E-Mail is a Significantly More Effective Way to Acquire Customers Than Social Media

If you’re wondering why marketers seem intent on e-mailing you more and more, there’s a simple explanation: it works, says the latest McKinsey research.

email is more effective than social media

The report finds that E-mail remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media—nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined, as shown in the graphic.  That’s because 91 percent of all US consumers still use e-mail daily, according to ExactTarget.

The rate at which e-mails prompt purchases is not only estimated to be at least three times that of social media, but the average order value is also 17 percent higher, accoding to Emarketer.

McKinsey offers three tips:

1. Make the landing page special. "Customized landing pages—which send the user directly to the item or offer featured in the e-mail—can increase conversion rates by more than 25 percent. And don’t forget mobile. Nearly 45 percent of all marketing e-mails today are opened on a mobile device. Yet many marketers fail to optimize landing pages for the platform," the report says.

2. Learn about your customer. 'The best marketing organizations view every e-mail as an opportunity to learn more about their consumer. They define clear learning objectives for each campaign, capture data, and share it within the marketing group and the rest of the organization."

3. Personalize messages. "The best e-mails feel personal—and they are. A targeting engine must be built to guide the right message to the right person. Although it’s a lot of work, it drives real returns: one financial institution increased revenue from target segments by 20 percent by using life-cycle events to trigger personalized e-mails to existing customers."

More Americans Get Their News from Social Media

news consumption and social media

new study from the Pew Research Journalism Project that finds that many social network users depend on those sites to get their news. 

Here are the social media networks that rank as news sources:

"Some of you may be wondering about Reddit, which is a source for what is popular in real time on the Internet," Fairley explains. "People post a link to a story and there are up and down arrows that appear next to it.  Users vote on how interesting it is to them; the most popular appear at the top of the feed.  It’s news via community."

Here's the key takeaway: "The fact that Americans are becoming more accustomed to consuming their news online would also seem to indicate that there are opportunities for attorneys who maintain a news-filled blog to have their content read and shared across many different platforms."

For the full story see Fairley's article More Americans Turning to Social Media to Get Their News Fix on the National Law Review site.


Best Time and Day to Tweet, Blog and Email

Best time to tweetBuffer, a social media sharing tool, published an illustrated 1,800-word article on using timing to maximize your impact on Twitter, Facebook, email and blogging. It's a welter of information, some of it conflicting, but here are the high points:

Twitter: if you are tweeting from your company account, your tweets will get the highest click through rates on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  You'll get the most click throughs during commuting hours of 7-10 AM, and also from 4-5 PM before dinner, and 7-11 PM after dinner.  Regardless of the day, you'll get the most retweets around 5 PM.

best time to send emailEmail: Consumer-based marketing emails are best sent early in the morning, from 6-10 AM. Click throughs pick up again after dinner, from 7-10 PM. Don't time emails to be sent in the middle of the night, because it's a dead zone. One survey found that Thursday is the best day for both open rates and click throughs.

Blogging: 70% of people say they read blogs in the morning -- especially 11 AM -- with Monday being the highest traffic days for an average blog. However, Thursday is the best day for readers to share you blog posts on social media.who do users read blogs

For those who still care about Facebook: Engagement rates are higher on Thursdays and Friday, because "the less people want to be a work, the more they are on Facebook." The early afternoon is a solid time to post, but not anytime after dinner.

I'm skeptical of these time-of-day studies, because a good story or an important news event will be read regardless of when it happens. But there's no harm in experimenting with the timing of your social media messages to see which works best for you.

Lawyers Stay Connected to LinkedIn While on Move

I know we have all heard how important Social Media Marketing is, but here are some important tips from Alisa Martin, our guest blogger.

Social media is the hot topic in the law firm marketing. LinkedIn, one of the popular social media platforms, has revamped its mobile platform and this is the best social networking platform for professionals and lawyers. Lawyers now can effective use LinkedIn even when they are traveling. How?

