3 Tips to Master the Art of Email Marketing
When analyzing the effectiveness of attorney email campaigns, Campaign Monitor found that: organizations are 6x more likely to get a click-through due to an email campaign than a Tweet, and that for every $1 spent, email marketing generates nearly $40 in ROI.
Take advantage of these benefits and attract a steady stream of clients to your law firm using the three tips below. With practice, you will be well on your way to mastering the art of email marketing and increasing your caseload.
- Understand how to use email marketing to convert clients
Attorney Email marketing won’t lure business into your law firm unless you make a conscious effort to develop campaigns that convert readers into clients. That means prompting email recipients to take action of some sort, such as:
- Clicking on a call to action
- Calling or emailing your law firm
- Participating in a contest
- Taking advantage of a promotion
- Connecting on social media
- Sharing your email
- Filling out a survey
Of course, that doesn’t mean that your emails must come off as salesy. Not at all—your law firm’s email marketing strategy should actually avoid pursuing the hard sell. Instead, they should provide value to your audience, whether that be in the form of great content or suggestions of free resources that you think they’ll be interested in (for instance, if the recipient previously attended a webinar about filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy, you could send them an email that includes a link to five case studies from companies who filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy).
Overall, your law firm’s email marketing strategies should accomplish a specific goal like:
- Convert leads into clients
- Maintain positive relationships with clients and keep them engaged
- Urge current and past clients to refer your services
- Build your social media following in order to attract further strangers who can be converted into leads
- Gather information and data that can inform your marketing strategy
Don’t get so caught up in producing content and scheduling campaigns that you forget why you’re sending out emails in the first place: to push business down the sales funnel.
- Build an email list of the right recipients
Why waste your time on appealing to the wrong people—people who don’t fit your target client profile? Even if they do end up becoming clients, they won’t be ideal clients and will only detract from others who could be more profitable for your law firm.
Do the right thing for your law firm’s email marketing strategy from the beginning and appeal to the right recipients.
These are the people who:
- Fit your ideal demographic: they are local, make enough money to afford your services, etc.
- Engage with your brand: for instance, they read your law firm’s blog, download free resources from your website, attend webinars, or open emails
If you’ve built a list of disengaged recipients, it’s time to purge your list. Don’t be afraid to send unsubscribe emails, where you say something like “We see that you’re opening our emails. If we’re bugging you, feel free to unsubscribe by clicking the link below! The last thing we want to do is clutter your inbox.”
Many law firms are hesitant to lose recipients but in reality, it’s better to pare down your email list to only engaged or promising contacts so you don’t kill your open rate and experience problems with your email server.
After clearing out your email list…
- Employ lead magnets to appeal to targeted leads
- Work to get your law firm white-listed with each recipient so your emails go straight to their inbox
- Develop campaigns that appeal to each type of recipient
- Develop campaigns, not one-off emails
Even inconsistent email marketing is better than none, but employing drip email campaigns is much more effective than one-off messages sent here and there. Drip campaigns are basically message sequences that nurture leads up to, and through, the sales ready point by providing relevant information at specific touchpoints.
These touchpoints could include downloading resources from your website, consulting your law firm, signing up for your email list, etc. The possibilities for drip email campaigns are endless, from re-engagement campaigns designed to reconnect with cold contacts to promotional campaigns designed to draw attention to limited time offers.
The appeal of drip campaigns versus one-off emails is multifold:
- They nurture leads slowly by consistently keeping in touch with recipients, ensuring that your law firm is always top of mind
- They provide customized, relevant information to readers in snackable bits
- They can adapt to clients’ behavior in real time; for instance, if a recipient doesn’t open a specific email, they will be routed to a different campaign that may appeal to them more
Just don’t forget to tailor your law firm’s email marketing to each segment of your list, such as engaged former clients, disengaged/cold recipients, new leads, or sales ready contacts. Your law firm will experience a much higher success rate as well as happier recipients.
