What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a form of direct marketing. It reaches your target market because they are choosing to receive it by opting into a mailing list. It is also coming directly from you and not from a third party outside of your firm. Your target audience can also choose to stop receiving it if they do not find the information valuable.
Email marketing, unlike indirect marketing (commercials, billboards, blog posts, and so on), allows you to reach a highly targeted audience who is likely to use your services. This direct marketing tactic also brings in a high response rate (something that blog posts and commercials cannot do). Email marketing is a cost effective and extremely practical way to build your brand, enhance your firm’s reputation, and bring in new clients.
Why Should Lawyers Use Email Marketing?
An email marketing campaign can provide a lawyer with a large amount return with little effort and an even smaller financial investment. This marketing strategy can be the most effective and least utilized tool for lawyers. This is especially useful since at most firms the head lawyers handle almost everything and there is not a lot of money to be spent on marketing and advertising. With the help of easy-to-use and user-friendly email marketing software, email marketing campaigns do not have to be time consuming or expensive.
There are two main types of email marketing campaigns: a newsletter that is sent to everyone who you have permission to contact and targeted email courses that are sent to a select group.
Email newsletters are meant to keep your law firm relevant in the minds of your clients and prospective clients. These blasts should talk about some of your firm’s less well known areas of practice or areas that are not being used to their full potential. They can also discuss new developments in your practice area and their potential impact.
These newsletters should give your readers some added value. This could be that the newsletter highlights and makes commentary on a relevant news article, for example. To highlight the expertise of your attorneys, the newsletter could announce their professional accomplishments or draw attention to their publications. The goal is to stay in touch with your clients and help build your law firm’s client base and referral system.
Targeted Email Courses
This form of email marketing is much different than email newsletters. These courses are designed for clients who are eager to learn more about one particular service. The goal of these courses is to educate the client about the service. They tend to answer questions like “What is involved in hiring a lawyer?”, “What are possible outcomes of a case?”, or “What should you look for in the attorney you hire?”
These emails are used to help build trust with prospective clients and present your firm as a subject matter expert. That way, when the time comes for them to hire someone, they will first think of your firm. These targeted email courses, used in conjunction with the email newsletters, will help keep your firm in the minds of prospective clients in the event that they do intend to hire a law firm.
Email marketing software
It should be noted that these emails can be sent automatically through an email-sending software. There are a lot of different email marketing systems available to use and they all have various pros and cons – MailChimp, Constant Contact, and AWeber being only a few. It is important to do your due diligence and research what is out there. To help kickstart that research, here are some things you should be looking for.
- There should be integration between the website subscription form and the email marketing system you choose. When someone subscribes through your firm’s website, their information should be directly sent into the email marketing database set up by the software of your choosing. This eliminates the need for manual entry thereby getting rid of the risk for error and increasing efficiency. This integration is also important when the subscriber wishes to change their contact information: the system that you use should have the ability to save subscription changes.
- Look for an opt-out management feature. Manually managing an opt-out list is prone to human error and is extremely time-intensive. This feature could look like a “Remove” or “Unsubscribe” link in every email your firm sends out. If a user chooses to opt-out this should be recorded in the system automatically and permanently. The system should also prevent marketers from accidently adding contacts back into the system who have opted-out in the past. Note that this is also the law: the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 deals with unsubscribe compliance, so be sure you have this in place.
- The email marketing system should have the ability to store a complete history of all email marketing materials including the email itself, a list of which subscribers the email was sent to, and the date and time the emails were sent.
- The email marketing system should have built-in metrics that keep track of the various campaigns initiated by your law firm. It is important to be able to track and record the results of each campaign in order to figure out what needs to be changed or kept the same. These metrics will also help to calculate the return on investment (ROI) of each email marketing campaign.
- The email marketing system you use should also have mobile email message compatibility. Many people nowadays use their mobile devices to read and reply to emails. It is important that the emails your firm sends out can be read on these devices. Incompatibility can result in lower response rates and more unsubscribers. The system you choose to use should include text versions of email messages and mobile-friendly versions that preserve the graphics and formatting.