Let’s find out how lawyers can become the master of LinkedIn and indulge in social media marketing...


Optimize your profile

The very first thing that people notice when you connect through LinkedIn is your profile. So, setting up a good profile can fetch the right kind of people to grow your practice.  Target your profile to your prospective clients. Use first person like “Call me,” and “Email me” for greater impact on the viewers.

Download app for mobile device

On your handheld device, download LinkedIn app, sign into your account and make sure that you receive all the notifications on your account, no matter what device you are using – iPad, Android, BlackBerry, iPhone or other such mobile devices.

Keep posting updates while on the go   

You must keep updating about your current activities, whether it is about completing a deal, finishing a number of meetings or winning a case of the client. You can also share some interesting news or a motivating publication with your relevant groups or the main feed.

Create your company page

On LinkedIn, you have probably come across businesses’ Company Page, which describes their services and the organizations they are dealing with. When you connections increase to around 50, you are able to create this page. This is a very crucial element for the lawyers because a Company Page speaks more than your profile. Through this page, you can reach out to prospective clients better and can even add a few to your list of clients.

The point of all this is to be active with LinkedIn. You should not leave your LinkedIn profile idle without any updates, comments or connections. Add life to your profile to stay connected with your clients.

Author Bio: Alisa Martin is a guest blogger who writes articles on law and Law Firms in Thailand. She provides authentic information on legal sector. 

How Small and Medium-Size Law Firms Benefit from Twitter

New research from Twitter:

Every day, people who own small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) ask how Twitter can help them. Lawyers want proof that their efforts on Twitter can lead to real business results. To understand the value of Twitter for SMBs, Twitter asked global research firm Market Probe International to survey 500 people over age 18, across several verticals in the US and UK, who currently follow SMBs on Twitter. We think the findings are useful to many kinds of small and medium-sized businesses.

1. Followers drive sales and recommendations.

People are more likely (72%) to make a future purchase from an SMB after they follow or interact with them on Twitter. We also see a lift (30%) in people who are likely to recommend. Why do recommendations matter? Because they drive traffic: 86% of respondents said they are more likely to visit an SMB if a friend recommends them.

Takeaway: Not only can followers turn into customers, they can also help spread the word about you, leading to even more customers.

2. Followers feel an emotional connection to SMBs.

One of the top reported reasons (63%) that people follow SMBs is to show support for that business. Most people (85%) also say that they feel more connected to an SMB after they follow them. This may explain why followers of SMBs are more likely to purchase from and recommend them.

Takeaway: Twitter helps SMBs connect with new and existing customers in feel-good ways. Thank your followers for their support with special offers that are only available to Twitter users.

3. Followers want to be in the know and offer feedback.

A common reason people follow SMBs is to get updates on future products (73%). But they also want to do more than just consume information on Twitter; they want to share ideas and get feedback through interactions (61%). As an SMB, these may be the very same reasons you decided to use Twitter for your business in the first place.

Takeaway: Deepen connections with current followers and attract new ones by giving them what they want: Invite followers to share their ideas by asking questions and respond when they offer feedback. Satisfy curiosity about new products by offering sneak peeks exclusively on Twitter.

4. Marketing with Twitter helps you reach more customers.

One-third (34%) of respondents say they have interacted with an SMB after seeing an ad that included the business’s Twitter handle. People who see a Promoted Tweet from an SMB that relates to their interests or needs are also more likely (32%) to visit that business.

Takeaway: Twitter Ads can help you extend the reach of your messages beyond your current follower base and find others who are also interested in your business.

The study confirms that people want to hear from and interact with SMBs on Twitter. Not only that, if you invite ideas from your followers, acknowledge and respond to their feedback and inform them about new offerings, they’ll be more likely to help you grow your business through purchases and recommendations.

LinkedIn (or Left Out) for Lawyers

Blog writer, Janet Raasch, provides the following article.