5 Overlooked Email Marketing Techniques for Law Firms
Of the many online marketing options that law firms have, email is by far the most effective and controllable way to reach prospective clients:
- Email’s average open rate of 22% dwarfs Facebook’s 6% and Twitter’s 2%
- You can easily track open, click-through, and conversion rates
- Email is unaffected by Google’s algorithm changes
- It is cheap; depending on volume you can pay less than $.01 per email
- You can include a call to action without alienating recipients
- Email lets you push engaging content out instead of waiting for website and ad readers to come to you
- It is effective; every study gives email the highest ROI of all online options
Commonly-Overlooked Email Techniques that Work
If you do not have a robust email effort, you have a large hole in your firm’s marketing program. If you do have an email marketing channel, its value to your law firm will increase if you add these elements:
1. Solicit reviews. Send at least two spaced emails (and texts when permitted) to past and current clients asking them to write an online review. Positive reviews generate calls.
2. Use appointment reminders. No-shows will materially decline if you send appointment reminders by email and text a couple days before and the morning of the appointment.
3. Automate your prospect series. Whether you use an auto-responder or CRM software, creating and automating an educational drip series will quickly pay for itself in higher conversion rates, smarter clients, and less time providing the same basic information over and over.
4. Build a sales funnel. Why should your office spend time on the phone with unqualified prospects? Create an educational sales funnel that explains how you help and how much it costs so those who do contact you can use and pay for your services.
5. Track your falloff. If you link your sales funnel to a dashboard, you will be able to see where and how severe the dropoff is at each stage. You will then be able to intelligently tweak your emails and sales funnel to reduce attrition. For example, if when you quote price you lose many prospects, consider offering the low-budget prospects a less expensive alternative with fewer frills.
And your emails should follow these guidelines:
— Teach and help; don’t sell. Every piece you send a prospect should be designed to assist the reader. Answer common questions. Explain mistakes to avoid. Share your wisdom. Show the reader you care about his or her plight.
— Use compelling language. Your prospects frequently face consequences if they don’t act. Whether those consequences come from unpaid bills, aggressive prosecutor, departing spouse, litigious partner, or hard-nosed insurer, detail the perils of not acting.
— Be personal. Use your name as the from address. Be friendly and genuine. Pretend you are writing to one person you care about.
— Vary your approach. Make some pieces long and others short. Have some graphically designed and others plain text. Link several emails to supportive videos, infographics, or slide shares.
Our Approach to Lawyer Email Marketing
We believe that exceeding prospect expectations is the best way for our lawyer-customers’ campaigns to stand apart from their competition:
— We have created meaty and extensive drip series. Our specialty-specific series begin with a branded 100-300 page book, include detailed and numerous FAQs, mix in short and targeted plain-text letters, and offer several designed and colorful PDFs. All our pieces teach rather than sell.
— We track results on a visual dashboard. We build a comprehensive, easy-to-understand, and colorful online dashboard so our lawyer-customers can see exactly what path their prospects followed before they called or submitted a reply form.
— We install sophisticated review-generation and screening software. Automating review solicitation has three big benefits:
- The solicitation letters regularly go out, no matter how busy your staff gets
- Your clients need have no technical knowledge to create and post a review
- You can screen out weak reviews BEFORE they are posted
If you would like to learn more about how we can help improve your marketing results and marketing technology, we offer a 15 or 30-minute personalized free consultation with recommendations.
5 Easy Ways To Build Your Email Marketing List
An email marketing campaign is only as good as how many subscribers it generates—not how many people it reaches. Gone are the days of email blasts to countless, random email addresses in hopes that those recipients would welcome the spam-like gesture and sign up for further emails (when this did work, you just got really lucky).
Email marketing today is more sophisticated—and there are strategic steps that can help increase the opt-in list of people who want to hear from you.
Here are 5 easy and effective ways to build your law firm’s email list, and subsequently increase your web andsocial media traffic all at the same time.
Include a Sign-Up Form Below Your Blogs
If a reader gets to the end of any of your blogs, chances are they liked what they read, and will want to learn more of what you have to say. Make sure to include a way for readers to opt-in to your email newsletters at the bottom of your blogs, and include links to your social media pages here, as well.
TIP: If you’re marketing with videos on YouTube (and you should be), include an email opt-in link in the About section.
Convert Your Social Followers To Email Subscribers
As explained above, it’s not enough to just create excellent content—you must spread the word about it to drive traffic to your website, where you can capture subscribers for your law firm’s email list. In addition to requesting backlinks, get the word out on social media to land more viewers without breaking the bank.
Get serious about increasing social media engagement and increasing views on your posts.
