Be Neutral
A Publication of the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution


This is one in a series of marketing articles that will explain e-marketing in layman’s terms.  This information is provided to help you modify your online presence to get your practice noticed.

eNewsletter 101:
Keeping Your Practice in the Front of Everyone's Mind

Studies show that you need to touch people at least 7 times a year for them to remember you.  Given the busy schedules of most mediators that becomes a very difficult task.  If you were using traditional marketing techniques you'd be trying to schedule breakfast, lunch or coffee with as many potential clients and referrers as possible.  You'd be on the phone trying to touch base every time you had a spare moment.  However, if you want to find time to mediate, even the most disciplined marketer can only reach about 200 people each month using these traditional techniques.  Assuming you really do need to touch someone 7 times in order to be remembered, then that means you can only cycle about 300 people annually, which probably isn't enough to keep your calendar full.

I'd like to recommend using a modern version of an old tool to stay in front of people on a regular basis and to provide them something of value that they will associate with you...a monthly or bi-monthly newsletter.  In the past many of you have snail-mailed hard copy newsletters or even glossy magazines to lists of prospective referrers.  However, sending out hard copy material has become prohibitively expensive and often isn't read because the recipients are so overwhelmed by the volume of content that they receive.

Instead of sending out hard copy materials, why not start sending an e-newsletter ?  You probably get these on a regular basis from other sources such as alumni groups, your local Bar, or maybe even your neighborhood association.  If crafted correctly, they're easy to read, contain at least 1 piece of information of value to each reader, offer you feedback on what interests your readers, and remind people on a regular basis that you're out there offering mediation services.

What do you need to do in order to publish a successful newsletter ?  Here are some of the basics:


Sign up for a transmittal service such as Constant Contact or iContact.  These services are inexpensive and they are bonded mailers, which means they will normally get past the SPAM filters.  They also offer newsletter templates so even the novice can create an ongoing newsletter.  If possible try to create a newsletter that mirrors the look and feel of your website - it's a way to extend your brand image.


Build a list of e-mail addresses for prospective clients and referrers.  Remember, people don't like getting unsolicited mail, so you might choose to send them an introductory e-mail that offers them the opportunity to be removed from your list. 


People won't read your newsletter more than once if it includes lengthy articles that they need to scroll through to get to the next article to see if there is something of interest.  Instead of publishing each article in its entirety in the newsletter, just include an evocative image, 2-3 line teaser, and a button that will take them to the full article if it is a topic that interests them.  This technique will give you the added benefit of being able to track what articles interest the readers so you can adjust your future content.


You may be a wonderful writer but don't include more than one article written by yourself in each newsletter.  Scour the media for articles of interest and link to them.  Not enough time to scour the media ?  Use this Facebook group that publishes links for 3-6 articles about mediation every day specifically for mediators to use for this purpose:  Georgia Mediators Network


Quantity does not necessarily equate to quality.  Try to put 4-6 articles in each newsletter.  This will keep your newsletter short enough that people will read all of it yet it will be long enough that it will give the perception that it is of value to the reader.   The latter will ensure that people read it each month when it comes out.


Once you start publishing a newsletter make sure you include a signup for it on your website.  If you use Constant Contact they'll give you the computer code to do that.  Also, each time you publish an issue include it in an archive on your site and publish a link to it in your social media stream so the most people possible view it each month.


Make sure your name is at the FRONT of the subject line for your mailer.  Even if people don't take the time to read the newsletter each month, they'll be reminded that you are out there mediating and that's the real purpose of this vehicle.

When should your newsletter go out ?  This can be a tricky question because you want your newsletter to stand out and be read.  For that reason you should avoid sending it on a Monday or a Friday and you should also avoid times of the month that are particularly busy (1st and 15th typically).  As Wednesdays are the most popular days to send newsletters, try to avoid those too.   That leaves you with Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Once you've selected the day, then you need to select the time.  To stand out you shouldn't be in the pile of early morning mail and you shouldn't arrive towards the end of the day when readers are trying to get their work finished so they can go home.  The best times of day for maximum readership currently seem to be 10:30AM and around mid-day so people will have your mailer in their box when they come back from lunch.

Now you know how and when it's time to publish !  Your newsletter will be the most successful if you pick a date and stick to it each month.  Once people get used to seeing your newsletter they need to see it at the same time each month.  Remember the aim of this marketing vehicle is to remind them that you are out there and that you want their mediation business.

Creating your first newsletter can be daunting for some of you.  Please don’t hesitate to e-mail your questions, and we’ll get answers back to you as soon as possible.

Coming next month:  Mobile Media...What is it and how does it affect your marketing efforts ?


Michele Gibson is a Georgia-registered neutral and a certified emerging media consultant.  She is the president of Digital Smart Tool, LLC – an e-marketing firm offering website design, SEO, electronic newsletters, social media coaching, and marketing training seminars.


Phone: 404-592-3367  E-mail: