Guidelines for Repurposing Content from Your Newsletter

We extend permission to all active Let America Know members to repurpose content from the monthly You Should Know newsletter to any other medium. For example, we have some members that use the content in their print newsletters. Other members like using the feature story to write blogs. Others highlight the newsletters or selected content on their websites. And many others cut and paste posts into Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler or other social media platforms. We love it all as it furthers the impact of your marketing while reaching more Americans with important information on their health, safety and legal rights.

There are a couple of important guidelines you should keep in mind, however, if you repurpose content from the newsletter:

  1. Only post information from the newsletter AFTER final publication and not from the Preview issue you receive several days prior to final publication. We occasionally make content changes between Preview and final publication as well as style/grammar or usage edits. New or revised sources might be added between Preview and final publication. And in rare instances, a content change may include a correction or other clarification.
  2. Also note that many of the photos we use are licensed to us from iStock, Getty or some other stock photo source just for use in your email newsletter. If you want to use one of our photos in repurposed content, let us know and we will give you the information you need to purchase the rights directly from the owner. These fees normally run somewhere between $25 and $50 per image. In some cases we use photos or other graphics that are in the public domain as well, and those would be available free of charge.

If you have any questions about these guidelines, let us know. We are always available to help you get the most out of your participation in Let America Know.


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Customize Your Newsletter for Marketing Success

Yes, you can just set your customized information – greeting, featured links and message – and let’em ride each month. But you are missing an opportunity to better engage your subscribers by not changing things up on a regular basis. Here are a few tips on how to get more marketing bang for the buck out of your Let America Know newsletter:

  1. Change The Docket Customized Links
    You can enter up to five customized links on your newsletter, which appear under the heading The Docket (view example here). Your first priority should be generating traffic to your own website, which help improve your search engine rankings. Link to your profile page (or attorney profiles page for a law firm newsletter). Link to practice area or news pages with catchy headlines like “Bike Accident Basics” or “New Office Opened.” If you don’t have much to share on your website, bookmark interesting information on other websites. And if you change a link that hasn’t been changed for some time, put NEW in front of your  headlines to grab moreattention.
  2. Feature Your Blog
    Your Let America Know newsletter provides you with another great opportunity to improve traffic to your blog. Since most blogs (like this one) create a unique URL for each post, you can easily cut and paste a link. Feature at least one or two of your most recent blogs in The Docket, again using short headlines that grab reader attention. We also recommend using your customized message as a teaser to a more lengthy blog, which brings us to tip number 3.
  3. Engage Readers with Your Customized Message
    Your custom message (view sample here) appears just below The Docket and can feature promotional blurbs about you or your firm up to 600 characters in length. You can also link to additional information on your website or elsewhere and prompt readers to continue reading.The best way to start customizing your message is to set aside a little time and plan several issues in advance. Grab a copy of our yearly editorial calendar (now in progress for 2015) and consider tying into the featured topic for the month with related practice information or a case you might have handled. As mentioned above, the customized message is perfect for featuring a long blog that readers can continue viewing on your blog page. Otherwise, feature any major accomplishments including award recognitions, case settlements/verdicts, articles in the news media, etc. And don’t forget that people love to hear about personal accomplishments and activities, so don’t be afraid to share a little information about yourself or your staff when appropriate. We have members that even feature recipes or good jokes on their customized message space.And of course, any time you can encourage feedback, do so. Ask for comments on a particular issue or initiative. If you publish consumer guides on any topic, feature them on a regular basis and tell people how they can order their own copies. Be creative!
  4. Change Your Greeting
    As you know, we also provide you with a suggested greeting each month to ensure that your customized information is topical just in case you don’t have time to make changes. However, if you want to draw attention to a particular nuance in the featured story, don’t hesitate to change the greeting.

These are just a few tips on customizing your newsletter for marketing success. If you have questions or other ideas, let us know!

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Repurposing Your Newsletter

By Steve Miller, Editor

Okay, lets make this simple. Instead of a long dissertation on the mechanics of re-purposing our newsletters, we’re simply going to show and tell. Hey, it worked in grade school!

Mitch Jackson, a highly-successful trial attorney in California, was a leader in the use of social media by attorneys long before we came along. Upon joining Let America Know, he quickly recognized the power of this program, equating the newsletter “to a fine sports car parked in the garage and ready to go if attorneys would only learn how to drive it.”

Earlier this week Mitch sent us an email as follows: “Here’s how we shared and re-purposed You Should Know this morning. This may give your members some idea about how to get the message out. Feel free to share if you think the examples might help.”

Share we will!

Mitch added that he has scheduled several tweets over the next week using the 10 conversations from page two of the newsletter (available in the Marketing Download as well). Each Tweet links back to Mitch’s Blog, which of course gives him lots of online credibility from various search engines.

Blown away? Frankly, so were we. For more nuts and bolts direction from Mitch on how to use some of these platforms with the Let America Know newsletters, visit the show page from our recent joint Spreecast.

