A Law Firm’s Guide To Email Marketing
Email is the most popular communication channel used in the professional services industry, especially law firms. Lawyers and their clients both have greater access to the internet and smartphones now more than ever, enabling them to increase their communications via email regardless of their location. Law firms should take advantage of this communication tool for marketing purposes as legal email management and legal marketing software offer an extremely cost-effective and efficient method to spread a message to their target audience .
Law firms have traditionally relied on word of mouth and referrals for many years now to generate work and build their client portfolios. However, online marketing is now being taken more seriously to grow law firms in today’s interconnected and digitally advanced world. Case in point is leading law firm Clifford Chance, who has invested in email marketing and signed long term partnerships with marketing companies . Online marketing assists law firms to improve their communications with existing and future clients resulting in an increase in word of mouth and referral methods in the process. It is an extremely inexpensive method that requires minimum effort and can bring a high investment return .
This article outlines how law firms can build a successful email campaign using email management solutions and discusses how email marketing software can increase profitability, build client relationships and grow a law firm’s business.
What is email marketing?
Email marketing is a form of direct and digital marketing that uses email to promote a businesses’ products and services. A list of contacts who have given their consent to receive email communications from a business are sent commercial emails . There are different types of marketing emails that serve different purposes. These include promotional emails, informational emails, newsletters and announcements . Law firms can use email marketing software and email management tools to promote their webinars and new services and ensure that their clients are kept up to date with recent news insights, general updates and announcements regarding the firm. Through email marketing, law firms develop customer loyalty by engaging in regular communications with their clients to build a rapport which generates more work and referrals. Moreover, other than sending out mass emails, law firms can also create targeted, personalised messages to their clients, resulting in stronger relationships with key clients .
What type of email marketing is best suited to law firms?
Email marketing campaigns that are of most value to law firms include; drip emails, newsletters and law firm webinar/event invitations. A drip email campaign refers to automated sets of emails that go out based on specific timelines or user actions. For example, suppose a client signs up for a law firm’s newsletter or schedules a consultation. In that case, it will activate a series of automatic marketing emails sent out over a period of time . Drip marketing effectively keeps clients engaged as they send tailored emails to the right client at the right time. Law firm newsletters can include recent case studies, more facts about the firm, opinions on leading news stories, guides regarding recent changes to the laws and recent client testimonials. Lastly, sending invitations to webinars or exclusive client events improves the overall client experience. Combining all three ways of sending out automated emails can have a huge impact on the success of a law firm’s marketing campaign as it increases client engagement and ensures that clients or potential clients feel valued .
What makes email marketing so useful?
Many businesses have collapsed due to a lack of communication. Regular communication and follow-ups with past, current and potential clients can generate more revenue for law firms, improve their reputation and build customer loyalty. Email marketing software enables firms to do exactly that. This makes email marketing software a great marketing strategy investment and an extremely cost-effective way to grow a law firm’s practice .
Creates Brand Awareness
The importance of a law firm’s digital brand awareness is unmatched in today’s world. The need goal of any law firm marketing campaign is to direct more potential clients where they should go when they require legal services . Having a strong online presence through email marketing allows law firms to achieve their marketing objectives and build a brand. Sending out emails about regular updates about the firm, recent transactions and cases the firm has won, as well as its charity and fundraising initiatives, allows existing and potential clients to be aware of a law firm’s brand. Staying competitive in the legal market requires strong brand awareness, which has become a top priority for many leading law firms. Strong brand awareness improves the firm’s reputation and increases the firm’s visibility amongst clients and creates a greater demand for its legal services.
Fosters Client Relationships
Strong client relationships are crucial for a law firm’s success. Therefore, building and maintaining those relationships requires hard work and consistent effort. Traditionally, building client relationships involved face-to-face meetings and attending business events. However, contactless communication has become increasingly popular, making building client relationships via email more effective and manageable. Email marketing software allows clients to be updated about new services offered and access free guideline documents. Doing so adds to the overall client experience, which is a huge selling point for clients. SuperOffice reported that 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for an excellent client experience . This statistic applies to the legal sector since law firms with outstanding client service generate more revenue and build long-lasting relationships that guarantee future work and billable hours.
