How to create an effective newsletter: 12 steps to designing a newsletter that attracts new clientes

friday, 25 august of 2017

By Trey Ryder

The word newsletter means different things to different people. I think a better term for the periodic advisory you send to people on your mailing list is an "alert."

In my mind, an alert implies a publication that is shorter than a traditional newsletter. So as you begin your alert, think of a publication you can create quickly and easily, with standard components, such as your photo and biography.

Your alert's content is determined by what you want the alert to do. To effectively attract new clients, here's how to design your alert so it's a powerful marketing tool:

Purpose #1: Your alert should keep your prospects and clients up to date on your area of the law.

Step #1: Explain recent court decisions and suggest what your readers should do in light of those decisions.

Purpose #2: Your alert should tell your prospects and clients what might happen in the future.

Step #2: Explain proposed legislation and any pending legal actions that could affect prospects and clients.

Purpose #3: Your alert should increase your credibility.

Step #3: Include (1) information and advice about your practice area, (2) case histories about clients you have helped, and (3) a detailed biography that includes your background and qualifications.

Purpose #4: Your alert should generate interactions with prospects and clients.

Step #4: Create reasons and opportunities for readers to get information from you and to talk with you. Offer to mail written materials from your office. Sponsor seminars that prospects and clients may attend. Invite them to call your office and speak with you over the telephone.

Purpose #5: Your alert should strengthen your relationship with readers.

Step #5: Include a pleasant photograph with a warm, engaging smile. (The photo is usually placed next to the biography, although I like photos also in the masthead.) Choose words that are friendly, informal and supportive, so you reinforce your commitment to helping prospects and clients prevent problems and reach solutions. Also, invite them to call and talk with you on the telephone.

Purpose #6: Your alert should focus on your prospect.

Step #6: Write the alert in marketing style that focuses all attention on your prospect. Use you-oriented language so readers feel they are at the center of the action. Use vivid word pictures so readers see themselves in your examples. Use active verbs, which emphasize action, rather than passive verbs, which put readers to sleep.

Purpose #7: Your alert should help your prospect make the decision that is right for him.

Step #7: Explain to your prospect the pros and cons of each option so your prospect receives an objective presentation. Tell your prospect what you would do if you were in his shoes.

Purpose #8: Your alert should establish urgency so your prospect acts now.

Step #8: Emphasize to the reader the benefits of solving his problem now. Explain the serious risks of allowing the problem to persist. Encourage the reader to act now before the situation grows worse.

Purpose #9: Your alert should maintain and further your dignified, professional image.

Step #9: Hire an experienced artist or designer who appreciates the value of understated graphics. Make sure your alert is pleasing to the eye and set in fonts that are easy to read. Choose paper and ink(s) that are consistent with your image. Mail your alert in an envelope. Self-mailers, where the label goes directly onto the alert, look like junk advertising mail. This means your newsletter could quickly find itself in the round file.

Purpose #10: Your alert should serve as a referral tool that the person on your mailing list can give to a friend or colleague.

Step #10: Include many offers that will attract calls from the reader, even if the reader is not on your mailing list. Offer to mail your free fact kit to anyone who calls your office. Invite telephone inquiries from the reader. Invite the reader to your seminars. Invite the reader to call your office and ask to be added to your mailing list.

Purpose #11: Your alert should emphasize the complexity of your area of the law.

Step #11: Write your alert so readers can easily conclude that (1) your area of the law is complicated, and (2) they would be foolish to try to address a legal problem without your help. Include practical tips about how to hire an attorney who specializes in this area of the law. Mail your alert at least monthly. The frequency of mailing is much more important than the size of each issue. Frequency reinforces the fact that your area of the law is constantly changing, and this helps reinforce why your prospect should hire your services.

Purpose #12: Your alert should be easy for you to write and mail.

Step #12: Design your alert so it fits neatly on both sides of a single 8.5" x 14" sheet and, when folded, fits into a regular #10 business envelope. This oversize sheet enhances the importance of your alert because its size is more imposing than ordinary sheets of paper. Lay out your alert on your office computer and keep the format available so you can easily write, duplicate and mail a new alert each month.

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© Trey Ryder
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