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How to Create an Email Law Alert. Powerful Marketing Tool Replaces Printed Newsletters.

Thanks to email, you can now write and distribute a weekly Law Alert without buying a single postage stamp or sacrificing even one tree. What’s more, you can email your Alert to prospects and clients anywhere in the world in minutes.
Here’s how to design and promote an email alert that attracts new clients and referrals:

PURPOSE
Email Law Alerts are secondary marketing documents. You should deliver your primary marketing message through your information packet, brochure, seminar and website. Then your Alert should support your message by highlighting and reinforcing the most important points. As a result, your Alert does not need to contain your entire message. Still, your Alert’s contents should be well planned so within a certain period—for example, three months—you have delivered your full message. In addition, your Alert should clearly state various offers and create urgency so your prospects act sooner rather than later.

FREQUENCY
The frequency at which you send your Alert is much more important than the amount of information you deliver. I suggest you send your Alert at least monthly. More often is better. I send my Education-Based Marketing Alert (almost) every week.

FORMAT
Send your Alert within the email document itself. When you involve attachments, you soon discover that some recipients can’t open them. Plus, your email takes longer to send. But when you send your Alert completely inside an email, you make the process easy.

MASTHEAD
This is the area at the top of your Alert that identifies your document. Design your masthead to seize your reader’s attention so he can’t stop reading. To attract attention, your masthead might include a descriptive title, a descriptive subtitle, topics in this issue, your name and phone number, your reason for publishing it, and the date and copyright notice.

Here’s a sample masthead for a business lawyer:
• New Sexual Harassment Rules
• Reduce Vendor Lawsuits
• Decrease Payroll Taxes in the Issue of the Julie Bowman’s BUSINESS LAW ALERT
Your complete source for information that affects your liability and profits.
Provided as an educational service for friends and clients by Business Lawyer Julie Bowman, who welcomes your questions and comments at 123-456-7890.
(Issue Date) © Copyright 2017 by Julie Bowman, P.C. All rights reserved.

CONTENT
In a weekly Alert, focus on one or two subjects. If neither subject interests some readers, they will receive another Alert in just seven days. In a monthly Alert, include news items and short articles on at least three or four subjects. This way you help ensure that every recipient finds something of interest. The more readers profit from your Alert, the more likely they are to forward copies to their friends and colleagues, who may request their own subscriptions. Also, make clear to your readers that you provide services that prevent, mitigate or solve the problems you discuss.

QUESTION/ANSWER SECTION
Include a commonly asked question with your answer. One question and answer are enough. If you have room, include more. Invite readers to ask questions for future issues.

SEMINAR SCHEDULE
Feature the title, time, date and place of upcoming seminars. Include a list of teasers that relate to your program’s content. “At this fact-filled program, you’ll discover how to (subject), three ways to avoid (subject), why you should never (subject), seven steps to (subject), and more.” Teasers that promise specific information dramatically increase attendance, so write and use as many as you can.

BIOGRAPHY
Include details about your education, qualifications, certifications, professional memberships, and courts to which you’re admitted. You can include charitable and civic activities, too. Even hobbies, if you like. The more prospects know about you, the more comfortable they feel.

SERVICES
Make sure your prospects and referral sources know the services you offer. If you provide only a general description and hope your prospects will fill in the blanks, you’ll be disappointed. Prospects check your list to see if you provide the service they need. If you don’t include a specific list, prospects could easily conclude that you don’t perform that type of work. The services you list directly affect the services prospects and clients request.

OFFERS
The more offers you make, the more likely you are to attract new inquiries and referrals. Consider these: Offer educational articles (listed by specific title) that you will send by email. Offer an initial telephone consultation without charge. Offer to add names of readers’ friends and colleagues to your email list. Offer to answer a question submitted to you by email. Offer to answer prospects’ questions in your Q&A column. Offer to speak to groups that include your prospects.

ADD/REMOVE
Include simple instructions for new readers who want to subscribe and for those who want off your list.

How to Build an Email List

Step #1: Identify the people you want on your list.
They should include past, present and prospective clients, as well as past, present and prospective referral sources. Then, if you don’t already have one, compile a list of their names and email addresses.

Step #2: Write your email list reassurances. When you invite people to give you their email addresses, you may find they are skeptical. This is because they don’t know how you might use their email address. Immediately their thoughts jump to the worst-case scenario.
When I started compiling my email list, I discovered that some lawyers assumed I would charge them a fee to stay on my list. As a result, when I invite professionals to give me their email address, I reassure them in three ways. My copy reads as follows:
You’ll be glad to know that this email list is ...
FREE: You pay nothing to be on this list.
CONFIDENTIAL: I will never provide your name or email address to anyone for any purpose.
OPTIONAL: If you ever want off this list, just say the word and I will promptly delete your name and email address. I suggest you reassure prospects to overcome whatever obstacles they might have to joining your list.

Step #3: Create attractive offers. After you have reassured prospects, you can collect new addresses as follows:
• Offer your Alert by email. Tell readers that in your Alert you will (1) explain legal principles, (2) provide helpful tips, (3) interpret court decisions, (4) discuss proposed legislation, (5) review actual case histories, and (6) invite readers to upcoming seminars. To receive your Alert, ask readers to send you their name and email address.
• Offer to email specific educational articles, listing their individual titles. After readers give you their name and email address, add them to your email list so they receive all your marketing communications, including your Alert.

Step #4: Offer your alert.
• Direct mail.
Send a letter or post card to everyone on your mailing list. Explain that on (some future date) you will phase out the printed newsletter you send by regular mail. Explain that you're starting a new Alert, which you’ll send by email. Next, reassure prospects. Then invite them to send you their name and email address. (You can also use direct mail to offer individual articles.)
• Website. On various pages throughout your site, invite prospects to receive your Alert by email. Next, provide reassurances. Then insert “submit” forms where prospects can type in and send you their name and email address.
• Social media. On pages, messages, podcasts and blogs, offer your free educational articles and your free Alert.
• News releases. Send them to editors at publications read by your target audience. Offer prospects your free educational articles and your free Alert.
• Advertising. Run classified or small display ads in publications where your target audience will likely see them and respond.
• Articles. When you submit an article for publication, put a biographical note at the end that provides prospects with your email address and offers your free educational articles and your free Alert.
• Inserts. When you send mail to prospects and referral sources, slip into the envelope an insert offering your Alert. Invite them to request a free subscription by email.
• Forward. Invite recipients to forward your Alert to friends and colleagues. The faster you build an email list of prospects, clients and referral sources, the sooner you’ll benefit from your Alert’s high impact and low cost. My weekly Education-Based Marketing Alert has brought me more new clients than any other method I have used. I hope you enjoy the same success. Till next time, I wish you the best of everything!

Trey Ryder

Trey Ryder specializes in Education-Based Marketing for lawyers. He offers three free articles by e-mail: 11 Brochure Mistakes Lawyers Make, Marketing Moves Most Lawyers Miss, and 13 Marketing Misconceptions That Cost Lawyers a Fortune. To receive these articles, send your name and e-mail address to trey@treyryder.com and ask for his free packet of marketing articles.

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Filed Under: Featured StoriesPersonal Development

About the Author: Trey Ryder specializes in Education-Based Marketing for lawyers. He offers three free articles by e-mail: 11 Brochure Mistakes Lawyers Make, Marketing Moves Most Lawyers Miss, and 13 Marketing Misconceptions That Cost Lawyers a Fortune. To receive these articles, send your name and e-mail address to trey@treyryder.com and ask for his free packet of marketing articles.

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