prime sector for this marketing type.
There are many stories in the news about policy changes, lawsuits, PR problems, and regulations affecting every industry, from finance to healthcare. It’s easy to find press about niches your family law firm specializes in and share content along these lines.
5. Law changes
Regulations and laws are constantly changing, and the average person doesn’t have the inclination or time to keep up with them. There are constant updates that your subscribers should be aware of but might not be. Ensure to include brief updates on these changes in your law firm newsletter.
6. Downloadable content
Readers often look for more in-depth information to digest on their own terms or save for later. So, consider including links to download long-form content created by your firm within newsletters. It may be an ebook, white paper, checklist, guide, etc. You can add some sentences teasing the content with a CTA, so they can go to the form to download.
7. Informational video
Do you know that 86% of people would like to see more videos from brands? So, why don’t you include some of this content in your family law firm newsletter?
It’s essential to avoid simply promoting your services; instead, offer valuable information via videos. It’s recommended to keep your video under two minutes.
8. Thought leadership content
Constantly sending blogs and ebooks may be daunting. Fortunately, a big part of thought leadership is engaging and replying to ongoing conversations. Include links to relevant articles and posts from non-competitors, and add your thoughts in a few sentences.
Email subscribers love reading stories. While you don’t want to share any confidential information about your cases, think of sharing lessons learned from the industry, a personal life story, or a funny office story. You can even tell the story slowly throughout a series of emails to keep your readers interested.
Moreover, you can run a meet-our-team series to introduce your staff to your subscriber list. This way will help you build trust and offer more human connection. If you have a large staff, break your story into several emails for more content.
An email newsletter is one of the most fruitful ways to build connections and trust with your existing and potential clients. Keep in mind that subscribers care less about “marketing content” and more about the value that your law firm can provide, how you can help them navigate legal woes, and the stories you tell.
If you’re on the lookout for great content, you can draw inspiration from how Nussbaum Family Law, a team of dedicated lawyers in Toronto, did it on their website.
Remember, keep things interesting and fun with creative content. Switch up topics, and try different media. But above all, stay consistent with nurturing an engaged, strong audience.
Rachel Ingle is a legal professional, having worked as a paralegal for 8 years. She received her diploma at Irvine Valley College in 2014. Since receiving her license she has worked in the personal injury space assisting accident victims in navigating through the complex insurance process and getting the benefits they need to recover. Throughout her career, Rachel has aimed to combine her research skills and love for writing to contribute to legal sites.Published on: