I am asked almost daily about the benefits of e-mail marketing and newsletters. While I’m a huge advocate of this type of marketing, it’s not always a fit for every lawyer or law firm.
Typically, I ask a few questions that help identify if there’s value in expending limited resources on this marketing endeavor.
- Do you have 100 or more people to keep in touch with?
- Do you have something new or important to communicate?
- Are you looking to keep your clients and develop new ones?
If the answer is yes to any one of these questions, then please keep reading. If the answer is no, it may be because you are just starting out, you’re in a “worker bee” role at your firm or you are close to retirement and looking to slow things down.
For all those who answered affirmatively, here are the top five reasons an e-mail newsletter would be of great value to you in sustaining and growing your practice. Also, be sure to read the last paragraph if you’re serious about executing on an effective e-mail campaign.
Stay top of mind
Having something to e-mail your clients, colleagues and friends each month to keep in touch is rarely a losing proposition. Think about it, how long does it take to e-mail 100 to 1,000 people each month? You and I both know you don’t have time not to do that. An e-mail newsletter allows you to get your name and important content in front of your people, your clients, on a regular basis, where you alone cannot.
One of the main reasons attorneys lose clients today is lack of regular communication and face time. Statistically, it takes six times more energy, money and time to find a new client, than it does to keep the one you have.
Building brand equity
In a recent article I wrote about the importance of being a leader in your field and growing your brand equity. There’s no reason why that can’t be done through your monthly newsletter.
Here’s an opportunity to take your finest ideas, strongest wins, insightful articles and best resources and share them with your clients, strategic partners and colleagues.
In addition to adding value to these existing relationships, you’re demonstrating why they need you in their life. This is also where word of mouth is key. Your audience members forward your material to their audiences, who then do the same. It’s amazing how people love to share great content that benefits others.
Promote what’s new
Do you have a new logo? New area of focus? New white paper? New win in appellate court? People love new! It’s exciting to read about positive changes that people are making in their business and personal lives. For example, let’s say that you share a favorable decision in court. One of your past clients sees this and decides to call you for a similar matter she is dealing with. Now you may get a client back that’s been dormant for years. Nice, right?
Better quality leads
What’s the easiest way to find new business? Networking? Cold calling? Attending conferences? The answer is “no, no and no.” As I mentioned, the best way to get new business is from your existing clients and strategic partnerships.
What e-mail marketing can offer you is prequalified business leads. Again, the people who already know you and know your work are the most likely to use you again and refer you to others. While I’m not suggesting that these other marketing efforts aren’t worthwhile, statistically they are less likely to convert and take much longer to vet.
Generate more website traffic
The final point I’ll make on e-mail marketing is the importance of driving traffic to your website. That being said, if your website is terrible and outdated, you can skip to the end of my article.
A bad or outdated website will typically turn away business, rather than generate it. For those who have successful and well thought out websites, it’s of critical importance to get people there. This is where you house your blog, bio, testimonials and other relevant information that can convert your network into new or repeat business. Your e-mail newsletter can do just that, leading people down a path and getting that phone call you are looking for.
Now, you might be thinking, “What the #$@! do I know about setting up a newsletter, let alone how it works to drive business?” Well, there are two options you have for this. First, go online and research options for automation tools like Mail Chimp or Constant Contact.
They will provide many videos and articles on how to do this. But, if you are strapped for time and do not want to learn this, let alone execute on this, there are many companies that actively take this over for you.
Like your website, your newsletter is an extension of you and your brand. If you decide to outsource this service, be sure you meet with an expert who understands your business and practice and that you can trust to get this marketing piece done properly.