Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

Tips for Starting a Client Newsletter

newsletterA client newsletter – if done the right way – can take your practice to the next level.

But if done the wrong way it will only waste your time and irritate anyone who receives it.

You might think email is an old-school relic in this age of tweets and clicks. Wrong. In fact, it’s a great way to reach prospects and bring in new business.

“The question isn’t whether or not you should start an email newsletter,” says Cayleigh Parrish of FastCompany. “It’s how can you create a newsletter people will actually want to open.”

If you’re like most people, you get lots of newsletters in your inbox. Some you discard without opening. Others you mark as spam. But there are probably one or two you look forward to receiving, and these you click on eagerly.

Retailers understand this. Every $1 businesses spend on email marketing brings an average return of $44. That’s the sort of ROI that will open even the most jaundiced eyes.

“When you post a message on your Facebook page, you’re lucky if five percent of your audience sees it,” writes Marcus Taylor of VentureHarbour. “When you tweet, you’re lucky if one percent of your followers are online. However, with email it’s not unusual to receive a 30-50 percent open rate if you know what you’re doing. It’s no surprise that email marketing budgets have been increasing by 10 percent year on year.”

Another advantage: emails have a long shelf life. Users can click on them long after delivery, and they can archive or print the ones of interest.

Pick a Good Program

Here are the seven best email marketing and newsletter services, according to this Word Press resource site:

  1. Constant Contact
  2. Drip
  3. ConvertKit
  4. AWeber
  5. GetResposnse
  6. Mail Chimp
  7. Active Campaign

8 Keys to a Winning Newsletter

  1. Avoid a sales pitch. Provide useful, interesting content. Show how you can solve the reader’s problem. A family lawyer might provide links to local daycare services. A bankruptcy firm could give tips on making a household budget.
  2. Stay true to your brand. Use consistent color schemes, fonts and logos. Tell the story of your firm. Link to your website.
  3. Publish consistently. If you want to cultivate a loyal readership, set a publication schedule – once a week, once a month, whatever – and stick to it.
  4. Make it easy on the reader. Don’t include a 10,000 word essay on the hearsay doctrine.  Be entertaining. Include tips, how-tos, industry news, upcoming events, dates to remember, holidays, infographics and interesting factoids. Don’t forget photos, fun GIFs and videos.
  5. Consider load time. “If it’s packed with images or GIFs, make sure they aren’t too large or they’ll slow things down,” says this source. “And before sending your email make sure to take a look at the different preview options to check that the email will look great on mobile as well.”
  6. Brief is best. The average person spends 51 seconds reading a newsletter. Keep your copy reader-friendly with images, takeaways and bullet points.
  7. Be yourself. Let your personality shine through.
  8. Follow the ethics rules. Make sure your email newsletter complies with the State Bar rules on lawyer advertising, marketing and solicitation. Call a Bar ethics counsel with any questions.

Do you publish an email newsletter? What works for you?



Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. During the course of his 35- year career, he has been a solo practitioner, corporate lawyer, legal editor, Legal Aid staff attorney and insurance risk manager. Today he helps lawyers and firms succeed through marketing, work-life balance and reclaiming passion for what they do. He is available for consultations, retreats and presentations ( Contact or 919-619-2441 to learn how Jay can help your practice.




About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

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