Tips for Using Email to Market Your Firm

Amanda Green has provided us with another great post.  This time, we learn tips for using email to market your law firm.

 

Along with several apps designed to market your law firm, email marketing can be another weapon in your arsenal. The advantage to email marketing is that it is a quick, inexpensive, and almost instantaneous way to get the word out about your firm. The major disadvantage is that it is easy to abuse, and it is difficult to create a message that draws potential clients to your door.

 

There are several tips and tricks that can make your email marketing campaigns successful.

 

1. Do Not Spam

It’s tempting to pull a list of addresses and send your email cold; after all, vendors have been doing this via snail mail for years. However, where a simple post card, or mailbox flyer, might not cause much of a stink, people are more protective of their email inbox. At best, your recipient will delete and ignore your message. At worst, he will report the message to your mail provider as spam. One report might not cause problems, but if you get multiple reports, your provider could suspend your mail account.

If you need to add to your address list, consider using a more conventional advertising method – like a banner ad on a website, or even a flyer, that directs potential clients to a site where they can sign up to receive information via email. If you have to purchase a mailing list, make sure your provider can verify that all the recipients have opted in to receive information from “third party vendors with similar products".

 

2. Notify your ISP

Even if you are using a legitimate list, or are contacting people who have specifically expressed interest in receiving emails, if your ISP notices a lot of bulk mail activity, they could still shut you down. Notify them in advance, and provide proof that you are sending legitimate bulk mail, and you can avoid any interruptions to your email account.

 

3. Consider an Email Service

Email services provide templates and tools to help you create the most effective email campaigns. These services also manage your address book by removing people who decide to opt out of the email, and adding people who decide to opt in. You can even schedule mailings, such as newsletters, to go out at regular intervals.

 

4. Verify Contact Information

The only thing worse than having most of your emails returned with delivery errors for invalid addresses, is discovering that the message reached its target and you have misspelled her name, or gotten other information wrong. If you are using a database to send a form letter, take some time once a month to make sure the database is up-to-date. The last thing you want to do is greet a client and his wife, in your message, and discover that his wife passed away months ago.

 

5. Use Professional Language

I’m not talking about avoiding profanity, although that is important too, but rather using formal language (including spelling, grammar, and syntax) when you address potential customers. You don’t have to sound like an English butler, but you should avoid using terms of art or jargon, as well as multiple exclamation points for emphasis or text speak.

 

6. Communicate Regularly… but Not Too Much

One of the biggest pitfalls of email marketing is figuring out how often you should reach out to your subscribers, without blowing up their inboxes. Communicate too little, and they might forget that you exist. Communicate too much, and they could opt out just to stop the madness.

Consider sending out an email newsletter once a month, or even quarterly, to keep your subscribers aware of what’s going on with your business, with smaller emails no more than once a week for major announcements.

 

7. Take a Break During the Holidays

It might seem like a good idea to send your subscribers holiday greetings, especially around Christmas time, but they are more likely to get lost in the shuffle. Instead, consider sending out a themed email before the holiday season, that addresses major legal issues that tend occur during that time.

For example in early November, before the Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza season, send out an email with information on personal injury (to tie into the Black Friday madness), deep-fryer safety, or DUIs. Then take a break for the rest of the season, and resume in January.

Before the summer holidays, send a message out before Memorial Day that covers all that holiday, and Independence Day, with information on laws about fireworks, neighbor disputes, or motorcycle safety. Then take a break until just before Labor Day, when you can issue a newsletter about back-to-school issues, and more DUI information.

 

8. Link Newsletter Content to your Blog

Rather than send your subscribers a long, email with full-length stories, include just the headline and one paragraph of text, with a link to read the remainder of the story at your website. This will not only drive traffic back to your site, where they can browse for more information, it will reduce the file size of the email.

 

9. Use Media…Sparingly

Embedded YouTube videos and sound files can really help your marketing efforts, or they can annoy and alienate your subscribers. When using embedded audio and video, avoid using auto-play; instead, let the recipient click the file at his leisure. Another option is to provide a link, back to your firm’s website, where the recipient can view the video and also browse other content.

 

10. Make Subscription Process User-Friendly

Provide clear information, and links for opting out or changing one’s email address. Have a receipt system in place that confirms the recipient has made changes to his subscription, and approximately how long it will take for the changes to take effect. Making it easy to change one’s delivery preferences goes a long way toward fostering trust. 

 

Amanda is an online writer who is always looking for new topics and places to write. She normally writes about business, personal finance, and marketing for sites across the web including paidtwice.com. When Amanda is not working on a business post she is usually writing about pets or being eco-friendly, two of her favorite subjects!"

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