email marketing for lawyers

Should Our Law Firm Do Email Marketing?

Despite the legacy nature of email marketing, believe it or not, it still proves to be an effective way of marketing your firm. However, it’s not like it use to be, both the technology and strategy behind the execution has changed! Let me explain!

By and large, most firms still send out the usual fortnightly or monthly email newsletter, which usually is a compendium of all the articles they’ve written that month that are on the website. It gets sent out and depending on your email list will garner open rates in the vicinity of 20 – 30%. But one thing to remember, open rates aren’t everything, and just being seen in a person’s email box can’t be ignored from the perspective of brand awareness.

Now, this type of approach still works and it can significantly boost traffic back to your website for the person to read the full article and give your firm the opportunity of converting the reader into a client. As an example, we work with a firm who send fortnightly campaigns to a variety of lists and it brings in excess of 6,000 people to their website monthly.

If this is going to be the extent of your email marketing, then ensuring you’re sharing great content regularly might satisfy your objectives. In this respect, email campaign platforms like Mailchimp will do the job.

However, if you want to apply deeper thinking to this approach and see better outcomes, you’re going to have to do some additional things.

Segment your List

If you’re a diverse practice law firm, split your email database into practice areas, and for your referral database, similarly split them, but in this case, into industry groups. But, don’t do this in Mailchimp, there are better platforms for the approach I’m going to give you. However, if they are already segmented in Mailchimp, that’s ok, you can easily export them out.

Why are we segmenting your database? Because we want to target, past or existing clients with content that matches their circumstance. The old way of course is that everyone gets a spray regardless of who they are, but it’s not effective to be sending a past family law client, information on things they need to consider before separation.

Now, the far better way is to consider your email marketing strategy in two ways, automation and manual, they’re inter-related. I’ll explain the latter first, once you’ve got your list segmented, then each month or fortnight only that segmented list will receive content that may interest them and someone in your firm will do this, or an agency like us if you have one engaged.

Then through automation, we deepen engagement with the person based on the content they interacted with. We know that there are salient issues that run through the mind of clients or potential clients during the course of a legal matter and this approach is all about providing guideposts to this person, but it’s a little more complicated at first, but then ticks away for you. Start this way of thinking by simply getting your lawyers in a room and asking them, what’s going on in the minds of our clients at the various stages of their legal matter, and formulate those thoughts into questions, of which you will write content on.

Let’s take the example of the person who is on your Wills & Estates list and they read your “things to do before separation” blog and even downloaded your “Essential Family Law Guide,” the follow up sequence of emails to this person can be automated over a period of time that deepen the engagement and enhance the conversion prospects.

Practically, it might look something like this:

1. Family Law focused campaign to the Wills & Estates List;
2. Person clicks on the link to read the separation article;
3. Once there, they read the article and download the family law guide;
4. Email sends them the guide with the email opening with a very brief intro from the family law partner, offering to answer any questions of which the guide may lead to.
5. Follow-up email asking if the guide was useful and potentially inviting the person to another piece of content that may provide more information. For example, it might be a video or a podcast etc

This automated sequence doesn’t just have to work like this. For example, for your Real Estate Industry List, you may offer a course on the new Foreign Investment Buying changes that is a series of emails pointing to specific resources that is dripped out over a series of 2 to 3 weeks or even 5 days! Think of it as a way of skilling-up your potential clients or referral sources. In relation to the agents, we know that if we engender a great relationship with them of which we help them become more knowledgeable, then it’s likely they’ll reciprocate with referrals. That said, they can be a fickle group 🙂

This type of sequential email marketing, of which this is only the start can be orchestrated via your CRM (depending on what it is) or through a platform we recommend, it’s called Drip. (ignore the fact that it overtly looks like a platform for ecommerce businesses, though that said, you should be thinking of aspects of your legal practice in this manner, but that’s a topic for another day).

Lastly, no matter what your approach, I’d strongly urge you to shy away from the generic “Smith Lawyers Newsletter” and instead, based on your segmented list, have campaigns specifically from the individual practice area or the lawyers of that are. In this case, it might be, “Employment Law Alert” and the sender isn’t Smith Lawyers, but rather, Angie Wilson, Employment Law Expert.

Great email marketing takes effort, commitment and some creative thinking. But, we’re yet to see a fail with any of the firms we look after in this respect!

If you have any questions, Ask Dan!



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