Should lawyers create a client bulletin?

18459573_SI received in the mail today a client bulletin from a business in which I am familiar.  In lots of business areas, a client bulletin like this is one sent out to clients and acquaintances on a regular basis.  The bulletin may contain helpful articles.  It may have a calendar of upcoming events.  In addition to other helpful information, it also might contain important announcements about the business itself.

The question is whether this is an approach that should be taken by law firms to keep current and past clients engaged?  In other words, does this help generate business?  Additionally, is it worth the time and energy expended as well as the printing and postage costs?

At the end of the day, I am sorry to say it, but client bulletins are an advertising method of the past.  On an initial level, the first problem is printing costs with an attractive bulletin are usually not cheap.  The postage is also fairly expensive for mass mailings.  Thus, a law firm could spend thousands of dollars per mailing when considering the printing and postage costs.  Does a law firm want to spend the money to send bulletins like this, especially if funds are tight?

It is a good idea to keep clients engaged.  Current and past clients may also enjoy helpful articles, the important dates and business announcements.  But sending a client bulletin by mail is just not the best way to convey the message.

Law firms can accomplish this same goal by having social media accounts that are regularly maintained on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and a litany of other social networking accounts.  Blogging is another great way to keep current, past and prospective clients engaged.  On most blogs, individuals have the ability to sign-up to receive notifications every time a new blog entry is posted.

So, versus sending these articles to people by mail, post them online and at your company’s social media accounts for free.  This accomplishes the same overall goal at virtually no cost.

While many law firms might want to cling to their client bulletins (like they do to the phone book advertisements, networking groups, billboards or other archaic methods of advertising), it is not an effective marketing approach for most law firms.

If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.

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