One of the major benefits of email marketing is that its start-up and implementation cost is significantly low, especially compared to its return on investment. Sending out regular emails give law firms direct access to potential clients that increase their brand awareness, contribute to business growth and increase revenue . A HubSpot survey revealed that 59% of respondents’ purchase decisions were influenced by email marketing . Moreover, those who have signed up to the law firm’s email list are more likely to work with a law firm because they’ve opted in to receive updates regarding their services. Therefore, law firms should send regular communications to the client mailing list since that audience has already signed up and shown an interest in the firm.
Email marketing is not only a good tool to attract and retain clients, but it also works for recruitment purposes. Having a mailing list to sign up for current students and recent graduates interested in working at the firm allows them to gain insight into what it’s like to work there. The content that law firms can email can include testimonials from current trainees, interviews with partners, the firm’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, information about the recruitment process or reminders for application deadlines. Moreover, routinely sending out personalised emails to potential candidates makes them feel more valued as future employees and encourages them to apply to the firm. Providing a great candidate experience is a key part of a successful recruitment campaign when competing for talent with other firms.
How can your law firm get started?
Step 1: Optimise Your Law Firm’s Website
Law firms will only profit from email marketing if they have a strong mailing list with many subscribers. The first step to getting subscribers is to optimise a law firm’s website to increase website traction. JurisPage reported that nearly 74% of clients visit a law firm’s website before taking action . This highlights the importance of having an easy to navigate website with a sign-up page to collect emails and contact details of prospective clients to get in touch with and follow up regarding the services they may require .
Step 2: Develop A Segmented Mailing List
Email marketing can go wrong if you do not have a segmented email list. Keep sending mass emails to clients who don’t benefit from the content within those emails. You will not be able to reap the benefits of email marketing. Suppose you are a full-serve law firm with many different practice areas. In that case, it makes no sense to send an email about a new corporate governance requirement to a client that has previously been represented for a landlord-tenant dispute or a family dispute. Therefore, all email subscribers should be placed into different categories based on the practice area of their concern, their business industry and their jurisdiction .
Step 3: Choose The Right Email Marketing Software
It would be extremely impractical and inefficient to send out routine drip emails manually. Using an email marketing automation system simplifies the whole process and ensures that you never miss sending out an email or send a personalised email to the wrong client. Email marketing platforms have more features than simply automating emails. Therefore, it is important to check and compare features to see which system meets the needs of your digital marketing strategy. Through Good Law Software, law firms can reduce the time to set up the email automation system. Once the system is built and tailored to a law firm’s specific marketing needs, emails can be programmed to be sent out in real-time and automated follow-up emails can also be sent out.
Email marketing software can help you create and schedule emails to your clients and track the number of people who opened your email. This allows you to understand which emails receive more engagement to better target your resources. Other advance features trigger an email when a subscriber fills out a contact form, opens an email, replies to an email or visits a particular page on your website. Moreover, email marketing software can also assist law firms in building content as they have multiple emails and templates from which to choose. This is done smoothly with very little human involvement, allowing employees to use their time on other tasks that law firms cannot automate.
Step 4: Build Exciting, Personalised and Creative Content
The purpose of email marketing is to attract clients to the services offered by your firm. When using email marketing, the only way to achieve this is always to produce high-quality content that engages the client and is relevant to their needs. Whether you are sending out an invite for a webinar, publishing your annual report, or sending out a letter from the managing partner, you need to ensure that the content within those emails positively impacts the clients. The goal here is not to bombard everyone on the email list with a client pitch but to build a relationship with them by producing content that benefits them. Not only does this approach have a higher response rate, but it also ensures that clients continue to subscribe to the mailing list without feeling like their inbox is being flooded with irrelevant emails.
