A monthly newsletter is one way to keep clients informed about the recent events and promotions of your law firm. However, creating new content can be arduous, and it is sometimes difficult to conjure up new ideas. One way to generate content is by simply talking about your top blog posts from the month and including links; here is how you can implement this strategy and reap some of the benefits.
To get started, you will need to pick a few of your best articles from the month. You can typically determine these by looking at how many comments and social shares they received. New York City visa attorneys might choose posts about immigration statistics, for example, that were heavily shared on Facebook and Twitter and sparked the most discussion from readers. This way, the odds are good that your email subscribers will want to read them as well.
Once you know which blog posts you want to feature, you should provide a brief description and summary of those posts. Generally, a short paragraph with links will be sufficient. Just make sure that the title and paragraph are attention grabbers and not dull and boring. From there, you will simply need to add a link to each post so your audience can conveniently access and read them in their entirety.
Utilizing this strategy offers three main benefits. First, you should be able to increase your number of blog readers and inform your email subscribers at the same time. By condensing your blog posts and emails into one convenient package, it’s like killing two birds with one stone. Second, you can build your firm’s reputation and demonstrate your expertise when it comes to law. As long as your content is valuable and interesting, it’s reasonable to expect a larger audience in time. Finally, you should be able to capture more leads and turn them into actual clients, which is really the ultimate goal of marketing.
Knowing the maze of regulations surrounding legal advertising (that vary state by state), I suppose I thought lawyers would never pursue spammy marketing tactics. In a general sense, I never thought lawyers would pursue broadcast email marketing, just because of the difficulty in targeting qualified candidates, extremely low conversion rate and the negative reflection of the firm I believe it imparts. I was entertained by a piece of perceived lawyer spam I received via email the other day.
Now I’m sure I’ve never indicated I was in need of legal services. I honestly wonder how many clicks and/or calls the law firm will receive from this – the conversion rate? As the Wikipedia entry on Spam says:
Although only a tiny percentage of their targets are motivated to purchase their products (or fall victim to their scams), the low cost may provide a sufficient conversion rate to keep the spamming alive.
It’s the broadcast nature of this kind of solicitation that breeds mistrust of the brand (your law firm’s good name). Is it worth 500000 negative impressions of your firm for, say, 5 leads? Granted, that’s assuming a low, spam-like, 0.001% conversion rate, but the overall message is that, in my opinion, broadcast email marketing that’s perceived to be spam by 99.9% of recipients isn’t the best way to market your law firm. What can lawyers learn from this?
Take away: don’t be tempted by offers to conduct broadcast email on behalf of your firm. Be skeptical of (nearly) all “pre-qualified” lists of email addresses. The most effective email marketing your firm can conduct will start with opt-in lists developed through your own website or client list. This protects your good name by making sure that you approach recipients that are receptive to your message and it pays off in ROI by delivering more leads than non-targeted lists.
The next question is “how does my firm effectively build an email marketing list that I can trust”? Start with a reference or two such as:
Selecting Specific Targets When Marketing Your Practice by LexisNexis for general advice (disclosure)
28 Ways to Build Permission-Based Email Lists by EmailLabs
Email Marketing Tips, Tricks and Secrets by About.com
Then move on to deciding what success will mean to you in this campaign. Meaning, do you want X number of new clients? Then your message should target potential clients. Do you want to spread the news of a recent verdict? Increase referral business? Then your message should target other law firms.
Above, I’ve used this example of lawyer spam to advise the average small law firm on the do’s and don’ts of email marketing. Am I the end-all expert on email marketing, list development and targeting? No. But I do hope I’ve at least stirred a gut reaction from you on the approach that was taken recently to deliver this un-targeted message. That aversion should lead you to explore the right way to pursue an legal marketing campaign via email.
[tags]lawyer spam, email marketing[/tags]
I probably forgot to turn off some opt-out when filling out an online form, so this may not truly be a 100% "unsolicited" email message but that’s why I’m “protecting the innocent” law firm by not revealing their name.