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How to waste time and money on your firm’s newsletter

April 1, 2016
Neil Milton

NewsletterMany firms produce newsletters. Here is how to ensure that absolutely no one reads yours, that it has no marketing value at all, and that it is a complete waste of time and money.

If you want your newsletter to be completely ineffective, you must ensure that no one actually reads it. This is easier than you think. Just make sure that your newsletter is very infrequent, very long, very boring, and absolutely devoid of entertainment.

Here is a step-by-step guide.


First, make sure your newsletter is very infrequent. That way, no one will remember it and it is most likely your email will be caught in their spam filter.


Second, strongly discourage people from opening your newsletter with the right cover email. I suggest something like this:

Our 40 page bi-annual newsletter is attached. In it, we summarize every case on IP law in [our country] this past two years, and discuss the draft legislation that would have modernized our IP system but unfortunately was not adopted by our government.

Hard to access

Third, make sure that your readers have to work very hard to get access to your brilliant insights; never make it easy for them. A PDF attached to an email is a good way to start, and means you cannot collect any metrics about readers. Never post the content online. Only send it once. Do not use social media. Send it from an obscure email address that will get caught in as many spam filters as possible and cannot be found easily in an InBox.


Fourth, make sure that the writing is dry and dull. Do not tell stories. Avoid using brand names that people would recognize. Never use humour. The subjects should be arcane and of interest only to a few local IP geeks. Never, discuss something practical like how most clients can secure IP rights easier, faster and cheaper in your country. Don’t waste time or money on graphic design that would make your newsletter visually engaging – good design is for wimps, not patent attorneys.

Long, complex summaries of local law also have the side benefit that they suck up a lot of time and effort from your partners and associates, time that they otherwise would waste with their families or on hobbies. Also, if you produce a long newsletter with many articles some poor partner must spend weeks chasing other uncooperative members of the firm for their contributions.

In short, a really ineffective newsletter can cost lots of time and money to create, sap firm morale, sow internal discord, and yet have no positive marketing impact (and certainly no impact that anyone can measure).

Learn more

It is much faster, cheaper and easier than you think to produce an effective newsletter that produces measurable results. We will discuss this, and many more topics, at our marketing seminar at INTA in Orlando. I look forward to seeing you there. Register here.


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