This is the third article in our “Marketing Ideas for Law Firms” series. In this piece, we’re covering ideas for email marketing.
The first article in this series covered how to build awareness and drive traffic to your law firm’s website with social media. The second covered how to turn that traffic into leads through email-gated content, video, and webinars.
This third and final piece will give you proven strategies you can use to turn your law firm’s new leads into clients with email marketing.
If you haven’t read them before, click below to head back to the first two articles in this series:
Good to go?
Let’s get started, because we’re into the fun part now. We’re past the brand awareness, content creation and lead generation…
Let’s get you some clients.
- Include video in your email
- Automate your email campaigns
- Follow-up after the first email
- Create a monthly newsletter
- Re-engage with lost or cold leads
- Segment your leads and send content that is relevant to them
- Optimize your emails for mobile
- If possible, do it all manually
Marketing Ideas for Law Firms: Introduction to Email Marketing
So you’ve started to effectively turn website visitors into leads. Now you need a strategy to turn those leads into clients.
And the best way to do that (especially at scale) is with email marketing.
- When it comes to turning prospects into clients, email is almost 40x more effective than social media.
- 86% of professionals would rather use email for business purposes than any other communication format.
- 59% of marketers report that email is their most effective channel for revenue generation.
Now, if you’re like most legal professionals, you do your best work while talking. If you could, you’d call every prospective client as soon as they showed the least bit of interest in your firm. So it’s important to note that email marketing doesn’t make the phone call obsolete. Think of email marketing as a partner to your phone calls and in-office consultations.
You can’t be everywhere all the time. You can’t wake up at two in the morning to reply to a consultation booking. You can’t thank 100 new leads each week for downloading your ebook.
But you should.
Responding quickly shows that you care about prospective clients. Email marketing enables you to put your best foot forward. It enables you to contact people reliably, consistently, and with personalized messages.
This article will show you how it works.
#1. Include video in your email
Video is the best way to introduce yourself to your leads and prospective clients, and it can be used almost anywhere.
A study of 1 billion emails revealed that video emails see 96% higher click-through rates than non-video emails.
Now, few email providers actually allow full video embedding, but almost all allow you to embed a thumbnail of your video.
Many video hosting providers, including Wistia (which Crisp uses to host its videos), provide you with an embed code that can be imported into the HTML editor section of your email service provider:
Another innovative way to use video in email is to embed a smaller thumbnail image in your signature that links to your attorney profile video.
This enables your prospective clients to learn more about the attorney who’s contacting them. It allows you to show your face and personality clearly and immediately.
Here’s a great example of an attorney profile from Joseph Shannon of the Shannon Law Group which could be embedded as a thumbnail at the bottom of his emails to prospective clients:
Here’s a great example of adding a video to en email signature. Lawrence Morizio of Morizio Law Firm has added his law firm’s video to his signature so that everyone he corresponds with has the opportunity to get to know him better. He linked the video to the image, so anyone using Gmail will even see a preview attached to the email.
#2. Automate your email campaigns
If you’ve optimized your social media ads and created compelling lead generation campaigns, you’ll be getting too many new leads to respond to manually. That’s where email automation comes in.
Automation enables your law firm to respond to every prospective client that provides their contact details with a personalized email. Automation responds quickly, when your leads are most engaged and looking for a reply. With manual replies, you can only respond to their request when you have time. Prompt email replies can improve your chance of turning that lead into a client by 700%. That’s massive.
For instance, here are a few use-cases for email automation:
- Send an autoresponder when someone downloads your lead magnet.
- Send a thank-you email when someone registers for your webinar or live Q&A (and a reminder to attend before it starts).
- Send an autoresponder when someone books a consultation.
- Automatically notify one of your colleagues about a potential case.
- Send an educational email series to help prospective clients understand the value of your firm’s representation.
#3. Follow-up after the first email
Following up on your first email can increase reply rates by more than 30%. “High growth” organizations report that they often need as many as 16 touchpoints in the four weeks after first contact before getting their clients to sign on the dotted line.
We’re not recommending you email your prospective clients 16 times (that might get you a restraining order). We’re just making the point that giving up after two emails is a mistake.
Our recommendation is to send a three- or four-email series that automatically stops as soon as you get a response.
These emails are sent automatically as soon as a prospective client downloads your email-gated ebook or whitepaper, registers for a webinar, or fills out a contact form on your website.
To create an email automation workflow that stops based on your prospective client’s actions, you’ll need to engage with a marketing automation tool (such as Marketo, Hubspot, or Ontraport). To create a simpler workflow, try Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, or SendGrid.
Building an automated email campaign can be complicated, but it’s incredibly powerful.
#4. Create a monthly newsletter
One of the best ways to keep in touch with your prospects and past clients is to update them regularly with a monthly law firm newsletter.
