Stephen Fairley 0000-00-00 00:00:00
One of the most common problems busy attorneys face is staying connected with their leads, prospects, clients and referral sources on a consistent basis. Yet this is precisely why they do not have enough qualified leads and referrals coming into their practice in the first place. We all know this intuitively—out of sight is out of mind. In the marketing world there is a well known principle called the "Law of 7 Touches" which states, on average, it takes a minimum of 7 meaningful touches just to stay at the top of someone's mind. The problem with this law is that it's outdated! It was first discussed over five decades ago and since then the role and influence of mass advertising has grown exponentially In fact, I recently heard a marketing guru state he believes the number is closer to 12 meaningful touches. So what constitutes a meaningful touch? It could be attending a seminar you give, receiving an unexpected personal phone call from you just to check in and see how they are doing, or seeing you at one of our monthly Phoenix Legal Networking Groups where attorneys from small and solo firms gather to connect and make referrals (see www.TheRainmakerRetreat.com/network for info about the next one). However sending them an invoice is not considered a "meaningful touch," at least not by your client. One of the most overlooked yet powerful tools attorneys can add to their marketing arsenal is a monthly newsletter Now before you tune out, let me point out a few things: 1. I prefer electronic newsletters, also known as e-newsletters or e-zines, over print for three reasons: first, e-zines are much less expensive to produce; second, you can easily design, write and send them in less than 30 days from start to finish; and third, e-zines allow you to track all kinds of helpful information, such as who opened it, when they opened it, and who clicked your link. One of our clients is a real estate attorney He had never communicated with his entire database on a regular basis in the 15 years he was in practice. He hired us to design, write and send out an e-zine for him.The very first one produced over 40 "thank you" emails from clients and prospects he had not heard from in years! More than 26 people requested more information about the e-zine topic and several asked him to call them as soon as possible because they had an issue they needed his help with (imagine that!). Some of these were the very people our client had been trying unsuccessfully to get in front of for years! 2.You need to send them out on a regular basis. If it's true it now takes an average of 12 meaningful touches to stay connected, how often should you send them out? That's correct, every month! I have interviewed hundreds of law firms who send out newsletters and say they do not receive much benefit from them. Virtually all of them make one of these four mistakes: (a) they don't send it with enough frequency to cut through the clutter; (b) they make their newsletter so long no one will read it; (c) their newsletter is too"salesy" ("Here's 10 reasons why you should hire me right now!") and does not educate and inform prospects and consumers about topics relevant to them or (d) they have not put any tracking mechanism into place to determine if it's effective or not. Here are the 8 major reasons why I believe every single law firm should publish a monthly electronic newsletter (e-zine) as a major part of their legal marketing efforts. 1. It's Low Cost and Immediate. An e-zine gives you a low-cost and almost instantaneous method of sending out information and education to current and former clients, prospects, and referral sources. Here's all you need: an electronic database of the names and email addresses of the people who have given you permission to market to them. You need to get permission first. Sending spam is neither effective nor professional. There are a number of easy to use online programs like www.ConstantContact.com you can use to send out your newsletter You can even have a custom template built that has the look and feel of your website. Once your e-zine system is set up, you can also use it to send out alerts, advisories and interesting messages as frequently as you desire. 2. It Invites Two-way Dialogue. Not only does an e-newsletter provide you with an easy way to reach prospects, it also gives them an easy way to reach you. You don't have to be a programming genius to build in this feature, because many of the user-friendly e-zine programs available provide you with an easy way to add contact links for recipients to use to connect with you. It is also important to add all of your social networking links so recipients can share the information you are sending them. Icons for your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts, as well as your blog and website links can easily be integrated right into your e-newsletter 3. Helps Boost Your Other Marketing Efforts. You can use an e-newsletter to easily reinforce what you want current and potential clients to know about your law firm, to showcase your expertise, and provide important information. We often suggest adding tidbits of information about your staff and any community service or non-profit work you are involved in to help readers feel more connected to you and your firm. When you meet with a potential client or a potential referral source an easy way to stay connected with them is to ask them if they would like to receive your free monthly e-newsletter Most will say yes. Many of them will read it. Even the ones who don't read it every month will still see your name and information come up in their email every month like clockwork. 