Until recently, very few lawyers and corporate counsel had even heard of the social media site LinkedIn.  In fact, it surprises many to learn that LinkedIn was launched ten years ago.  How quickly things have changed!

Ninety-five percent of ABA members indicate that they have posted their profiles on LinkedIn. Seventy percent of corporate counsel indicate that they use LinkedIn regularly as a tool to find and vet outside counsel.  These statistics come from a 2012 ABA survey.

LinkedIn is now one of the world’s most popular websites.  If you would like to be found by potential clients, your LinkedIn profile has become even more important than your website biography.  If you are looking for networking opportunities, your LinkedIn presence and activity have become just as important as your face-to-face networking.

LinkedIn launched in May 2003.  “From the very start, LinkedIn differentiated itself as a site for business, business development and recruitment rather than a social site,” said Phil Nugent.

“In just ten years, LinkedIn has gained 225 million users around the world, including 80 million users in the United States,” said Nugent.  “More than 173,000 people join LinkedIn each day.  It is a great place for many attorneys, because the demographics of LinkedIn skew older, wealthier and more-educated than any of the other top social media sites.”

Nugent discussed effective use of LinkedIn by lawyers and law firms at the monthly educational meeting of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Legal Marketing Association, held July 9 at Sullivan’s Steakhouse in LoDo Denver.  Nugent is a non-practicing attorney and principal at NCG Strategic Marketing.

“Successful use of LinkedIn as a business development tool has three steps,” said Nugent.  “First, you must post a complete and compelling profile.  All too many lawyers and law firms leave it at that, however, and then wonder why LinkedIn is not working as well as they had hoped.

“To achieve success on LinkedIn, you must build a strong network of connections in terms of both quality and quantity,” said Nugent.  “With this accomplished, you can leverage LinkedIn as a business development tool to find others, to get found and to conduct market research.”

Getting Started on LinkedIn

The creation and posting of a good profile is step one of a solid LinkedIn presence.  However, it should not be the same as a lawyer’s website bio.  Instead, it should be designed to satisfy the unique needs of LinkedIn’s search algorithm.

“LinkedIn’s algorithm uses a metric to quantify profile strength, which has a huge effect on search results,” said Nugent.  “Different areas of your LinkedIn profile carry different weights.  You should aim for a profile-strength of “all-star,” or as close to 100 percent as possible.”

Nugent discussed and gave specific recommendations regarding the algorithm’s weights.

Name and title (25 percent) -- Do not make the mistake of simply listing a generic job title in this very important space.  It should include carefully selected keywords – the keywords that those searching for someone like you are likely to use.  The title category can be as long as 120 characters, or about 18 words. 

Photo (5 percent) – A profile that includes a photo is seven times more likely to be viewed than one without a photo. Be sure that the photo is both professional and recent.

Summary (10 percent) – Use your summary to tell a compelling story about how you help clients solve their legal problems.  This section should include plenty of keywords.  It can include up to 2,000 characters, or about 350 words.  Spell check is always recommended.

Education (15 percent)

Previous two jobs (30 percent)

Three recommendations (15 percent) 

Another smart tactic for promotion of your LinkedIn presence is to customize your profile’s URL.  LinkedIn automatically generates a random URL, but this easily can be changed to a much shorter version featuring your name.  Additionally, you should be sure to add links to your website and blog.

On the “Edit Profile” page you can add content modules that include projects, publications, honors and awards, patents, certifications and languages.

“Throughout your LinkedIn profile, remember that content is king,” said Nugent.  “The copy should be compelling and should include plain-English keywords that are the same words that will be used by your target market or your ideal clients.  These keywords should indicate who you are and what you do.  Avoid ‘legalese’ -- unless your clients use it, too.”

Once you have prepared and posted a strong LinkedIn profile, you want to make sure that people can actually gain access to it.  Go to the “privacy controls” section of your profile and choose the settings that allow “everyone” to view your profile photo and visibility.

