Create an Email Marketing Strategy for Your Law Firm in 4 Steps
Here are a few of the facts:
- For every dollar spent on email marketing, the average return on investment across industries is between $38 and $45.
- 95% of those who opt into email messages from brands find these messages somewhat or very useful.
- 68% of marketers believe email is core to their business.
At LaFleur, we know email marketing is crucial to the success and growth of your business. So if you have not yet developed an email marketing strategy for your law firm, clear some time out of your schedule to start implementing this powerful digital marketing tool as soon as possible. Here’s how.
Step 1: Determine a Specific Area of Your Business that You Want to Grow
Many businesses waste a lot of time and effort chasing after goals that are too broad, too vague, or that aren’t measurable. While there’s some value in at least establishing that you “want to get more cases” in the next year, you need to focus your digital marketing efforts in specific areas to see the kind of outstanding results that you’re hoping for.
The reason for this is simple: your potential clients aren’t looking for a firm that handles more cases next year, they’re looking for a solution to their specific problem – and marketing for your law firm is primarily about building a relationship with your audience so they will come to trust you and your ability to solve their unique problem.
For example, a firm focused primarily on personal injury law wouldn’t want to start their email marketing strategy with the goal of “getting more personal injury cases.” Instead, they would want to create a snapshot of their current business taking into account factors like how many cases they handle in different practice areas (car accidents, defective products, medical malpractice, etc.), their capacity for growth moving forward, the potential returns if a higher volume of a specific type of case were to increase, etc. From there, they may decide to focus their email marketing strategy on increasing the number of car wreck cases they bring in.
This concentration on a specific area of growth provides several advantages in developing and implementing an effective email marketing strategy:
- It provides a clear focus for your email content, which will make the email creation and implementation process much more efficient.
- It allows you to target a very specific audience, which will undoubtedly increase your email campaign’s effectiveness.
- It creates a measureable goal to strive toward and whose ROI can be precisely and accurately determined.
Once a specific focus area has been chosen for your email marketing efforts, you will need to consider your audience.
Step 2: Carefully Consider Who Will Be Receiving Your Emails (Your Target Audience)
While this seems like common sense, novices in the realm of digital marketing (and marketing in general) often miss the forest for the trees as they begin implementing their email marketing strategy. Long before you create your first email, you need to carefully consider who will be receiving the emails you intend to send. This target audience will ultimately determine the style and content of your emails.
Picking up on the example from before, our hypothetical personal injury firm hoping to increase the number of car wreck cases they bring in will need to carefully consider the needs of someone who has just been injured in a crash and the type of person who typically needs their services. Determining these things will help them come up with relevant topics that someone who has been in a car wreck will want to learn more about. It will also help them choose the style (tone, reading level, length, etc.) of the emails they will eventually write.
Unfortunately for our hypothetical firm, auto collision victims cover a wide spectrum of demographics: rich, poor, educated, uneducated, Democratic, Republican, etc. So, in this way, the style of emails will likely need to cater to a wide variety of readers: the emails should probably be written at or around the 8th grade level, they should be relatively short (likely between 250 and 350 words), and they should remain pragmatic and focused on the topic at hand.
Other firms may choose to focus their email marketing efforts on practice areas with very specific demographics. Elder law attorneys, for example, have a very specific audience they’re targeting: aging individuals and their caretakers. The important thing to remember is that the specific focus of your email marketing strategy will determine the audience that will need to be analyzed.
Fortunately for our hypothetical firm, the vast majority of auto collision victims share similar needs and have a remarkably similar experience as crash victims. They often don’t know exactly what to do immediately after a wreck, they likely need medical attention right away and in the future, they often receive unsettling calls from insurance adjusters shortly after a collision, their expenses (higher insurance premiums, medical bills, repairs, etc.) and injuries frequently interfere with their quality of life, their job, etc. The timeline of the typical crash victim’s experience as well as the milestones that would cause them to start investigating their legal options would all be highly relevant, useful topics to cover in an email campaign and would also determine the scheduling of the emails that will need to be written and sent, which brings us to the next crucial step in creating an email marketing strategy.
Step 3: Create an Editorial Calendar for Your Email Marketing Campaign
Once you have a clear goal and have carefully considered your audience, it’s time to start the real work of email marketing: determining the topics and order of your emails as well as actually creating and sending them. From your focus area and audience analysis, you should have a solid foundation of ideas for topics that will be highly relevant, useful, and interesting to your readers (i.e., your potential clients).
From that pool of ideas, you will want to add other topics that will put your firm in the forefront of people’s minds, establish your credibility, and build trust with your audience. You may want to include an email specifically about your attorneys’ credentials, your past success (or a specific story of success) in the focus area of the campaign, your firm’s fee policy, testimonials from clients who were happy with the result of their case, an overview of the typical litigation process, etc.
You also want to carefully consider the order of the emails you’ll be sending. For example, our hypothetical firm wouldn’t want to tell people what to do after a crash at the end of a campaign, and they wouldn’t want to explain how trial and appeals work as the first email they send.
Once you determine what topics you should cover and the most logical order to put them in, you then need to decide the schedule for sending them. Will you send 1 email per week? Will you send 1 email per month? Will you send 3 emails per week? Will your emails be sent along a varying timeline that roughly corresponds with the circumstances your target audience members will find themselves in? There’s a lot of data about the best day of week and time of day to send emails as well as the optimal email frequency, but keep in mind that what works best for B2C retail is likely not what works best for your law firm.
With your topics organized and scheduled, you will want to create an editorial calendar document that outlines all of the deadlines and responsibilities associated with drafting, editing, designing, and sending each of the emails in your campaign. You can learn more about coordinating the writing efforts of a diverse team in our post: “Planning and Executing Blog Content with Multiple Writers.”
Step 4: Get Your Email Marketing Campaign Live
Without a large team dedicated solely to your email marketing campaign, it’s difficult (if not impossible) to execute your email marketing in real time. Instead, you should have a good portion (perhaps at least half) of your email campaign complete and ready before you decide to go live with it. This will provide you with a buffer to tweak your content or the order of emails as well as to accommodate for any work that gets delayed–since you never know when you and your team will get totally swamped with your next huge case.
Getting your email campaign live also requires a great many additional considerations. Chief among them is how to actually build a list of people to send your emails to. A simple strategy for list building is to create a form on your website (preferably on a page that is dedicated to the specific focus area of your campaign) to collect the name and email contact information of people who are interested in learning more about the issue or your services.
At this point, you’ve moved beyond your strategy and into implementation and logistics. Once people start volunteering their contact information, you need to manage your list, track individual users’ progress, set up metrics for measuring success and ROI, actually send the emails, and more.
LaFleur: Your Email Marketing Partner
While email marketing has an excellent return on investment, you still need to invest your time, thought, and effort to develop and implement a successful email marketing strategy for your law firm.
At LaFleur Legal Marketing, we know your time is incredibly valuable to you, so if you’d rather leave your email marketing in the hands of trusted, experienced professionals who have achieved outstanding successes for law firms across the United States, call us today at 888-222-1512. You can also fill out a convenient form on our website. We look forward to hearing from you and discussing the ways we can help you grow your business!
Agius, A. (2015, October 22). 7 statistics that prove email marketing isn’t dead. Entrepreneur. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/251752
Beechler, D. (2014, November 26). 75 digital marketing stats from Salesforce marketing cloud research. Salesforce. Retrieved from https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2014/11/75-digital-marketing-stats-from-salesforce-marketing-cloud-research.html
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