Why email marketing?
While the organic reach of Facebook and related social media has declined over the past few years, emails reach their destination, the user’s inbox, roughly 90% of the time. Compared to other marketing channels, email marketing is also low-cost and can offer a significant return on investment.
However, email marketing is really just one small part of a more complete process of effective lead generation. As such, without a clear understanding of lead generation, your email marketing might not be as effective as it could be or, at worst, may even be damaging to your firm.
Just as you wouldn’t commence legal proceedings without first sending a letter of demand, so too is it essential to go through a few preliminary steps before getting into the meat of email marketing.
To learn more about lead generation, I encourage you to read our free guide.
In any case, the following is our six-step plan for an email marketing plan that works:
- Carefully identify and define an audience with a problem.
- Position your firm around that problem.
- Develop valuable content that addresses the audience’s problem.
It’s only then that you should focus on:
- Designing an email capture mechanism
- Creating a nurturing program and platform
Step 1: Identify your audience
You may already have an idea of the specific client your law firm is after, but chances are it’ll need sharpening. The best place to start is to define your ideal client by narrowing to a very specific demographic that your law firm can service well.
This is not necessarily an easy thing to do on your own. Our insights workshops help you explore and discover the opportunities and develop a strong position from which to base your approach.
Being effective at finding a target audience, attracting, nurturing and converting them will make all the difference to a successful email marketing campaign.
Step 2: Positioning yourself around a problem
Positioning around an audience’s problem ultimately boils down to presenting yourself and your law firm as the best solution to their problem. Practically, this means you have demonstrable expertise in solving the prospective client’s problem and achieving their specific outcomes.
This requires a good understanding of your target audience (step 1), as well as successfully developing content (step 3). Which is used to encourage readers to go to your landing page and enter their email (step 4).
For more information on positioning, read our article here.
Step 3: Developing valuable content
This is a content piece that can be downloaded for free and might include an e-book, white paper or even access to certain other features of your website.
Sometimes having a position makes the content piece clear, but often it isn’t. Even for ourselves, we’ll toss around ideas of different directions we can go. We work with our clients to not just select an appropriate lead magnet, but to also determine what content, how to write it and an appropriate design format for presentation.
Once you’ve developed targeted and valuable content, it can then be used in your firm’s email marketing to:
- obtain more and better-targeted email addresses, allowing resources to be focused on more relevant leads; and
- nurture existing readers by continuing to provide targeted content that demonstrates your expertise and moves potential clients further down the lead generation process
This is explained further in step four and five.
Step 4: Design an email capture mechanism
The content you have produced will take your potential client to a landing page that contains a form where they can enter their email address. For example, the free guide I linked you to at the beginning of this article.
At this stage of the buyer journey, the potential client is taken to additional content that allows you to position and expand around the audience you identified in step one and the problems you identified at step two.
There are a number of great 3rd party landing page products that are easy to update, experiment with, A/B test and analyse results. For more information on marketing metrics, click here.
We have developed many landing pages for clients with very high conversion rates.
Step 5: Creating a nurturing program and platform
While at step four, you applied your setup for your lead magnet to obtain targeted email addresses with an email capture mechanism, step five is where you demonstrate your expertise. This is done by sharing valuable insights through a content-based nurturing sequence, moving the reader into the client bracket over time.
Of course, you could send one generic email to your entire email list. However, this will come across as vanilla and unengaging.
On the other hand, it is possible to segment your email list, ensuring that each list is targeted to recipients who share similar characteristics. The goal of segmenting is to ensure the people who receive your emails actually want to open them.
For example, if someone downloads your “How to Setup a Discretionary Trust” ebook, you should send a series of educational emails related to trusts. After all, you know they are interested in this topic, so they will probably be more likely to read information about it.
Here is a sample educational email:
Hi [First Name]:
I thought you might find this publication interesting. It’s an article our firm recently produced about what to do if you are setting up a family trust.
Feel free to let me know if you have any questions.
[Your firm name]
Step 6: Conversion
Typically, the conversion means a face-to-face meeting with the prospective client. You should expect a higher conversion to client ratio here because the now educated prospect will likely have made contact with you.
Depending on the situation, we often recommend reaching out gently and personally to prospects who have been engaged in your program for a predetermined time frame without unsubscribing – say 3 months. Sometimes everyone needs, and even appreciates, a little nudge to get things moving.
Using the example above, this might be done by asking them if they wanted to contact you or your team and provide a link to schedule an appointment.
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