Creating a LinkedIn Network

To support a strong LinkedIn profile, you need a strong network.  When it comes to building a network, you can pitch as well as catch.  This means that you shouldn’t rely only upon the invitations that you receive; you should proactively send invitations to those with whom you would like to be connected.

A LinkedIn network works like a big circle, with you in the middle.  First-degree connections are direct connections.  These are the people you have accepted and who have accepted you. Second-degree connections are friends of these friends.  Third-degree connections are friends of second-degree connections.  Your level of visibility into third-degree connections is limited, and a request to connect must be routed through the second-degree connection that controls the relationship.

“The quality of your network is important,” said Nugent.  “If you accept too many random invitations, your network, although large, may not be sufficiently useful.  If you accept (and send) too few invitations, you won’t be able to use the database as it was designed.

“Before accepting any invitation,” said Nugent, “ask yourself if this person is potentially a client or a source for the kind of work you really want to do. Strive for balance between the quantity and the quality of the invitations you accept.”

When vetting an invitation, check out the inviter’s profile.  Is the invitation from a real and (apparently) respectable individual?  Does the inviter have quality contacts that might prove valuable?  Does the inviter have a large number of contacts?  Did the inviter include a personal note with the invitation?  “Rely on these factors to determine if it makes good sense to connect,” said Nugent.

When sending out your own invitations, start with your existing contact list.  Include your firm’s partners, associates and staff; members of professional, business and industry groups that you belong to; and referral sources, clients and friends.

“Never allow your network to stagnate,” said Nugent.  “It should grow continuously.  When you meet a new contact, follow up within 48 hours with an invitation to connect on LinkedIn instead of (or in addition to) an email or a written note.  To facilitate this tactic among those you meet, consider including your LinkedIn address on your business card.”

Using LinkedIn for Research

“A well-crafted LinkedIn network is like a finely tuned sports car,” said Nugent.  “It’s really a waste if you just let it sit in the garage.  You should take it out for a spin as often as possible.  The more you ‘drive’ LinkedIn, the more you’ll discover its usefulness -- and the more you’ll realize what a powerful tool it can be on a daily basis.”

Your LinkedIn network is essential when conducting pre-interaction due diligence.  “You can search your network in order to find out useful information about prospects, their companies, clients, competitors, consultants, referral partners, media sources and employees,” said Nugent.  “The quality of your results will be determined by the quality of your contacts and the size of your network.

“LinkedIn can help provide answers to many important questions,” said Nugent.  “These include who is the right person to talk to in a particular organization?  What can I discover about this person prior to our meeting?  Who else is on their team?  Who might be able to provide me with background or an introduction?”

LinkedIn’s “advanced search” capability allows you to refine a search by relationship, location, current company, industry, past company, school and language.  Search can be further narrowed by groups, years of experience, function, seniority level, interests, company size, Fortune ranking and date joined.

Lawyers who want expanded search capabilities and additional functionality can try a premium membership on a monthly basis rather than sticking with the basic free membership.  However, the free membership provides plenty of power for most LinkedIn users.

“In just ten years, LinkedIn has gone from being a novelty embraced by techies to a must-have marketing tool for all professionals who hope to compete in today’s marketplace,” said Nugent. “By creating a strong profile and a robust network, and by being an active user, any lawyer can vastly enhance his or her online visibility and reputation.”

Janet Ellen Raasch is a writer, ghostwriter, copyeditor and blogger at Constant Content Blog who works closely with professional services providers – especially lawyers, law firms, legal consultants and legal organizations – to help them achieve name recognition and new business through publication of newsworthy and keyword-rich content for the web and social media sites as well as articles and books for print. She can be reached at (303) 399-5041 or jeraasch@msn.com. 

Social media: The secret weapon for promoting your firm's services

If you have hesitated putting yourself on Social Media websites, read this guest blog post from Lead Generation Lab.

