Helping law firms to grow!
What costs very little yet, when done well, consistently delivers new clients to solicitors for a very small investment of time and money? Email marketing is, as you might have guessed from the title of this page, the answer. Email marketing for solicitors should be one of, if not THE first forms of marketing that solicitors commit to regularly undertake.
A couple of points to highlight from that first paragraph:
I can show you how to do the ‘well’ part, but it is up to you to do it consistently. When you do, you will be rewarded with regular new client instructions. If you send it once every so often, it may produce results, but the consistency is the tipping point of what makes email marketing work so very well for solicitors.
So, let’s look at what you have to do to do email marketing well!
If you would rather cut straight to the chase, simply click the button below to download my guide now:
The first thing you must remember whenever you are communicating with your clients, through whatever method or medium, is that you have to always follow my Golden Rule Of Marketing For Solicitors Number 13:
Therefore, how can you send your clients a traditional “newsletter” (I feel unwell just typing the word) when historically law firms’ newsletters were always all about the firm in the past?
You know the ones I mean as I am sure you have seen them, heaven forefend you might even still produce them and send them to your clients (though not after reading this I am sure). Traditionally they would start with something like this:
Smithers Jones Move Into New Custom Built Offices The Bristol law firm Smithers Jones has continued a successful 2011 by moving into new offices on the banks of the river Legal. Managing Partner Nigel Smithers says “We are delighted to move into our new premises which shows our continuing commitment to excellent client care…”
How this shows a continuing commitment to excellent client care I have no idea (or interest). Neither would Smithers Jones’ clients because it is all about the law firm and has nothing to do with them.
The problem with this approach is that it fails the test that you must use for all of your client materials. After writing
anything for your clients, look at it again through your client’s eyes and say “What’s in it for me?” If you cannot answer that question in a positive manner, you must “Rip it up and start again” as the song says (now who sang that
song AND can you remember without going to your computer or smartphone?).
This is why I detest the term ‘newsletter’ because it conjures up the ‘Me, me, enough about me; now what do
you think of me?’ marketing which simply does not work anymore (if it ever did).
So if I have talked about what does not work, what does work?
Well you have to make the law interesting, relevant and easy for your clients and prospects to digest. Now whenever I say this most solicitors look at me as if I am slightly mad. “How can we make the law interesting” they say? The main trick to achieving this is by and large to talk infrequently about the law, but instead to focus on all of the issues on the edges of the law. For example, a Royal Wedding provides you with the opportunity to talk about all wedding issues and separation issues. You could include a light hearted piece about prenuptial agreements. Other matters you can easily talk about include the local housing market which is never far from press attention, or the ageing population and why Lasting Powers of Attorney are becoming so important. A business solicitor always has something to talk about as there is always a topical issue, from big corporates avoiding taxation to the latest new technology start up. There are issues on the edge of your legal service that you can always talk about. Rarely should your email newsletter actually be all about the law because it is simply not that interesting (sorry to be the bearer of that news).
The main point is to think what might be of interest to your clients. Commercial clients are, by and large, interested in
growing their business whereas individuals are always interested in the property market and what is happening around their local town or City, and you are perfectly qualified to talk about these things as you run a business there and are a key hub of the community (I think I can still say that).
So we have talked about how you can find subject matter for your client communications, but how should you communicate, how often should you do it and how will you deliver this work of art to your audience? Let’s have a look at some of these points to make sure that your legal email newsletter is far more entertaining than any others that your clients might be receiving.
The first thing to say is that you must inject personality into your client communications. Nobody wants to read dry, turgid information. Take a topic and let your clients know your thoughts about it. Put in your personal story whenever possible, let people know that you and your staff are real people with lives outside of your office (when it is relevant to do so to the material you are writing about not just a picture of you in lycra cycling shorts for no apparent reason (strangely I see a lot of these in the legal press)).
Stories always sell content yet so often I see solicitors shying away from injecting any personality into their client communications. You must change this if you want to generate instructions from your legal email newsletter.
You are trying to build rapport with your readers and encourage them to open your legal email newsletter from time to time, rather than delete it or unsubscribe from it, so you must make your email relevant to your audience and include some information about you too. This will help its’ success greatly.
I mentioned above that these can be weekly, monthly or ad hoc. The reality is that you need to have a set time frame as otherwise if you operate on the ad hoc basis it usually becomes more and more infrequent until it stops.
Remember what I said above?
Consistency is absolutely crucial.
My advice would be for a minimum fortnightly but ideally weekly communication. However, knowing my legal audience as I do, I would suggest you start with at least once a month.
It is only through the frequency that clients will get to the point of only calling you the next time they have a legal need (saving the usual ring around and price comparison). Drayton Bird, a copywriting genius (David Ogilvy described him as such) says that he had one client who sent out the same email every week and it still produced results. Repetition aids retention (a lovely old school phrase) and whilst I do not encourage this method of delivery, it does make the point that it is the higher frequency that achieves the results you desire.
The other point about a higher frequency is that it will make writing the content much easier for you. The more you do copywriting, the easier it becomes. You can outsource the content, but if you do this you lose the personality and the story, so it is not my preferred option (but it would still be better than nothing).
I have something to say that is very important. Please trust me on this. Whatever you think, or whatever you were told when you were sold your Case Management System (if you have one) it is absolutely not up to the task of email marketing. I promise you that. I have seen them all. They are good for one thing only – file management – and some of them not even for that.
You need a specialist email marketing software tool. The one I show my clients how to use and the one I show you how to set up in the guide below is reasonably priced and every easy to work with, unlike many of the other ones out there, so I urge you to use that one if you want to make your life easier.
More importantly, with GDPR, it ensures that users double opt in so that you have that protection.
You simply must be talking to your clients and prospects consistently. If you do not shore up your client
defences they will be open to attack from all the new entrants to the legal services market. Please take the time
to create a fantastic and consistent legal email newsletter.
I have told you the most important parts of email marketing for solicitors. You can take what I have shared with you here, based on many years hard-earned real life experience of marketing law firms and you can get going today.
However, if you would like more practical tips, more ideas for content (including 50 headlines that you can use to generate ideas for your content, I advise you to download my complete Email Marketing For Solicitors guide by clicking the button below: