Email marketing is essential to communicating with your past, current, and future clients. It’s a fast, easy, and non-invasive way to get information into the hands of your target audience when it is convenient for them to read it.
Sometimes, you might want to send different messages to different types of clients. Through effective email list management, you will be able to get the right message to the right person at the right time. For example, if you write a blog post about a new law that could affect civil litigation in a personal injury case, you would want to be able to send a targeted email to potential or current personal injury clients.
Effectively managing your law firm’s email marketing list takes planning, organization, and time, organization, but the return on your investment will pay dividends when you begin to use the list to its full capacity.
Learn the Features of Your Email Marketing Program
One of the first things you should do is learn the ins and outs of the email marketing program you plan to use. As a business owner, you have several email marketing program platforms to choose from. Depending on the complexity of the service you need and the size of your subscriber list, the email marketing software will either be free or have a monthly subscription fee.
Before you start designing your first newsletter or uploading your subscriber list, make sure to take a virtual tour of your chosen email marketing platform. Each platform will have a “Help” and/or “FAQ” section, and they may have helpful hints located throughout the interface to give you tips or reminders about what each feature is for and how to use them. You can also search YouTube videos for tutorials and tips from industry experts or current email marketing program users that will help you get started on the right foot.
Subscribing and Unsubscribing
One of the primary determining factors in a successful email marketing program is the quality of the list – ideally one that is full of individuals who actually want to receive email communication from your firm.
If you have digital forms on your website, you can give site visitors the opportunity to sign up for your newsletter by adding an option at the bottom of the form. You can also put a form on your website specifically to give users the ability to sign up for your newsletter.
Within every email communication you send to your subscriber list, make sure there is a clear option for the recipients to opt-out of your email marketing program through an unsubscribe link. It’s important that your subscribers are able to control what they receive and that you don’t continue to send them messages after they’ve unsubscribed. Continuing to send unwanted email messages could alienate your clients and make them turn to another attorney when they need legal services.
Use a Master List
When you pay for your email marketing platform on a per subscriber basis, you’ll want to be sure that you are judicious about the email addresses uploaded to the platform. Duplicate email addresses could end up costing you a lot of money.
For example, let’s say your law firm wants to focus on three practice areas (estate planning, contracts, and family trust) and you have one client, John Smith, who has previously hired your firm for all three of those services. If you upload lists by practice area, John Smith’s email address would be uploaded three separate times. Uploading separate lists that may have duplicate email addresses can cause problems in terms of list organization and management – and get expensive if you pay on a per subscriber basis.
For this reason, it is typically best (and easiest) to use one master list. From there, you can use categories or tags to differentiate subscribers and then further organize the list by creating different groups based on the categories.
Categorize Your Email List
By sorting subscribers into certain categories, you will be able to target them directly and reach them with any messaging you want. Here are a few ways by which you could categorize your master email list:
- Individual practice area
- Specific topic areas (e.g., airbag recall, mass product liability litigation update, etc.)
- Past, current, or potential client
- Clients who referred you or who were referred to you
- Clients who have or have not reviewed your firm
- Engagement level (active vs. inactive)
Here are a few ways you can categorize for your firm:
- If you add the age category, you can trigger an email about estate planning to send when a subscriber turns 50 and encourage them to come in for a consultation on the importance of having their affairs in order at every stage of life.
- If you categorize by practice area, you can send an email to subscribers who have previously shown interest in hiring you for a traumatic brain injury (TBI) case when researchers release new findings on the effects of these injuries.
- If you categorize by review status, you can trigger an email thanking the client for their review and reminding them to refer others who may need your services. You could also trigger a separate email reminding individuals to leave you a review.
Accurately and effectively categorizing your email marketing list can also help keep your subscribers engaged in your email marketing program and with your firm, which can positively influence your brand, position in the community, and revenue.
Email Engagement and Scrubbing
High email engagement can help you increase revenue and referrals and help your subscribers stay connected with your law firm’s brand.
On the other hand, low engagement can adversely affect your list quality, skew analytics, and have devastating effects on your email marketing program. For example, your email domain could be blacklisted, your bounce rate could skyrocket, your emails could go straight to the subscriber’s spam folder, or you could have high rates of unsubscribers.
Therefore, it’s important to scrub your email contact list(s) periodically. This can take quite a bit of time and effort, but it is a worthwhile endeavor to improve the overall performance of your email marketing program.
By giving your list a good scrub, you will be able to move individual subscribers forward or backward in your firm’s client funnel depending on their current status.
Here at LaFleur, we think the best way to improve list engagement and quality is to do so continuously and consistently. We suggest you start this process by:
- Eliminating disengaged contacts
- Re-segmenting, re-categorizing, and re-tagging subscribers as needed
- Removing invalid email addresses
- Improving email address contacts. For example, if the email is from firstname.lastname@example.org, give the company a call to see if there is a specific person who can replace the generic email address.
- Checking all emails for possible typos. Misspellings will increase bounce and spam rates.
This exercise will help you develop future marketing strategies, re-engage with inactive subscribers, and more effectively manage your law firm’s email marketing program.
Improve Your Email List and Maintenance With LaFleur
If you need help building and maintaining your email marketing lists, please contact us today. We can help you develop or optimize an email marketing program that will allow you to engage with your past, current, and potential client base at several different touchpoints.
Our staff’s combined experience and expertise in marketing specifically for the legal industry gives our clients a strong advantage, allowing them to clearly and effectively communicate with their target audience through email automation, content marketing, paid search campaigns, and much more.