Here’s How Attorney Email Marketing Works!

Now’s the time to get ahead of the curve!

As much as social media is the talk of the town, the reality is people overwhelmingly use email to communicate effectively and get business done. In a highly people-driven industry such as law, email marketing is one of the most personal and direct methods for reaching past, current and prospective clients.

In fact Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s State of Marketing Report from 2015, which surveyed over 5,000 marketers in realms such as social, email and mobile, feedback and statistics about the power of email were overwhelmingly positive.

A majority of participants—73%—said marketing is core to their business, and nearly the same number—74%—believe that email efforts already produce ROI or will create real returns in the future. In its 2014 State of Marketing report, Exact Target found an even higher number: 88% of marketers said email marketing was bringing them positive ROI.

Likewise, the Direct Marketing Association’s research concluded that email marketing for businesses in the U.S. yields a dramatic 4,300% average return on investment. EmailExpert’s numbers showed that for every $1 spent on email marketing, there was an average $44.25 ROI. And in a recent ranking by Gigaom Research, marketers consistently rated email as the most effective tactic for four key business-development areas: awareness, acquisition, conversion and retention.

These findings may be surprising, as this more “traditional” form of digital marketing is increasingly overshadowed by sexier social platforms. However it’s clear that email is not only alive and well, finding a new niche among emerging social and mobile communication platforms, but can thrive as a healthy slice of any integrated legal marketing mix.

That said, strategies around attorney email marketing have changed dramatically since we heard those first iconic words, “You’ve got mail!” Today law firms need to take into account:

  • Staffing or outsourcing professionals to write engaging email content
  • Quality control through third-party email dissemination and management tools, such as Constant Contact or MailChimp
  • Analyses on KPIs such as open and conversion rates that measure the success of email campaigns
  • Accurate optimization and responsive design to allow for effective viewing of email on mobile devices
  • Best practices for email and database marketing, including personalization, segmentation and content series strategies

Email optimization for mobile

One of the most important trends in content consumption is the pervasive daily use of mobile devices. Put simply, more people are accessing more content on more handheld devices than ever before. In fact, in the first quarter of 2014, more email was opened on iPhones than all desktops combined.

With this kind of mobile demand, comes an absolute requirement that each segment of your law firm’s content—especially custom email messages—render immediately and properly on a smaller screen. One survey from email channel expert BlueHornet revealed the real problem: Over 70% of people will simply delete an email if it doesn’t open properly. Users now look at email applications as scanning tools screening for good content, and they can swipe lawyers and brands away in an instant.

Fixing readability issues should be a serious directive for attorney email marketing in 2016, because you can’t tie ROI to content that’s never been viewed. Law firms that haven’t shifted to a digital platform (both web and email) with responsive design—coding that makes content render properly on every device—should consider making adaptable content a priority.


Effective email open-rate strategies

Just as we know users won’t open an email that doesn’t display or load easily, increasingly distracted Americans who are already inundated with content will also ignore emails that don’t catch their attention in approximately three to four seconds. Yes, attention spans are disturbingly short. So even if your email template is super slick and responsive, if the subject line or headline doesn’t compel viewers to read, learn or act more, your legal email is as dead as a delete.

There are plenty of online resources available to help you write better attention-grabbing headlines to encourage a higher email open rate, but in general delivering an intentional variety of short messages (about 50 characters or five to seven words) is most effective. Using non-spamy/salesy phrases, compelling questions, deadline-driven words, calls to action and commands, lists and tips, and multimedia links are also successful open-rate strategies.

Personalization and localization are also becoming very important for boosting email open rates. Stats from Experian showed promotional emails that were personalized, for example with someone’s name, had a 29% higher unique open rate and 41% higher unique click rates than generic email messages. Picture those well-timed emails you get from a favorite clothing brand, for example, offering a discount on your birthday or with a personalized welcome note after joining a loyalty program. This kind of email personalization can be adapted appropriately for the lifecycle of legal client.

Likewise localizing your email campaigns by adding a city name in your recipients’ subject line is also increasingly effective. Leverage your database information to segment and market to specific clients in specific areas. Tangentially, this could also help prospective clients associate your law firm as a local or regional expert in a particular area of law.


Acting on email metrics

Possibly the most important strategy of all in attorney email marketing in 2016 is regularly monitoring and mining the data you’re capture through your email efforts—and making adjustments as needed. Tracking and learning from key indicators including the big three in email—click-through, click-to-open and conversion rates—will help you hone your e-campaign to precision. Nearly every third-party email tool and template comes with analytics baked right in. You just need someone to help you read the recipe and possibly tweak the ingredients of your emails.

The beauty of digital marketing initiatives like email is they can be easily modified when they aren’t working. This allows law firms to test-market different messages and approaches in both content and design, without spending much money. That said, too much experimenting could turn off clients, so once you settle on some solid strategies use them as a baseline to maintain brand consistency going forward.

