When it comes to marketing, email newsletters aren’t as sexy as a cool Instagram account, or as far-reaching as a robust SEO campaign. Yet, according to a recent round-up at eConsultancy, 73 percent of consumers state that email is their favored contact option. And though most consumers find themselves awash in email, a preference for e-newsletters isn’t surprising. For starters, even if emails go unopened for months, recipients can always find them safely sequestered away in their mailbox. By contrast, if viewers forget to click a like or save button on an Insta Post or in a Facebook feed, they’re often lost forever. Second, in contrast to SEO or Facebook ads that intrude on a page or in a feed, emails are a more passive, low-key type of marketing since they can’t be sent without user permission and can be readily ignored or deleted while going through email.  Finally, even though emails don’t necessarily have the reach of a Facebook ad campaign or website, the results are often better because the content is targeted at a  self-selected audience. Plus, just like any other source of content, newsletters are readily repurposed and republished, as  I’ve done here

Most lawyers hesitate to send out newsletters because they’re concerned that they may not have time to create content on a regular basis. But that’s the beauty of the newsletter – you can set a schedule for it – maybe even sending it out just once a year as I do with one of my annual appellate reports. Or, you can use the newsletter to create a mini-course: an employment attorney could create a newsletter comprised of five segments on creating a social media policy – and dispense a short dispatch every day for a week.  You can also use newsletters to send out coupons for a discounted IP audit, or a free consult that an existing newsletter subscriber can provide to a colleague. And with summer coming up, you can always assign newsletter preparation to a summer associate.

To make your job of creating an e-newsletter easier, we’ve put together a downloadable table of all of the options with various features.  As I learned from this exercise, most newsletters offer nearly identical features so the choice may boil down to aesthetics and those systems that are easier to use. One metric that I neglected to include is analytics – but again, most of these products all offer the ability to see how many readers opened the newsletter or clicked on a particular article.

Does your firm publish a newsletter? Feel free to send us a link to elefant@myshingle.com and we’ll post it at our Online Newsletter Board.

Illustration courtesy of Shutterstock