Despite what many seem to believe, email marketing for lawyers remains one of the most important aspects of any law firm's marketing efforts. Done right, email marketing can take your prospective clients from being distant strangers to closest allies.
It's not that easy. But it's worth the effort.
We're going to run through the essential elements of email marketing for lawyers.
Some of this might be old hat if you're a diligent digital marketer, but I didn't want to miss things out by making assumptions.
In a nutshell, to develop an effective email marketing campaign for a law firm you need:
- an email marketing service;
- a way to get people to sign up; and
- something to send people.
There you go – that's it…
Or perhaps I should go into a bit more detail?
Why Get Dedicated Email Marketing Software?
Just in case you don't know, sending out a tonne of emails from your normal email service is going to get you blacklisted.
And then people won't get your emails. Ever.
I'm guessing that's as bad for you as it is for me, so perhaps you can just believe me and invest in a dedicated email marketing software for your law firm?
Which Email Marketing Software Should Lawyers Get?
At this point, so many lawyers choose the most crazy expensive thing they can find. After all, it must be the best, right?
But you don't need the “best”. Or, at least, what's the “best” for some people might not be the “best” for you.
You need the email marketing software that delivers your clients and prospects the information they need, at the time they need it, and in a way that you can manage, without a degree in astrophysics to figure out the platform.
So that means for the vast majority of lawyers, juggernauts like Infusionsoft are OUT.
It's too expensive. Too complicated. Too hard to use. And too difficult for you to bother managing with. It also has a bunch of functionality that you probably won't use.
This isn't review time, so I'm not going in to all the options. But if you want a powerful email marketing system that's easy enough to use and affordable enough to manage, then I'd be suggesting you check out:
- ConvertKit (easy to use, easy and fast to set up, but powerful automations that will do most people just fine – check out my review of convertkit here)
- Drip (easy to use, powerful automation, visual editors and a nice looking interface that will do you for ages);
- Active Campaign (most powerful automations out of the three, but a little steeper learning curve to become familiar with the platform).
I've done a compare and contrast of these different email marketing options for lawyers here.
So How Does Email Marketing for Lawyers Actually Work?
Email marketing for lawyers isn't just about collecting names inside a database (although that's an important first step!), although that's what many law firms do, with little more. In fact it's about providing you with a powerful tool to connect with your prospects, build trust and establish your expertise.
Let's start with the obvious: if you bother getting email marketing software, you should probably encourage people to get on your email list.
But having “would you like to sign up to our newsletter” in bland text in your website's sidebar is the bare minimum, and probably just a notch about having nothing at all.
Here's the essential elements to building an email list of people who actually want to hear about what you have to say:
- Generate something of value – it might be a webinar, a PDF, a checklist, or a guide. Generally speaking don't go overboard, or you'll end up producing something that nobody ever really gets the benefit of because it's too long and too difficult. Try and figure out something that's a “quick win” for your target clients and directly relevant to your practice area.
- Create a “landing page” on your site which promotes that particular thing, with a signup form from your email provider nearby.
- Put signup forms around your site in various places. It's up to you how many you want to put, but some common places include:
- at the end of each article
- in the sidebar (at the top)
- on the homepage
- in a popup
- in a slide-in from the side
- inside the text of an article itself.
- Make sure you set up an automation inside your email marketing software to deliver the promised thing to your prospect.
Of course, you can get very fancy here. You might like to offer “content upgrades” for each article you write, delivering something relevant for each piece to readers. Or perhaps you might like to have free email courses which take people through your existing articles.
For starters though – just do something.
So They're On your Email List… What's Next?
It's the “S” Word Again…
Like every tool in your digital marketing arsenal, your email marketing actually needs to have a strategy.
It will look something like this:
- who are they?
- what are they interested in?
- what can I send them that's interesting and valuable?
- how do I process to the point they engage me as a lawyer?
Everyone is Different
If you're a sole lawyer who does only one thing – then email marketing is quite straightforward.
However, if you operate in more than one area or have multiple different fields, then it can get a little more complicated over time.
The primary thing to realise is this: everyone who decides to give you their email address wants something slightly different.
The closer you can get to identifying that and adapting to it, the better you will offer value to that person.
The more value you can offer that person the more likely you will get them as a client.
Yes – it's that simple.
Immediately after they “Opt In”
So what do you send them next?
The annoyingly vague answer is this: it depends.
But I can tell you what it's not – unspecified updates, at unspecified times, with an unspecified point.
Remember the end goal: known, liked and trusted.
You've won the prize – you have their attention.
So what are you going to do with it? Will you build their trust and expand their horizons, or will you waste that opportunity entirely?
I know what I'd do.
Send them something valuable.
Then reach out, and see what really makes them tick. Make a personal connection. Send them a personal message. Look them up, see what they do – and say hello.
That's how attention and trust work.
The Long Term
People go through cycles.
One day 1, they might love you and your stuff, they might open every email, and they might comment on everything.
Day 10, things are cooling off – they might open 50% of your emails, click on 10% and comment on 2%.
Day 30, you've become humdrum. Your emails bore them. They might click, or might not – depending on how bored they are.
They might comment, but it's just “more of the same”.
Your job is to change it up. Keep people surprised. Keep them interested and continue to build your relationship.
Just because you haven't spoken yet doesn't mean you don't have a relationship – you do, it's just different to what you remember.
There is No One Size Fits All In Email Marketing for Lawyers
Your people are yours.
They like your things.
They enjoy your style.
So your absolute most fundamental email strategy is this: send people valuable things that they like, that are valuable to them, that is authentically you.
So What's Next?
Email marketing for lawyers has to be strategic. If your firm isn't putting some real effort into utilising the power of your email marketing then you're missing a huge opportunity.
Are you prepared to exploit the permission you have?
Are you ready to make more of your practice?
Then it's time – hit me up for a free strategic planning meeting.