Newsletters: An Underappreciated Business Development Tool
by Sarah Warlick, content director
You’ve probably heard that you should publish a newsletter. Maybe it was your marketing firm or in-house marketing staff who gave the advice; perhaps you read the suggestion in a marketing blog or book. Wherever it came from, the idea of a newsletter, though pleasant enough, often strikes busy firm leaders as a nice thing to do but one that will have to wait until there’s more budget and time for these little extras. After all, you’re busy trying to gain new clients and provide excellent service to the ones you already have.
Publishing a regular newsletter might even seem like something more suited to a PTA or a Girl Scout organization than a busy law firm, CPA practice or IT company. If that’s your perception, or if you question the business development value in newsletters, you’re not grasping the power these tools have to contribute to your firm’s marketing.
Newsletters can and do drive new clients into your capable arms. We can say this confidently, since our firm recently signed another new client who originally reached out based on reading our newsletters each month. Newsletters have the power to inspire action in readers for all kinds of reasons:
- Variety – Your newsletters contain multiple articles representative of the services you provide and the skills you bring to clients. You don’t know exactly what any potential client may consider as the biggest concern, but by sending newsletters, you’re likely to hit on something that resonates as “exactly what we need!” With multiple articles and smaller bits of content, you’re also demonstrating your versatility, breadth of knowledge and activities in the professional niche to which your firm contributes.
- Convenience – Your website is a powerful marketing tool, but it has one drawback: it lives in one place. Newsletters, however, appear right in the inbox of everyone on your subscriber list. They bring the information directly to readers, making it easy and practically automatic to see what you’re sharing. We are creatures of habit, to a great degree, and we’ll read what’s in front of us long before we remember (and find time) to actively seek out information. The easier you make it to see your firm, the more people will do so, and clicking open a newsletter is about as easy as it gets.
- Repetition – Newsletters come out at regular intervals, or should. When subscribers see your name, your content and your friendly greetings over and over, they form a strong memory of your firm’s name and associate it with the varied knowledge you share. When they need services or are ready to change providers, your firm will be top of mind – and top of the list of potential service providers.
- Exposure – It’s easier than it’s ever been to share ideas and articles these days. Email, social media, smartphones, texting…all these tools let us forward interesting and relevant content effortlessly. When a friend or colleague mentions a topic you covered in a recent newsletter article, most subscribers will be quick to send on the information. Newsletter articles have a way of spreading widely, which gives you fantastic exposure to potential clients who have never even heard of you before.
- Traffic – We advise clients to include the beginnings of articles in their newsletters along with links to read the rest on the firm’s website. By driving traffic to the website, you’re helping readers land in a resource-rich environment where they’re likely to click around and explore the rest of your content. Spending time on your website helps readers understand the many ways you can help them and further cements their awareness of your firm.
Newsletters have a lot to contribute, both to the readers who receive them and to your firm’s continued growth and success. Don’t consider them to be cute extras; newsletters should be recognized as an important and valuable part of your overall marketing strategy.