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10 reasons law blogs are preferable to email blasts and newsletters

A marketing and communications director with a good law firm client of LexBlog’s asked this week to help her on the question of a law blog versus a email monthly blast.

She’s working with a practice group looking to expand their marketing reach beyond a monthly email blast they had limited success with. The group liked the idea of a blog, but is now getting cold feet because of the “frequency” of publishing.

The practice group is now thinking another monthly mass-email and purchasing mailing lists to extend its reach. The marketing and communications director believes a blog may be the better fit. She’s asked for my comments.

Though email newsletters may still play a role in law firm marketing, here’s ten compelling reasons the practice group may want to consider a blog first.

  • Email inboxes are overflowing. No one is looking for more email. I can’t think of the last time I read an email that came at me like that. I’ll even delete, without reading, email newsletters from groups I know 99% of the time. The practice group is not going to endear themselves to anyone by pushing more email at anyone.
  • As I’ve explained before, law blogs do not take as much time as most lawyers think and the return on investment can be very high.
  • Blogs can be easier to sustain than email blasts and newsletters. Law firm marketing professionals have told me that getting lawyers to write content for email newsletters is like pulling teeth, except harder. When they started a blog, they did not have similar issues. The biggest reasons: Law blog posts are short and lawyers got positive feedback on their posts — media contact, clients thanking them, getting cited elsewhere on the net, and landing new work.
  • Blog posts are found on Google searches by executives, in-house counsel and other professionals. That’s much, much less likely for newsletter content. Your target audience is more apt to see your content on a Google search than opening an email blast and catching something they need at that moment.
  • Blogs build your reputation, allowing you to demonstrate authority and expertise. Blogs grow the word of mouth reputation of lawyers.
  • 85% of reporters use blogs to identify experts and get insight on stories they are working on. Email blasts may not reach reporters, or at least be read by them.
  • Like it or not, we’re living in a social media world. A growing percentage of people in the target audience of law firms receive their news and information via trusted ‘friends’ they follow on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Email content does not get shared in social media. Blog posts do.
  • Blog posts, by virtue of RSS feeds, are syndicated with excerpts being displayed elsewhere on the Internet. The Wall Street Journal Law Section, ABA Journal, LexBlog’s LexMonitor, Justia’s Blawg Search, and other sites display your blog content and extend its reach.
  • Blogs enhance the search performance of additional law firm Internet properties, including the law firm’s website, lawyer website bio’s, practice group pages, LinkedIn profiles, and other sites/pages the blog strategically links to.
  • Blog posts are easily retrieved in new media and mobile environments being used by a growing number of professionals. They include RSS readers, Flipboard, paper.li, and other mediums you may not even be familiar with. Make it easy for more people to get your insight and to share it.

What do you guys think? I’d welcome your feedback on blogs versus email blasts and email newsletters for law firms.

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