Okay, so it’s not so secret. But why are so few law firms maximizing on the incredible benefits of social media for marketing their services?

It’s simple. Lawyers and social media just don’t mix well together. But with today’s online social trends, it’s about time law firms should conquer that social media dragon. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn give you that ability to reach out to hundreds of individuals and potential clients at the same time.

Forums, blogs, and video sites also give you the chance to interact personally and give helpful advice that will establish you as a thought leader in your area of expertise.

Here are other reasons why you should jump on over to the social bandwagon:

  • Websites that cater to business people and professionals attracts thousands of people daily. Take for example LinkedIn, it has over 200 million registered users with 35% of those visiting the site daily! Even if just 1% of that can see your posts, that’s 2 million people and potential clients!
  • It is the fastest way to promote your website. You could have the greatest law firm website in the world that has complete attorney profiles, list of cases and former clients, and full contact details but it’s not getting as much traffic as you want. Why? Because people these days no longer surf the web as much as they used to. They search for something, they avail the service, and that’s it. Being on social media marketing ensures that you can reach out to more people, and at the same time tell these people that there’s someone behind that company name that actually reaches out and interacts with them.
  • Everybody’s on social media. Well not really, but consider the latest statistic that says social media has overtaken porn as the number one activity on the net. Now that’s saying something, isn’t it? (http://youtu.be/QUCfFcchw1w)

There is no doubt at all that any marketing strategy should involve social media. But law firms should be careful, as abuse of social media can have its consequences too. Every post on social sites should focus more on marketing and less on actual cases, current and otherwise, to avoid possible legal problems.

Just remember that when it comes to social media, as with any other marketing platform, too much of a good thing is a bad thing.


About Lead Generation Lab:

The Lead Generation Lab (LGL) team represents the most comprehensive and integrated group of Performance TV professionals under one roof in Australia – Creatives, Copywriters, Strategists, Data Analysts, Media Buyers, TV Editors, CGI animators, Producers and Client Service Managers. 

19% of Lawyers Got a New Client via Social Media

Lawyers get clients from social mediaThe 2013 ABA Technology Survey reveals the use of social media by attorneys continues to grow, but only at a very modest rate.

  • 27% of US law firms now have blogs, up from 22% last year, 15% in 2011, and 14% in 2010. Only 9% of lawyers maintain a personal, professional blog outside the firm. Solo attorneys are the most likely to have a professional blog, as are those between the ages of 40-49.
  • 59% of those surveyed indicated their firms maintain a presence in a social network such as LinkedIn or Facebook, up from 55% last year, 42% in 2011, and 17% in 2010. Of those firms with a presence, the breakout of channels can be seen in the chart below. LinkedIn and Facebook are the most used, but legal-vertical network use remains low.
  • Individually, 81% of attorneys report using social networks for professional purposes, up from 78% last year, 65% in 2011, and 56% in 2010. LinkedIn usage is nearly universal (98%), with Facebook usage actually falling from 38% in 2012 to 33% this year.
  • 19% of law firms now use Twitter, up from 13% in 2012. Individual Twitter usage by attorneys reached 14%, up from 11% last year. Twitter usage is more common in solo and small firms.

How effective is maintaining a presence in social media? When those utilizing any type of social media/networking were asked if they ever had a client retain their legal services directly or via referral as a result of their use, 19% indicated “yes” (compared to 17% last year and 12% in 2011). Solo and small law firms reported better results than larger firms.

See Volume IV: Web & Communications Technology of the 2013 ABA Technology Survey for more details.

How Your Small Law Firm Can Get Clients from Twitter

Hat tip from The Rainmaker Blog: Twitter has released the results of a survey conducted by global research firm Market Probe International on how small businesses can benefit from having a presence on Twitter. Adults who currently follow small businesses on Twitter are much more likely to make a purchase from them as well as recommend them to others.