Step 5: Keep Track of Your Performance
Email marketing software has built-in data analytics functions that measure the progress of ar law firm’s marketing campaign. Not every email will have the same impact or will benefit a law firm. Therefore, the data analytics feature allows you to consistently monitor various key performance indicators (KPIs) to understand the impact of your marketing campaign. Depending on your business goals and what you wish to achieve from your marketing campaign, you can consider monitoring the mailing list’s subscriber list, how frequently readers click an email link and how many people even open your emails .
The integration of technology in the legal sector has automated various aspects of a law firm through electronic case management systems, practice management software, legal billing software and now email marketing software. Email marketing software offers many benefits to both large multinational law firms and small boutique firms and even solo practitioners. According to DMA in the UK, the average return on investment from email marketing is $42 for every $1 spent . This makes it the highest return on investment of any marketing activity . However, to ensure that law firms benefit from this high return, they will need to put time, thought and energy into creating meaningful content to develop a successful email marketing strategy.
 Emily Johson, ‘5 Ways Email Marketing Can Amplify Your Legal Business’, Attorney at Law Magazine at https://attorneyatlawmagazine.com/5-ways-email-marketing-can-amplify-your-legal-business
 Daniel Farey-Hones, ‘Clifford Chance Chooses Concep For Email Marketing’, Campaign Live (2005) at https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/clifford-chance-chooses-concep-email-marketing/232190
 Calin Yablonski, ‘Email Marketing For Law Firms: 7 Proven Strategies For Attracting Email Subscribers’, Inbound Law Marketing (2020) at https://www.inboundlawmarketing.com/email-marketing-for-law-firms/
 Emma Fanning, ‘What Is Email Marketing and How Does it Work? Definitions, Tools and Best Practices’, Send In Blue at https://www.sendinblue.com/blog/what-is-email-marketing/
 ‘Email Marketing’, NI Business Info UK at https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/advantages-and-disadvantages-email-marketing
 ‘Drip Email Marketing’, Lawmatics at https://www.lawmatics.com/email-drip-campaigns/#:~:text=What%20is%20an%20email%20drip,over%20a%20period%20of%20time.
 ‘How Can a Law Firm Benefit From Email Marketing’, Vigorant at https://vigorant.com/blog/how-can-a-law-firm-benefit-from-email-marketing
 Ibid (3)
 Susie Hood, ‘Increasing Law Firm Brand Awareness’, HitSearch Limited (2017) at https://www.hitsearchlimited.com/news/increasing-law-firm-brand-awareness
 Toma Kulbyte, ‘37 Customer Experience Statistics You Need to Know For 2022’, Super Office (2021) https://www.superoffice.com/blog/customer-experience-statistics/
 ‘5 Ways Email Marketing Benefits Law Firms’, Law as a Business (2021) at https://www.lawasabusiness.com/email-marketing-benefits-law-firms/
 Katrina Kirsch, ‘The Ultimate List of Email Marketing Stats for 2022’, HubSpot (2021) at https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/email-marketing-stats?__hstc=86745351.23c10a02b7cbbf90d48e3a9d21b9a123.1643897554589.1643897554589.164389
 Calin Yablonski, ‘SEO for Lawyers: A Deep-Dive With +100 Examples, Inbound Law Marketing (2022) at https://www.inboundlawmarketing.com/seo-for-lawyers/
 Ibid (1)
 Leigh Ebron, ‘Email Marketing For Law Firms: Don’t Ignore These 6 Essential Steps’ Lafleur Marketing at https://lafleur.marketing/blog/email-marketing-strategy-for-law-firm/
 ‘Marketing Email Tracker 2019’, DMA (2019) at https://dma.org.uk/uploads/misc/marketers-email-tracker-2019.pdf
 Ibid (3)