“On the Grid” mail list management

July 8, 2018 by Jan Spetz

The MatterLink Contact Selector displays centralized contact data in a UI element that we call the core grid.  Given its wide range of functionality for contact organization, “Power Grid” might be a more apt name.

The Contact Selector’s out-of-the-box layout is a fingertip resource for finding a phone number or email address quickly.  At the same time, it can be the vehicle to organize contact data for bigger purposes such as a newsletter mailing list.

As an example, let’s suppose your firm sends a regular Estate Planning newsletter.  To add new contacts to the newsletter list, select them and update the EP Newsletter checkbox on the contact list (simultaneously for all selected names.)

Contact custom field for mailing list

The EP Newsletter checkbox is a Boolean contact custom field that has been added as a column to the contact grid.  The Custom Field Editor prompt, shown in the screen capture, effectively provides in-cell editing safely (with no chance of accidental update while scrolling in the grid.)

Once updated with new contact names, it is easy to export your mailing list to a CSV file, which is then transferrable to your email marketing service.

Do you have more than one mailing list?  Multiple custom fields are an effective way to manage all the lists! At BEC Legal, we have separate contact custom fields for our MatterLink, LegalBar and Docket Enterprise mailing lists.

Custom fields are unlimited in MatterLink and can be used to “group and filter” contacts for all sorts of reporting and document assembly purposes.  This is also true at the matter-contact level.  For example, you can display the list of contacts related to a specific matter and use a Boolean custom field of “Service List” to filter to the subset of people that belong on that list. MatterLink has tools to put the subset of names directly in a Word document, the subject of a future blog post.

If you are ready to try this MatterLink Contact custom field method for your practice group newsletter or your holiday card list, here is a high-level step-by-step guide. (This was taken from MatterLink online Help, where you can find more information on the Contact Selector and custom fields.)

  1. Create a contact-related custom field of EP Newsletter.  Use a Boolean field type; this creates a simple yes/no checkbox data field.
  2. Now on the Contact Selector, click the Add Custom Field Column link in the Actions panel to add the EP Newsletter custom field as a column.
  3. Also on the Contact Selector, select all the contacts who should receive the newsletter.
  4. Click the Set EP Newsletter Custom Field link to set the field to Yes for the selected contacts.

You’re all set to send the newsletter….now you just have to get around to writing it!


Jan SpetzJan Spetz
Content Manager and Documentation Specialist

Published: July 8, 2018