- Measure the success of each message so you understand what kind of messaging most resonates with your audience
- Re-share successful content with slightly different messaging to continuously promote your most attractive articles
- Schedule posts ahead of time to ensure that your law firm’s social media accounts stay fresh, even when you’re not in front of the computer
- Share informational, not just promotional, content
- Post at the right times (CoSchedule shares the best times here)
Just as you include links to your social media pages on your blog, use your social pages to link to an email sign-up form. This is an easy way to increase email subscribers, as your followers are already following your social pages, so they’ll likely be interested in receiving your emails.
Use Your Existing Email Database
This may seem obvious, but if you aren’t utilizing your existing database to gain subscribers, you’re missing out on countless contacts. Include a “share with a friend” link at the bottom of your emails, and encourage your current subscribers to forward your newsletters to friends who may find something of value from your content—just like they do.
Offer Free Downloads
Create useful resources for clients in the form of worksheets, legal checklists, even eBooks, and request an email address before the download can be completed.
TIP: Make sure you provide a snippet of what the user will be downloading, and not just an advertisement. Show that what they’ll be receiving is something of value, and worth handing over their email address for.
Collect Email Addresses at Speaking Engagements
Take advantage of trade events and speaking engagements to gain email addresses of attendees with a sign-up form at your booth or table. If you’ve successfully captured the attention of your audience, they’ll likely want to have further communication with you.
Explore Affordable Paid Advertising Strategies
If your practice is willing to spend a little dough to reach promising prospects, try starting with a Facebook Ad campaign. James Attorney Marketing & Attorney Marketing’s Facebook Ad user guide can walk you through creating an advertisement from scratch.
Some law firms fall into the trap of thinking that just because they are on a tight budget and new to Facebook Ads, the strategy can’t work for them. Don’t let that misconception deter you; Brian Carter invested just $1 per day for 30 days on Facebook Ads and reached 120,000 people. Your legal practice can do the same.
For more information on how to create the perfect email campaign for your law firm, get a hold of one of our marketing specialists today.
Optimize your website and posts for opt-ins
Once you’ve pushed traffic to your website, take advantage of the visitor attention to convert some of them into email subscribers. Capture leads using a variety of opt-in forms scattered throughout your website and in conjunction with blog posts. You can use any number of subtle or in-your-face forms such as:
- Lightbox / popup: overlay image that fills the screen while dimming out the rest of the page
- Slide-ins: unobtrusive form that slides into the corner of the screen
- Below post: opt-in form that rests underneath blog posts
- Sidebars: form that stays alongside the main content section
The key is to implement various forms and then A/B split test to see which alterations increase conversions. OptinMonster reports that their client, AtHoc, experienced a 141% increase in qualified leads for their email list in just one month after implementing a carefully crafted lightbox opt-in form.
Get others to promote your excellent content
Backlinko calls this the Skyscraper Technique because the quality of your content should go way above and beyond the existing content out there.
For instance, if all the other bankruptcy law firms are writing generalized, 500-word blog articles about managing credit card debt, your law firm could produce a 2,000-word guide about how to pay down credit card debt, 10 common pitfalls to avoid, how to determine when bankruptcy is the better option, next steps to take, and the ways in which your law firm has helped other clients address credit card debt.
Then—and here’s the key—reach out to others to receive backlinks to your skyscraper articles. Use sites like ahrefs.com to find out which reputable websites are linking to similar articles on the same topics, and then send them a cold email letting them know that their readers may find your high-quality content more valuable. Keep it short and sweet, and don’t forget to provide the link to your live article!
The more backlinks you can land, the more traffic going to your website from external sites and search engines (since backlinks are one essential element of attorney SEO). In Backlinko’s case, the site doubled its organic search traffic in just two weeks thanks to a single skyscraper post
Leverage your highest-traffic blog posts
Getting email subscribers starts with pumping more traffic to your attorney website. If 10% of visitors convert into email subscribers, for instance, then you’ll need to push 100 visitors to your site to get 10 to opt onto your law firm’s email list, 10,000 visitors to achieve 1,000 subscribers, etc.
Focus on improving your site traffic by leveraging existing law firm blog posts. Find the ones that receive the most attention and edit until they’re the best they can possibly be. This could include:
- Adding a short, snappy headline that sparks reader curiosity. Buffer reports that 55% of visitors will spend no more than 15 seconds reading your article—the title is your chance to convince readers that it’s worth their time.