Followers also have an emotional connection with the businesses they follow, and use Twitter as a way to provide their feedback and share information. This infographic from Twitter details the key takeaways from the survey:Twitter infographic - how your law firm can benefit from twitter

How Not to Get Addicted to Social Media

I recently came across an insightful article that can apply to any of us in this information (overload) age. The original location of the article in on the Longhorn Leads  website on July 16th.

In a world that seems to be saturated with social media use, it can be difficult to recognize the very blurry line between normal usage and dependence. Much like drugs or alcohol, social media can become a real addiction for those that are prone to compulsive behavior. Maintaining a normal level of connectivity with the people on your friends list without becoming so fixated on those sites that you begin to miss out on face-to-face interaction is possible, but it requires a certain level of discipline and the ability to objectively appraise your own level of social media usage.

While a social media addiction isn’t likely to cause the physical destruction that comes with substance abuse or alcoholism, it can very easily become an impediment to living a normal, productive life. There are very real repercussions stemming from behavioral addictions which can dramatically impact the life of not only an addict, but also those around them. These tips can help you spot a budding addiction and cut it off at the pass, as well as address the issue with loved ones that are becoming unhealthily fixated on the Internet and social networking sites, in particular.

Keep Your Network Manageable

When you see the number next to your list of friends growing, it can be a very exciting and fulfilling affirmation of your popularity and desirability. After all, if so many people have sent or favorably responded to friend requests, you must be a sought-after person. Still, a cumbersome friends list means that you’ll eventually be bogged down with updates, and simply staying abreast of the changes documented in your newsfeed can become  a full-time job. The first step to staving off a social media dependency is to keep your friends list at a realistic, manageable level. You can’t possibly stay on top of the big events and random thoughts of a thousand people while remaining productive and active in real life. Don’t approve every friend request you get, and don’t send requests out to people that you don’t have an actual, real-life connection to. This will help ensure you’re not spending valuable time congratulating the engagement of a relative stranger or liking the updates of a celebrity you’ll never meet.

Learn How Filtering Lists Work, and Use Them

If you use your social media account as a professional networking tool, you’ll have to add people that you don’t have a personal relationship with in order to expand your reach. There are filtering options built in to all the major social networking sites that will allow you to separate your contacts into more manageable lists. In addition to saving you time and limiting the amount of energy you pour into a social networking site, these lists can also help you ensure that the content you share is visible only to relevant contacts. Your business acquaintances won’t be looking at your family vacation photos, and  your parents won’t be reading your work interactions.

Pare Your Networking Site List Down

There are a plethora of social networking sites on the Internet, all with what seems to be a specific purpose. You can easily spend hours between four or five sites with which you have an account, feeding the beginnings of a social media addiction. Instead of maintaining profiles all over the web, try to limit the number of sites you use. When you can check all of your updates and interact in a reasonable amount of time, you won’t be roped in to spending hours on separate sites. It’s also easy to lose track of just how much time you’re spending on social media collectively when the usage is broken up between several sites. If you spend two hours a day using four separate sites, you’re effectively putting in a full day’s work, just browsing your social networks! You may not notice hours spent on several sites like you would if you spent six straight hours on Facebook alone.

Use Blocking Apps and Timers

If you run an Internet browser that allows apps, plugins and extensions, peruse the Productivity section for functions that will periodically block “time wasting” websites. When you’re forced to disable a plugin before logging on to your Twitter account, you’re more likely to think twice about how much time you’re investing in your online social life that could be spent on a real, in-the-flesh interaction or two.

Be Realistic and Objective

It’s never easy to be honest with yourself about destructive habits, especially those that have become compulsive. Still, it pays to be realistic about the level of dependency you have on social media and networking sites, especially if your friends and loved ones have commented on your excessive usage. While it can be difficult to notice a gradually growing dependence, it’s wise to know the signs of behavioral addiction and to be able to recognize them, both in yourself and in those around you.