Now I know not everyone has the “social savvy” of a Mitch Jackson (although he happily shares his experiences here at Trial Lawyer Communication Tips for EVERYONE!). But the point is Let America Know makes it easy for you to up your game with quality content and credible sources that make you look like the expert while helping people. What could be better than that?

One more very important note: Always wait until final publication of the newsletter before publishing content to other platforms. Why? We often make changes to the newsletter between sending you the Preview issue and publication of the final issue to your subscribers. Some are minor copy edits, but others can be substantive based on feedback we receive from our members and editors.

Next time I’ll share some of the hot tips I received during the recent marketing seminar for trial attorneys in Chicago hosted by the American Association for Justice. It was outstanding!

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Creating an Archive Page for Your Newsletter

Here is an example of our archive page. Click image.

Here is an example of our archive page. Click image.

You can display past issues of your Let America Know newsletter on your website, in a blog, in social media, etc., anywhere you can paste a link.

Here’s how it works. At the top of your newsletter is a link that says, “View newsletter online.” This will open a page in your browser with your own unique newsletter link at the top. This link is dynamic and will always display your current newsletter.

For back issues, you’ll need a static link as follows:

This is the static link for our house newsletter from June. To create a static link for your newsletter, note the highlighted numbers: the order ID and the issue ID. Now go back to your dynamic newsletter link by clicking “View newsletter online.” Find the order number for your newsletter (which will never change) and replace the “39″ above with that number. Then change the “1406″ above to “1405.” Paste the whole URL into your browser and hit return. Voila, you should be looking at your newsletter for May 2014.

You can do the same for any issue published during the past 12 months just by changing the issue ID. So 1404 for April, 1403 for March, etc. And 1312 for December 2013, 1311 for November 2013, etc.

Now you can create an archive and share past issues with your online community. For more help in setting up an archive page, just let us know.

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Understanding Open Rates

ArtKosPhotoBy Art Kosieradzki,

In the email marketing world, the sun rises and sets on measurable statistics. By measuring how many people are opening your monthly email campaign and monitoring which links are being clicked the most often, one can make informed decisions on how to continually improve those numbers.

A common misconception among those who are new to the practice of email marketing is the expectation of high open rates. It’s best to maintain realistic expectations and work to improve. So what’s a realistic open rate? Let’s be blunt. It isn’t going to be 90%. Not even close. If you were giving away free money you wouldn’t score that high.

It sounds bad, but it gets better.

The expectations are different for different types of campaigns. Marketers are pretty happy if a standard commercial email promoting a sale or a new product, for example, generates a 2% unique open rate (unique means subscribers are only counted once no matter how many times they open the email). Membership organizations, like your state trial lawyer association, might boast open rates as high as 40% on monthly or bi-weekly updates to active members. The open rates for general interest newsletters like You Should Know are typically in the 10% to 20% range. In 2013, the average monthly open rate for You Should Know was 13.8%

While 10-20% may seem low at first glance, consider that the people that comprise the 10-20% are the ones most engaged in your message. Imagine what an incredible asset this is for you: The top 10-20% of people most likely to seek your services are reading your marketing message every month. Also consider that although that number may stay the same each month, actual readers may differ based on the topic. This means the cumulative number of people from your subscriber list that open your newsletter each year will be significantly higher than 10% to 20%.

List Hygiene – Another Good Practice

You can usually expect the open rates for your first few mailings to be slightly lower. This is especially true if you started collecting email addresses before you began sending a consistent, sustained email newsletter. But on the bright side, your first few sends will help you do some list hygiene. Those recipients who forgot who you are or who are simply no longer interested will more than likely opt-out early. After a few months, you’ll be left with a lean, mean list of people who WANT to hear from you. And those are people worth marketing to.

Continual Improvement – An Even Better Practice

There are  many techniques involved in improving your open rate. At Let America Know, we closely monitor such factors as the time of day that recipients open their emails. When we notice a trend, we’ll try to target it on the next issue. We are careful to be consistent in our “inbox marketing” efforts, meaning we’ll use a solid subject line so your message soon becomes recognizable and intriguing to readers at a glance. We also run numerous A/B tests to determine which headlines and images do better than others.

You can do your part by updating your custom content on a regular basis. Use the message section of the newsletter to share information about your accomplishments, the cases you are working on, public service projects, staff changes, etc. And don’t be afraid to lighten it up a bit: One Let America Know member publishes a lawyer joke each month in his newsletter!

Content for Social Media

On top of all the important statistics that support your email campaign, don’t forget the value derived at re-purposing your email content throughout your social media platforms. Let’s face it, coming up with valuable content to share with others isn’t easy to do on a consistent and strategic basis. Since your email newsletter is carefully crafted by our editorial staff, you’ve now killed two birds with one stone. After your campaign launches, use the Marketing Download to systematically post  in places like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions or ideas you’d like us to discuss, please send them to me at

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