- Formatting the articles to appeal to readers. For instance, avoid large chunks of text. QuickSprout recommends single sentences or groups of 2-3 sentences at most.
- Utilizing images and videos when appropriate. They can disrupt monotony or clarify complex topics.
- Cutting down to only what is necessary. Every word should add value.
Then, use calls to action and opt-in forms to convert grateful readers into subscribers (discussed below). This tactic, implemented as part of an aggressive list-building strategy, landed Robert van Tongeren more than 1,000 new contacts in just 30 days.
4 Email & Internet Marketing Mistakes that Your Law Firm Might Be Making
Many organizations around the world heavily rely upon email marketing to reach new clients, advertise products and services, and maintain valuable relationships with existing clients, and law firms are no exception. Yet, you may be assessing your current email marketing ROI and wondering how to achieve the results that other successful firms and companies are seeing.
The secret? Avoiding the following common email and internet marketing mistakes that could be sabotaging your promotion efforts. Peruse the information below and you may just see your firm’s email marketing ROI skyrocket!
Mistake #1: Aggressively selling 24/7
The purpose of marketing your firm to prospective clients via email is, of course, to accrue business. However, no one likes to be sold to, even if they do need your services.
When creating email and internet marketing pieces, the best strategy to prompt email recipients to take action and contact your firm is to explain how your law firm’s services can help the prospective client, and demonstrate your track record of assisting people in similar situations in the past. Think of a marketing email as an extension of a personal conversation with a prospect. What would you say to a prospective client if he or she came into your office for a consultation?
Mistake #2: Failing to optimize for mobile
According to the Pew Research Internet Project, 58% of Americans own a smartphone and more than 40% of adults in the United States possess a tablet device. In addition, more than half of cell phone owners utilize their devices to send and receive email and 60% browse online. If your law firm’s email campaigns are not optimized for mobile, you are severely limiting your potential ROI.
When evaluating your email and internet marketing pieces, make sure that email text is large and uncluttered enough to view on mobile devices and that images can be resized and seen clearly on smaller screens. Additionally, be sure that email recipients can easily route from an email to your website, which should also be optimize for mobile.
Mistake #3: Sending at the wrong time
Marketing research has found that the best times to send emails are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from around noon to 4:00 PM. Your firm may be sadly disappointed by the response rate of email campaigns sent on Mondays and Fridays, particularly sent early in the morning and in evening, when email recipients are much less likely to open and click through messages.
Mistake #4: Not including an opt-out link
The CAN-SPAM act, officially known as the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited and Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003, requires that emailers must provide a visible unsubscribe function on all emails so that recipients can opt out and unsubscribe from messages in a timely manner. Check that your firm’s email and internet marketing pieces are lawful in order to avoid hefty penalties and unhappy recipients.
Lawyer Marketing Help: What to Do When No One is Opening Your Emails
Email marketing is still one of the most effective marketing tools out there, say experts like Neil Patel, and best of all, it is a relatively inexpensive and user-friendly lawyer marketing tool for firms of all sizes. One of the main (though by no means, only) indicators of email marketing success is open rate. If you’re consistently seeing very low open rates, try these easy fixes.
- Improve subject lines
Many people judge books by their covers and the same goes with email subject lines. Improve your chances of a great open rate by improving your email subject lines.
- Don’t use red flag terms like “free”
- Describe what’s inside the email
- Go for fewer than 50 characters whenever possible
- Adjust your timing
People won’t stop to look at email during busy parts of their day. Send at ideal times:
- Tuesdays and Thursdays: the most popular days to send email newsletters
- Mondays: poor days to send marketing emails because people are wading through weekend messages
- Weekdays from 10 AM to 2 PM (recipients’ time zones): ideal email slots
These are not hard and fast rules. Get to know your recipients’ preferences and habits, and analyze your firm’s personal email performance data to determine your best lawyer marketing time frames.
- Avoid spam filters and Gmail’s “promotions” tab
Get out of email no man’s land:
- Communicate from the start—include a note on your subscription confirmation page that because emails may go to spam, recipients should white list your email address (add it to contacts) to avoid missing great content
- If recipients are using Gmail, your first message may go to “Updates” or “Promotions.” Recipients can drag this message to their main inbox, and click “yes” to the pop-up query “Would you like to do this for all emails from in the future?”