Whether the people on your list have worked with you in the past, are current clients, or have yet to hire you, they can all benefit from getting to know you better, seeing what your firm is doing in the community, and receiving content relevant to their interests.
And the best part is, if you package your latest firm news and your best content into an email newsletter, those messages are 5x more likely to be seen in email than via Facebook.
Here’s an example of a great monthly newsletter from Morrin Law Office, a personal injury firm in Kentucky:
#5. Re-engage with lost or cold leads
Not every person who provides you with their email address is going to become a client. Maybe they decide they don’t want to press charges, or that litigation is too stressful. Maybe they chose a competitor despite your best efforts. But if you don’t follow up with them, you’ll never know.
And you’ll miss out on business.
Our recommendation is to set a trigger point (after four weeks, for instance) that automatically notifies a member of your team or email tool to send a pre-written “Checking up” email.
Here’s a template you could use:
Hi [First Name],
[Your Name] here from [Law Firm Name]. I hope this message finds you well.
It’s been a few weeks since we spoke, and I wanted to check in to see how you’re doing.
[Legal Issue] can be an emotional and challenging thing to face on your own, so if you need any advice or help, I’m available this week for a conversation.
Let me know if you need anything.
[Your Contact Details]
#6. Segment your leads and send content that is relevant to them
There’s no question about it: segmentation is a crucial component of email automation.
- Segmented email campaigns have a 14.32% better than non-segmented campaigns.
- Segmented email campaigns have a 100.95% better click-through rate than non-segmented campaigns.
- Segmented, targeted emails drive 18x more revenue than non-targeted emails.
The worst thing you can do (especially in the legal industry), is send your prospective clients a generic, faceless, automated email. Their case is personal, stressful, and (often) scary. They’re intimidated by the entire legal process and they need someone to have their back. Segmentation (as much as any automated effort can) allows you to show you care about them and their case. They’re not just another prospective client. They’re an individual.
Three ways to segment your law firm’s prospective clients:
- Segment by where they are in the sales funnel. Leads who have downloaded an educational ebook are less engaged than leads who have booked a consultation (even if they didn’t show).
- Segment by legal focus. If your firm practices multiple types of law, include a dropdown in your consultation booking form, and then segment leads by their entry. For instance:
- Segment by action. If your leads have booked (but failed to attend) a consultation, add them to an email segment that delivers content and emails that prompt them to get back in touch.
#7. Optimize your emails for mobile
46% of your email recipients are opening your email on their mobile phone. So failing to consider what your email looks like on that mobile phone is a serious mistake.
As harsh as it sounds, mobile responsiveness (making sure your email provider is sending emails which change and respond when they’re opened on different devices) can be the difference between closing a client successfully, or losing them forever.
Not only do half of your email recipients say they’d delete a non-responsive email automatically, 5% of them say they’d unsubscribe from your mailing list:
Here are a few email service providers who have mobile-responsive email templates:
#8. If possible, do it all manually
This may sound a bit counter-intuitive, given that we’ve recommended you automate and segment throughout this post. But the fact is that, unless you have incredibly successful advertising and lead generation campaigns, your firm is unlikely to get 1,000 new leads each week.
And, if it’s possible, manually replying to them all will result in a better lead conversion rate than anything else:
- 70% of consumers get frustrated when they are fed content that’s irrelevant to them.
- Personalized messages based on behavior are 300% better than email blasts.
- Personalized emails deliver 6x higher transactional rates.
- Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.
And that’s absolutely true. If you are getting too many leads to reply manually, you should do as much personalization as you can using those tactics.
But you’re not a SaaS or B2B business. You’re a law firm. Your leads aren’t “leads” in the same way they are for other industries. They’re people in need of legal expertise. They’re people in your neighborhood.
And you’re probably not getting a million of them.
So, if you can, reach out.
That’s not to say you can’t use an email template, though:
Hi there, [First Name],
Thank you for reaching out through the website. I’m sorry to hear about your [Specific element of their case, as provided in your form].
I have availability this week if you’re able to come in for a chat.
I look forward to talking with you and helping you find the solution you’re looking for.
[Your Contact Details]
P.S. If you want to learn a little more about me, check out this profile video I put together: <video link>
This guide completes our three-part series providing your law firm with marketing ideas that can help you grow.
These strategies, revolving around email marketing, are just the beginning. The application is entirely up to you.
Get creative, adapt these strategies for your own brand and your own needs.
Do you have the capacity to send replies to all consultation requests, but not ebook downloads? Create a simple auto-responder.
Have you set up a Facebook ad campaign for an upcoming seminar you’re running? Create an email series that further educates prospective clients and then (in the third email) prompts them to book a consultation.
It’s all up to you.
And if you need a hand, we’re here.
To learn how to effectively incorporate these email marketing strategies into your law firm’s marketing strategy, connect with a Crisp Legal Marketing Strategist for a one-on-one strategy session today.