Email Marketing for Law Firms 101
Email is an omnipresent form of communication that will continue to be used regardless of how many alternative methods of communication continue to emerge. Despite the popularity of instant messaging and texts, email remains the most versatile and flexible way to communicate as well as one of the best channels for law firms to use in their digital marketing strategy.
It’s a blank canvas that can be strictly business text, or it can feature vibrant imagery and media. It can be deeply personal, or straight to the point. Best of all, we can use data and analytics to measure its performance and identify what resonates best with your target audience.
Research shows that 59% of marketers find that email is their most effective marketing channel. When you consider that over 80% of professionals prefer email over any other form of business-related communication, it’s reasonable to assume that dedicating time to your law firm’s email marketing strategy is a must.
When seeking to make a strong first impression, relevant email content that connects with your former clients, current clients and future clients can be one of your greatest tools. This article is your all-in-one guide to using the incredible tool of email to drive traffic to your law firm’s website, increase your social media engagement, skyrocket your lead generation, and ultimately boost your revenue. So put in your swim caps and let’s dive in.
Benefits of Email Marketing Software
Though there are plenty of good reasons to use law firm email marketing software (or legal CRM) for your digital marketing strategy, the most obvious is that the numbers are on your side. Businesses looking for a high return on investment should look no further than email marketing. The average ROI is $36 for every one dollar spent on an email marketing campaign. In other words, you stand to make about 36 times on top of your investment.
Why? Email is ubiquitous with a tremendous reach. Whereas marketing channels like Facebook in which posts which will only be seen by a small percentage of your audience due to the nature of the algorithm, email has a delivery rate of nearly 80%. Although this doesn’t always guarantee your email will get opened by the intended prospective client, the likelihood of it being seen is higher than that of a social media post that a follower may not even be exposed to.
It Gives the Appearance of Professionalism
There’s something to be said about a beautifully constructed email template with dynamic images and consistent branding. Email customization options featured in marketing software and CRMs gives your email a professional edge that a DIY approach can’t match. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential client: Would you trust a law firm from which you receive janky, slapped-together marketing materials, or the practice with unique and authentic branding? A professionally designed law firm marketing email exudes professionalism and finesse.
Email marketing gives you an edge over the competition by providing helpful and engaging content. If you manage to effectively strategize, you can make opening your emails a fun and interesting experience for your readers. Overly verbose and bland are pitfalls of the competition. By introducing interactive and personalized emails to your current and prospective clients’ inboxes, you can capture their attention and stand out from the crowd — assuming you have something of value to share.
Martech Advisor’s 2017 data shows that adding videos to your marketing emails can increase your click rate by as much as 300%. This is just one example of how by taking your digital marketing to the next level you can create a significant edge over competing law firms that are lacking innovation.
It's no secret that lawyers are pressed for time. Preparing and sending marketing emails can drain a significant amount of hours from your week. With so much already going on in your business, it's hardly realistic to assume you can afford this time investment.
Using legal marketing software can relieve a substantial amount of pressure from your shoulders by both increasing your productivity and improving the quality of your marketing campaigns. Automation features like drip email marketing can nurture your leads from the inquiry stage of the client journey to the consultation stage (and beyond), while ensuring that the right personalized emails go out at the right time while you focus on practicing law.
Stay Top of Mind
Converting leads to clients often comes down to simple science. It's not only about advertising, it's about facilitating multiple touchpoints with a multi-branched marketing strategy. The more exposure you have with your audience, the higher the likelihood that your business sticks out in their mind as a dependable source of legal representation. Sending out regular emails reminds your clients that you're there when you need them, and that you're a top tier option for their legal needs. Don't let them forget it!
Purpose of Email Marketing
Provide Answers to FAQs
Potential clients often have a series of questions before arriving at their final decision of hiring you or not. If you can provide answers to these questions without them even having to ask, then you've eliminated one major hurdle between inquiry and acquisition.
In addition, sending out an email with some of your most common FAQs can save you a significant amount of time otherwise spent on the phone or answering emails manually, one by one. Proactively offering clients the information that they need to navigate legal proceedings is proven to reduce the volume of communications that can disrupt an attorney’s day.
Give Updates About Your Firm
Client loyalty starts with creating a connection— and email newsletters are a great way to keep your contacts up to date regarding the latest news at your firm. Your email can showcase updates to your website, how you're contributing to the community, attorney spotlights, or anything that you think that may be motivating, personally relevant, or enriching. At the very least, it builds rapport by humanizing your business.
Share Educational Content
Email marketing software can be used to provide your leads with relevant and useful information that makes them eager to open your emails. It's a great way to keep them engaged until they are ready to commit to becoming paying clients.
Email segmentation software can help pinpoint which topics are best suited for each list. You can group contacts into different lists based on criteria such as matter type, geographic location, or where they stand in the client journey (and more). Best of all, you can track and analyze your results with built-in analytics tools.
It’s challenging to trust someone you know little about with something that could have major implications on your life. For that reason, clients are more inclined to hire someone that seems credible but also relatable. Don’t be afraid to spotlight your lawyers and staff in an email that showcases their talent and achievements. Many practices position themselves as the best in the area, and for that reason clients need more assurance that you’ll listen to them, understand them, and have their best interests at heart. Getting a glimpse at the lives of you and your staff takes you from a faceless firm to a human business.