4. Measurable Marketing. One of the big complaints attorneys makes about their marketing efforts is they don't know what is and is not working. Here's the good news: the best e-newsletter programs come with several helpful methods of tracking your results. Your time is valuable, so it's important for you to know how your newsletter is working for you. These statistics include: how many people received your newsletter how many people opened it in their email program, how many people clicked on a link in your newsletter and which link they clicked on. We track these statistics for the legal industry so we can help you compare your rates against other law firms to see if you are doing better or worse than others. It also provides you with great insight into who in your database is clicking through to your website, blog, and social networking sites. 5. Eliminates Printing Costs. It is ridiculously expensive to produce and mail a monthly newsletter, especially if you send it to hundreds or even thousands of people or if it's multiple pages or, God forbid, you want it in color! As costs continue to rise, you're suddenly faced with deciding whether or not a certain client or prospective client is "worthy" of receiving the newsletter With an electronic newsletter there are no paper printing or postage costs, so you can send to as many people as you want, without concern for cost. According to a study from the Direct Marketing Association, companies receive an average of $43 in return for every $1 they invest in email marketing to their prospects, clients and referral sources. Now that's a great reason to send out a monthly newsletter! 6. It Helps You Builds Relationships With Former Clients. An e-zine is an excellent way to maintain a great relationship with former clients, long after you have completed their case or finished serving them. Be sure you are capturing email addresses from every single prospect, client, lead, referral and potential referral partner Remember he who has the biggest list always wins! There is a direct correlation between the size of your database and the size of your bank account. 7. It Educates Clients on Different Practice Areas Within the Firm. If there is more than one attorney in your firm and more than one practice area I guarantee you have clients who have no idea of the other ways you can assist them. Like it or not, your clients "put you in a box." They believe the only thing you do is the one thing you helped them with.Y&u need to constantly remind and educate clients on the other practice areas available in your law firm. Does your firm have multiple practice areas? Do you target different industries or professions? Are there other services or practice areas you want to grow? One of the most cost effective methods for doing this is sending out a monthly newsletter that highlights a different practice area or presents case studies featuring different industries or target markets you serve or talks about how you are adding a new practice area to better serve your clients. Our clients have experienced this firsthand:one firm recently added bankruptcy to their practice area.They sent out an e-zine announcing the new practice area so they could better serve their clients. Within the first month after sending the e-zine they had already received 30 referrals and new clients! 8. It Generates Referrals by Keeping Your Firm at the Top of Their Mind. A monthly newsletter filled with interesting information that is relevant to your clients and prospects or discusses a new trend that could impact them or a new law and how it applies to their industry will give your clients a "never ending gift" they can use and will appreciate An added benefit is it will help them to remember your firm when legal needs arise or when a referral to an expert needs to be made. There have been a growing number of skeptics who question the effectiveness of e-mail marketing stating that it is decreasing as more e-mail campaigns are flooding into the market. Recent statistics show this is not an accurate assessment. Epsilon and the Email Experience Council recently released the "2010 North America Email Trends and Benchmarks Results" which show an 18% increase in open rates of email campaigns as compared to two years ago. The other reason why attorneys don't like to send e-newsletters is because they say they don't personally read them or like them. While this may be valid, it belies the obvious: you are NOT your clientP6u don't think like them, you don't dress like them,and you don't buy like them! Do not make the mistake of believing that just because you don't read e-newsletters that your clients will not because the research indicates otherwise. The benefits are obvious and the risks nearly non-existent. As we come closer to ending this year; I highly recommend you start your monthly e-newsletter campaign as soon as possible to take full advantage of this all too important and successful marketing tool. If you find you are lacking the experience or the time to produce a high quality e-newsletter every month, I invite you to contact me. I'll give you a cost effective solution that will allow you to get out the first edition of your firm's new e-newsletter designed, written and sent in about 30 days.You can reach me at 480-659-9700 or via email:Stephen@TheRainmakerlnstitute.com.
Published by Target Market Media . View All Articles.