Need more insight on how to improve your database-driven email marketing? Currently representing over 90 law firms around the country, Network Affiliates has the answers attorneys are looking for. We are here to provide a free and confidential evaluation of your current legal advertising and marketing strategies: (888) 461-1016

Legal Marketing: Increase Referrals in our Digital World

One of the easiest—and perhaps most overlooked—ways to get new cases is to ramp up your referral strategy. It’s widely accepted that more new business comes from referrals than any other source, with the New York Times reporting that up to 65% may be garnered this way.

In marketing for law firms that means starting to understand how your attorneys can effectively talk to, incent and help satisfied clients share their experiences to bring in new cases. Nielsen has shown that people are four times more likely to “buy” when referred by a friend. Think of those friends—your former clients—as a gold mine waiting to be tapped.

One of the greatest benefits of legal referral-marketing strategy is it doesn’t have to cost a lot and can quickly pay for itself even after a single recommendation. The key is employing proven tactics to build momentum behind your referral campaign. Once rolling, it can take on a life of its own, making your obligation to new business development a lot lighter. Let’s touch on some ways to start prospecting for, communicating with and leveraging your existing clients in the short and long term.

Manage your relationships

One of the quickest ways to activate your database is to launch a focused customer relationship management (CRM) campaign. This legal marketing channel is typically anchored around regular email (eCRM) blasts to the addresses you’ve already collected when people come in for legal advice or contact your firm online.

Automated platforms make referral marketing simple. Remember, though, it’s imperative to make your content relevant and meaningful—not too salesy—and send an appropriate amount of digital communication, as not to inundate clients and turn them off to your attorneys altogether. Share news on an interesting mass tort, a big case with a positive community message or a new refer-a-friend program. Staying connected to prior clients is the only way to remain top of mind when friends ask for a legal referral.

Superior social sharing

Social platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn have exploded in the last few years, and there’s no better way to market your legal brand—the story of your practice, attorneys and successes—than to let former clients share it for you. As Network Affiliates’ social media strategist Emily Frickey touched on recently, the “power of viral” is undeniable: One of every 13 people on Earth is on Facebook, and in just the next 20 minutes, 1 million links will be shared on Facebook alone.

However, legal practices need to encourage people to share. A Texas Tech study showed that 83% of consumers are willing to refer after a positive experience—yet only 29% actually do. That means your office could benefit greatly from working with your advertising agency to design a social strategy now to covert that precious 54%.

Keys to social success include making the content you do produce easy to share with one click; encouraging personal story sharing through simple incentives or charitable campaign tie-ins; and quickly responding to both positive and negative reviews in a helpful and insightful way.

Want to take advantage of more legal marketing referral opportunities and leverage the people who already support you? We can help – call us today! (888) 461-1016

Attorney Email Marketing: If You’re Reading This, It’s Working!

It makes sense that database marketing—or digital campaigns targeting the email addresses of people who have already worked with or have shown interest in your law firm—works well: it’s effective and inexpensive.

Over 90% of the planet’s more than 2.5 billion email users check their inbox at least daily. That alone gives you a strong open-rate opportunity. Plus, database marketing for lawyers is downright cheap. You’ve already surveyed your clients for feedback and current contact information. It costs next to nothing to maintain those relationships by reaching out once or twice a month with a short email message, or even weekly if you have the bandwidth and something relevant to say.

Converting content to cases

However, to recognize true ROI, attorney email marketing has to convert “readers” to cases, right? Your database is invaluable because when tapped correctly it’s a steady source of referrals, and law firms know better than any professional that direct referrals typically lead to the most qualified cases.

Email marketing campaigns have become more sophisticated. Just staying top of mind by keeping in touch with past clients, it not enough. The legal industry must build on the special kind of relationships that only lawyers have with their clients. The most lucrative email marketing for law firms use quality, “sharable” content that’s highly relevant, informative and downright interesting to past clients, which means you can’t just slap it together.

Here are a few ideas for boosting your database marketing.

Use video. Be compelling. Start by sprinkling in one video a quarter in your attorney email marketing. It’s one more way to quickly engage your database while adding variety and freshness to your campaign (and website, where you can showcase it later).

Pay a pro. Content is king. Lawyers are typically too busy to write compelling content. Hire a writer who knows law or knows how to interview your attorneys to tell a story your database wants to hear.

Survey the competition. Stay ahead of the curve. Have your marketing agency gather competing legal email blasts, blogs and digital content examples that your team finds helpful and pertinent. Reinvent that style, tone and approach to suit your own firm and clientele.

Make it mobile. And, make it responsive. Increasingly your database members, like the rest of the world, are opening and reading email blasts on their smartphones. Be sure to check that your campaign is fully optimized for easy reading on the fly.  Not sure if your email template and/or website is responsive? Call me to find out (303) 817-7313!

Need more insight on how to improve your database marketing?

We would be happy to do a FREE and confidential evaluation of your advertising. Network Affiliates has been in the legal marketing game since 1981, currently representing over 90 Law Firms around the country. Contact us to see if your market is available.