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4 Tips for Successful Client Alerts

Posted by Susan Beck and Lance Godard on Sep 4, 2018 1:24:00 PM


Identify the right topics, executive quickly and expand your audience.

Creating effective client alerts can be a headache.

You may get resistance from people in your firm who don’t want to do things differently. Or you may be told they just don’t have the time. Or you’re given an article that’s more appropriate for a robust law journal than a busy general counsel in need of a quick takeaway.

But small changes can make huge differences in client alert quality.

There are practical steps you can take to identify the right topics, execute quickly and expand your audience. These four tips will help you change the bad habits that get in the way of producing great client alerts (and other types of marketing content as well):

Tip No. 1 — Move quickly.

Lawyers are meticulous and thoroughly research every angle, but a client alert that comes out four weeks after an important court ruling looks stale. Ideally, alerts based on news events should be posted within a week.

Remind your team that even one nugget of good advice or insight can make a client happy – and make sure to set hard deadlines and a limit of 500 words.

Tip No. 2 — Stop trying to impress.

One of the biggest problems we see with law firm content is caused by lawyers trying to offer all the information they would like to see. Instead, they need to put themselves in the shoes of a busy client.

If an employment law has changed, a general counsel doesn’t need to know the history of the law. They just need to know if this change affects their company and what they should do about it in fewer than 500 words.

Tip No. 3 — Identify your target audience and figure out what they want.

Although most content marketing is aimed at clients, some is targeted to laterals and law students. Sometimes you want to get the attention of the media. Always keep in mind your audience.

Busy clients want timely, concise advice. Law students are looking for something distinctive and appealing about your firm. The media wants fresh news or insights or a compelling story. Tailor your content to your desired readers, and you will see better results.

Tip No. 4 — Think small.

A lot of firms publish comprehensive annual reviews covering many developments in securities law or antitrust or M&A. Packed inside each report are dozens of smaller, more focused nuggets of information that could have been sent as client alerts throughout the year.

One of the goals of content marketing is to get your firm’s name in front of your audience on a regular basis. Thinking smaller can help you achieve that larger goal.

Remember, the key to good content marketing is learning how to reach your target audience and speak their language. If you’re looking to distinguish your firm from the competition, it is important to create an effective law firm content marketing strategy. Join Susan Beck and Lance Godard for “Make the Pain Go Away: Creating Content Strategy That Works,” an LMA webinar on Sept. 18 at noon CT, for concrete, useful tips to overcome common pitfalls that keep firms from offering useful, client-oriented content.

Susan Beck headshot 2

Susan Beck  is a former lawyer and journalist. She spent four years as an associate at a big law firm and then wrote for The American Lawyer for nearly 30 years. Now she helps law firms create great content. Contact Susan at and learn more at



Lance Godard headshot

Lance Godard  has spent nearly 30 years in-house and as a consultant helping lawyers, practice groups and firms create content that helps them grow their business. Read his insight at JD Supra and on Are You Reading These Posts?, and contact him at

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