Promote Local Events
Getting involved in local events in your community is a fantastic way to meet potential clients, and expand your email list. Plus, informing your audience about your involvement in an event in your local community is easy when you’re able to target local contacts with an announcement email in a few clicks.
Drive traffic to your website
One of the primary purposes of email marketing is to drive more traffic to your website. By applying the right strategies you won't just increase your website traffic, but you'll encourage repeat traffic thus building rapport with your audience.
Track marketing effectiveness
One of the biggest challenges that marketers face is not only convincing people to open their emails but to take action upon opening them. The beauty of email marketing is that you can track your contacts' behavior when they receive your email and see what’s working and what’s not. Maybe your subject line is too aggressive or maybe it’s unclear what action your email wants recipients to take.
By keeping an eye on key metrics like email click rate, bounce rate, visit to lead ratio, and CTA performance, you can fine-tune your marketing efforts, and get better at creating content that people will react positively to.
Strategies For Effectively Marketing Your Law Firm
Automate your Email Marketing
Although manually responding to each incoming email may seem realistic when you're first starting out your practice, the more that you start to generate leads, the more inundated with emails your inbox will be. Statistics show that the longer you take to get back to a lead, the fewer your chances are of converting them into a client. The more minutes you allow to pass between the time they first contact your firm and you get back to them, the more time you're giving them to turn to the competition.
Automation is the only way to respond quickly and in turn, increase your chances of converting a lead into a client. Best of all, automation follows up immediately without you ever having to step away from a paying client again.
Custom triggers make it easy to send the right email to the right person without skipping a beat. Whether you want to send out a confirmation when someone books a consultation, or wish a former client a happy birthday, automation puts your marketing on autopilot.
The majority of consumers require multiple touchpoints before converting into paying clients, which is where drip email marketing comes into play. With email drip marketing campaigns, you can streamline your follow-ups by programming a series of automated emails that will significantly help your practice grow.
When creating an email campaign, ask yourself the following questions:
What’s your goal?
Who are the emails going to?
How does the content provide value?
Can it hold people’s attention?
Your responses to these will inform your email marketing strategy in a way that yields a high return on investment.
Create a Monthly Newsletter
Show your prospects and clients who you are with a monthly newsletter. You don't have to write a novel every month— actually that's the opposite of what you want to do. Keep it concise, to the point, yet sincere. Whether you want to offer a promotion or discount, or offer gated content, a newsletter is a tried and true form to get people to take action.
To get the most out of your newsletter, make sure that its:
Call to action is clear
Send Mobile Optimized Emails
Nearly 50% of your readers will be opening their emails from their phones. So it goes without saying that failing to make your emails mobile-friendly is a massive missed opportunity. Not only does sending out an email that hasn't been optimized for mobile phones reduce your chances of that person becoming a client, but 5% of people say they would unsubscribe from a mailing list as a result of an email that doesn't display correctly — harsh.
Send Relevant Content to Specific Groups of Leads
To get the most out of your email marketing, create multiple marketing campaigns running at the same time with segmented email lists. Since an all-in-one marketing strategy doesn't work for everyone, smart marketers no to break their leads up into different groups with relevant and targeted marketing materials based on criteria of their choosing known as audience segmentation.
Send Educational Content
Providing useful information on topics that matter to your prospective clients in exchange for their contact details is a fantastic marketing strategy. Not only are you providing your readers with free information, but you’re also expanding your contact list. In other words, everyone wins!
Some ideas for educational content include:
Digital guides / ebooks
Email Marketing Software Functionality Checklist
Not all email marketing software is created equal. In order to get the highest return on your investment, it shouldn't just be easy to use or affordable, it should have the following core functionalities.
1. Email Drip Marketing Campaigns
Drip email marketing makes it easy to send personalized and scheduled emails that send automatically to the right person at the right time based on where they are in the client journey.
2. Email Templates
Let’s be realistic, most lawyers aren’t html wizards. The right marketing software for you will make it easy to create and send emails in a few clicks. A premade template library helps you stay connected to your clients with a beautiful layout that makes a great impression without having to know the ins and outs of complex markup language.
3. Trigger Automations
The right software will integrate directly with your legal CRM to automate the next marketing steps. Whether a lead visits your site, schedules a consultation, or signs up for your newsletter, you want a software that will trigger the next marketing steps without you having to do a thing.
4. Audience Segmentation
The most effective email marketing is one that delivers a tailored message that feels like it was created just for the person opening it. Audience segmentation software groups your prospects into different marketing lists delivering relevant content based on where they stand in their client journey. That means more meaningful impressions that lead to more clients.
5. Data and Reporting
The key to effective email marketing is using data to track your client's behavior. Your marketing software should provide a closer look at how your readers are behaving when they receive your emails, and how close you are to achieving your goals.
The most important email marketing metrics you should be tracking are:
Email Sharing/Forwarding Rate
List Growth Rate
Unleash the Power of Email Marketing With Lawmatics
Email marketing is still one of the greatest performing marketing strategies and should be added to your law firm marketing budget. It's key to driving more traffic to your website, increasing brand awareness, and ultimately generating more clients.
Aastha Sirohi, Constant Contact, What is the Average Email Marketing ROI? September 2021
Hubspot.com , The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics for 2022, 2022
Werner Geyser, Influencer Marketing Hub, The Ultimate List of Email Marketing Statistics, July 2021