The key to success for any service business these days is networking and leveraging your existing client base, who are your best referral sources. And the secret to eliciting business from these referral sources is to get in the conversation. When someone needs an elder law attorney, you want your name, website and telephone number at the tips of their fingers. More importantly you want to be positioned as the elder law expert in your community.
One effective strategy to keeping top of mind with existing and potential clients is getting in their Inbox at the right time with the right message.
E-newsletters can be a cost-effective, efficient tool to ensure your firm’s name comes first with current and future clients.The idea is to deliver relevant content to readers on a consistent basis that will position your firm for a referral when the opportunity arises.
There are many services available to build and deploy an e-newsletter. Constant Contact, iContact and Mail Chimp offer templates and intuitive interfaces to help you create a newsletter and manage your recipient list, but you’re on your own as far as creating content. For this, you need a service like ElderLawAnswers and the Academy of Special Needs Planners, which can provide field-specific consumer content, as well as attractive templates and design support. (Details here.)
Which service you want to use depends in part on the level of involvement you want to have with creating and managing your e-newsletter. Whichever way you decide to go, here are 10 things to consider when you are building your e-newsletter
- Keep your design simple and consistent with your firm branding. Try to use colors, font stylings and fonts that you use in your firm website.
- Not all logos fit into every layout. Your logo might work perfectly well on your firm website but might be the wrong size or shape for the header of your e-newsletter. You can still keep your branding consistent by changing the shape of your logo to accommodate the format. Don’t be afraid to go back to your designer and tell them to re-work your logo for an email-based newsletter. It is well worth it to preserve your firm’s professional image when email recipients see your newsletter in their inbox.
- Make sure your contact information and website URL are prominently displayed in the newsletter. It doesn’t always have to be in the header, but you want the reader to access it easily to pass on to a friend in need of an elder law attorney.
- Include links to your social media accounts in the e-letter. This is another opportunity to engage the reader and further incorporate them into your network.
- Don’t put too much content in the body of the e-newsletter. You want to give just enough information in the email to entice the recipient to click through to the entire article on a web page (your website or other template). This will help with the design of the newsletter, increase visits to your website and help you track who clicked through to which articles.
- Most good email services will provide you with tracking capability so you can see what articles readers clicked through to and how many times the article was read. This could be important information for you to consider when you are choosing content for future newsletters or provide opportunities for targeted marketing.
- Use photos when you can. People like to see the faces of the people they are getting information from.
- Use images in your article when possible. Images connected with articles attract more readers and get more click-throughs.
- Be consistent. Send an e-newsletter once a month and try to do it as close to the same time of the month as possible. Your readers might not consciously notice a consistent editorial schedule but it will reflect positively on your firm as a dependable, reliable resource.
- Collect emails everywhere you can to build your lists. That means during client intake (e-newsletter is a value add to clients), seminars (ask for emails on the sign-in sheet), on your website, and at conferences.
Properly executed, e-newsletters can be a manageable and cost-effective way to keep your firm’s name circulating through your referral networks. If you keep with it and stay consistent, you will see tangible results.