Jun 22, 2009

Legal Marketing Blawg Update Post: Email Marketing

A few months back, I posted on the importance of client newsletters as a marketing tool and offered some tips on how to create newsletters to make them appeal to existing and prospective clients.  Not surprisingly, many businesses recognize the benefits of e-newsletters -- so much so that Forrester Research predicts that email marketing campaigns will reach $2 billion by 2014, reports Lisa Barone at Small Business Trends

Barone believes that email marketing is one of the most effective low-cost ways for small businesses to inform and retain existing clients.  She writes: 

Email marketing is all about customer retention. It's about building stronger relationships with customers who already know you and decided that, yes, they want to keep hearing from you. They want to stay up to date on what you're doing, they want to hear about new products, they want to hear about hot deals, etc. The messages that land in their inbox help keep your company name in their top of mind and force them to constantly be thinking about you.
Barone offers some advice about email marketing campaigns.  Though I don't recommend that law firms bombard clients with promotional activities (and indeed, doing so might not even be ethical), many of the tips are readily transferable to e-newsletter campaigns.

In addition to the advice from my earlier post, Barone recommends that you develop content with your existing and prospective clients in mind.  For example, do your clients want educational articles to help with a specific task?  Are they interested in short case studies or quick updates on new legal developments?  Once you understand why clients have subscribed to your newsletter, you can generate content that suits their needs.  If you serve a diverse clientele -- for example, families who need estate planning and individuals with employment matters -- you may want to consider two separate newsletters.     

It's also important to "brand" your newsletter, using the logo or colors that are consistent with your website.  That way, the template will help reinforce your brand to clients.

One final, interesting point -- the day that you send emails matters.  According to Barone, emails sent Tuesday to Thursday receive the highest open and clickthrough rate.  By contrast, those sent on Monday are most likely to be lost, while those sent on Friday are most likely to be ignored.  If your schedule doesn't permit you to personally send newsletters on those days, then consider delegating e-newsletter prep to an assistant.