To Newsletter or Not in the Digital Age

Newsletters are part of what is called broadcast communications. For this article, I am presuming that we mean electronic broadcasting and that hardcopy newsletters are substantially obsolete.

So here are a few tips….

Firstly, the periodic long multi article newsletter is a fairly tough gig. Producing the content and properly managing a database aren’t really the issues (assuming some discipline in the firm). The big problem is getting large chunks of attention from a time poor audience who will reach for the delete button in a nanosecond.

Broadcasts can be useful just to keep your brand up there within your client base and network. They can also be helpful to send very specific messages about changing areas of law…. But you need to follow four broad rules:

  • a plain English headline that demands ‘holy cow – I’d better read this!’
  • a simple description of the issue and what it might mean in terms of commercial outcomes
  • content that preferably runs to not much more than a screen on a mobile device (if its too long, people simply won’t click through), and
  • a call to action / i.e., what do you want your readers to do next (typically phone or email a particular person)

The persistent mistakes newsletter writers make are making them too legal and providing too much information. After all – if you provide all the answers, you negate any need for your audience to contact you.

Technically, you should set up your broadcasts through a webserver and be prepared to stream different parts of your database for different messages. And obviously you need to be compliant with anti-spamming requirements.

However – you need to appreciate that even the most effective broadcast strategy won’t suddenly deliver you buckets of new clients.

As an additional tool, consider a more personalised approach for your ‘A’ clients.

One way is to read the (say) Friday Fin Review, and note which key stories might be interesting to which particular clients. Then send them through (one at a time) a 1.5 line very personalised email saying ‘Saw this….. and thought you might find it interesting. I’ll give you a call’. The chance you have of connecting in a meaningful way is massively increased by adding a personalised touch.

Yes – it takes a little more effort – but most worthwhile things do.


Published: Queensland Law Society – Proctor, May 2015 (p. 56)


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *