For reasons that I'm not totally convinced by, many law firms have a system for adding email addresses to their email marketing lists, but have put very little thought into what they are actually going to do with that list once they've got it. But if email marketing is a part of your strategy (and it should be) then surely putting in a tiny amount of effort to do something useful with it is worthwhile, right?
If you've explored the potential of your email marketing software at all, then the chances are that what I'm about to say isn't going to be ground breaking. But if you're just getting started or have thrown email marketing into the too hard basket then this one is for you.
I'm not going to pretend that this are “advanced” or “secret” email marketing hacks or any such nonsense – these are the absolute basics of email marketing for lawyers.
- aren't complicated to set up;
- provide value to your email subscribers;
- make it worth your time to collect your email subscribers in the first place; and
- offer you ongoing marketing insight.
#1 – Send an Email Freebie That Isn't Generally Available
This is a complete no-brainer, and for many people this is the starting point of email marketing strategies.
It's fairly straightforward:
- develop something free that your people will find valuable and useful (not just a word dump onto a page somewhere)
- use your email marketing software to send it to your email list.
Of course, you can do this as a lead magnet or opt-in incentive (that is – something you use to entice people to join your newsletter list in the first place) but you don't have to – after all, everyone enjoys getting a surprise present sometimes 🙂
Remember the key elements of this though: it has to be valuable and useful.
#2 – Send Relevant Email Updates
The keyword here is relevant.
If you're a general law practice with multiple areas of expertise, then this isn't always as easy as it seems. And, in particular with the delightful GDPR now in play, sending people stuff that's completely irrelevant is probably a no-no.
So here's what you're going to have to do:
- Figure out which people are interested in which topics. There are a few ways to do this, but the easiest are:
- by having different signup forms for different topics. Various optin form plugins like OptinMonster and Thrive Leads will allow you to show forms on a category-by-category basis. You can then hook these up to your email marketing software to ensure that people are tagged with their area of interest (assuming you're using a tag based email marketing solution like ConvertKit or ActiveCampaign, which you should be…);
- for existing subscribers, by setting up an automation in your email marketing software to tag people with areas of interest as you send articles out; or
- by sending out a “which topics are you interested in” email to people, asking them to click on links to indicate their areas of interest, and setting up an automation which tags them appropriately.
- Once you've got your tags sorted, you need to be fairly clear what you're writing about and who it's relevant to – using categories inside your website will help immensely here, although clearly some articles will be relevant to more than one area of interest.
- When sending your next email broadcast, select only those people with the relevant tags as the recipients.
#3 – Invites to Events via Email
Generally this is the one that most firms actually manage to do – so congratulations!
However, one thing to be mindful of here is to ensure that only relevant people receive your invitation. There's little point in inviting someone in another country to attend your seminar with drinks and canapes if both the topic and the location are completely unrelated to them.
So, once again, tagging your email list in some way can help significantly to ensure that the right people get the invites.
#4 – Insights from Email Marketing Statistics
This one isn't yet another email to send out, but rather a bit of market intelligence.
In the majority of law firms I come across, the practitioners have basically no visibility into the email marketing statistics (or, for that matter, the website statistics generally).
But what if you saw that Bethany Bitrate read every single article that you posted in relation to a particular topic, but that you had never worked with her in relation to that topic? Wouldn't that be important information? Wouldn't that give you a clue that perhaps Bethany might appreciate you reaching out to her more individually to see whether some assistance might be appreciated?
Of course, you want to avoid being too creepy here – the information you have available to you will probably scare the pants of many of your subscribers.
However, take a few minutes each month just to see:
- who's reading what;
- who's reading nothing;
- whether any opportunities stand out.
It'll be worth your time.
There's Plenty More
As I mentioned earlier, these are some of the simplest parts of email marketing, but so often forgotten or misused that I thought they'd be a good place to start.
Get these set up. More advanced strategies will then be available to you.