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Don’t Turn Your Back on Old Fashioned Email Marketing

How things change in a decade. Ten years ago, when I was running an in-house legal marketing team, we had more than a few envelope stuffing pizza lunches every month to get the printed copies of our latest briefing out the door to clients. Then new opportunities began opening up with branded, personalized HTML emails that offered valuable reporting at a fraction of the costs of the old mail outs. Since then of course, the world has moved on to social media and blogs. But have firms left behind a highly valuable tool in email marketing? According to research from McKinsey & Company, email marketing can be 40 times more effective at acquiring customers than Facebook and Twitter combined.

While nobody is suggesting that the opportunities presented by social media should not be pursued, priority can and should be given to email marketing. McKinsey’s rationale for this is pretty simple; 91% of (US) consumers still use email every day. For the business community being targeted by law firms the percentage may be even higher. And for law firms, an email campaign presents the opportunity to interact directly with the clients, not fans.

There are two important things to consider when planning an effective email campaign. The first is the need for the campaign to work on mobile platforms. The percentage o emails being opened on mobile is all ready high and will only increase. The second is the requirement to ensure the content is relevant and tailored to the audience. A poorly timed email with irrelevant content for the reader can quickly result in the evaporation of the trust the client placed in the firm to handle their legal matters.

Large scale consumer marketers such as Amazon are masters at learning what interests their customers and at sending out emails that best match those needs. At the moment, law firms are some way off being able to match that capability. But times are changing and the time is coming when firms will have sophisticated marketing databases and automated programs that provide tailored to content to users based on their interests and the legal services they have utilized. At the recent Legal Marketing Association conference we were given a glimpse into the future and the marketing automation program one progressive firm is currently implementing. The future is coming sooner than you think.

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