- Limit the size and number of images
- Provide high-quality content (essential with every type of lawyer marketing)
- Avoid sloppy HTML, especially when moving from a Word file to HTML
- Clean your lists regularly
Every six months, clear off contacts that shouldn’t be on your lawyer marketing lists. Sending to stale recipients can prevent you from reaching other, more promising recipients. For instance, if you are sending to four contacts within the same company—one promising and three stale—the company’s server could block all four from receiving your messages due to low engagement from the three disengaged recipients.
- Don’t forget about mobile viewers
Mobile opens are at an all-time high and on an upward trend compared to desktop opens. When designing your emails, keep in mind that mobile viewers will look at smaller screens, see shorter subject lines, and need a simpler, mobile-friendly layout to have the same viewing experience as desktop users.
Email Marketing Tactics
2015 was a year full of change in the SEO world and 2016 could be even more disruptive due to further technological advances. Email is one of the oldest technologies available to digital marketers and it has managed to survive through continuous changes in methodologies and access devices. Email can be used to keep existing customers informed and as a method of re-marketing to tempt potential customers to convert into being an actual client. The potential of email marketing is still under-exploited by many marketers and it is a channel of communication with which all lawyers and their clients are familiar. Search Engine Journal, has some good suggestions for email marketing tactics this week, and we will also look at some ideas from the Moz Blog and Neil Patel’s Quicksprout Blog.
One of the reasons that respectable marketers shun email as a channel of communication is its abuse in “cold calling” tactics with spam emails. This is a shame, because you don’t think of email as too sullied to communicate appointments and advice to your law firm’s clients, and so there is no reason why it should be discarded as a method of persuasion for pre-sales communications. The first of the articles you should read on the topic of email marketing tackles the issue of junk mail. When this article gets into recommendations to boost the open rate and conversion rates of emails, it speaks more to retailers. Probably the best method a lawyer can use to avoid emails being regarded as spam is to gather your mailing list yourself through honest means, rather than by buying lists, and also plan a credible sequence of texts that tailor towards the potentials client’s needs.
This article outlines the best tactic lawyers should use to gather the email addresses of potential customers. Email can be used as a re-marketing tool. If someone visits a page on your website, they are clearly looking for services like yours. So, by encouraging the visitor to leave his email address, you can maintain contact with that potential client and send personalized emails to encourage them to book an appointment. You can recycle your best articles as email texts, encouraging previous visitors to return to your site and become familiar with your practice.
This third article from Search Engine Journal that touches on email marketing reinforces the message that emails should be used to keep in touch with potential customers who have indicated that they are in the market for services like yours by visiting your site. Again, the email campaign is not the first contact you have with your target customers. You encourage visitors to enter their email addresses rather than mailing out cold to a list you bought.
This article has a great idea that will work well for lawyers – differentiated landing pages. You could write articles addressing legal issues from different perspectives, communicating to different categories of potential clients. Then you will know exactly the angle that you need to follow in order to convince each client that you understand her situation. You would then write a series of emails to be scheduled for sequential delivery to that client category, with different scripts for different types of potential clients.
If you have tried an email marketing campaign and had little success with it, this report on the Moz blog could provide you with some explanations for that failure. The basic method of scheduling emails to be sent out at regular intervals is through an autoresponder. In this article, a marketer for a home improvement site explains his experience with a very widely used autoresponder, called GetResponse. The main problems this writer found with GetResponse center on presentation and addressing. The author found better functionality in a more sophisticated tool called Pitchbox, which improved his response rate by 187 percent. Explore this tool to see if this could work for your law firm’s email campaigns.
Neil Patel is a very successful SEO consultant and he has really taken to LinkedIn recently. In this post, Patel explains a useful set of strategies that have proved successful for him. Patel gets visitors to his site to enter their email address usually by getting them to download a report, which they have to give their address in order to access. He now uses LinkedIn as one of the methods to attract visitors into his site. This strategy would work well for you if your law firm specializes in legal services for professionals and businesses. The LinkedIn platform also has its own internal email system, which can be used to receive inquiries from potential customers who are drawn in by your posts into groups that fit your target client types.