May 26, 2021

Email Marketing Automation 101 For Lawyers

Female lawyer sitting at her desk doing some work at her computer

Compared to social media, email is considered a more effective method of reaching your target audience. While channels like Facebook have seen a significant reduction in reach over the past years, email messages continue to reach their targets most of the time. A powerful way law firms can drive new and repeat business is by using email marketing automation.

What is Email Marketing Automation?

Email automation is the process of sending emails automatically based around a goal you are targeting and actions your potential lead is taking on your marketing efforts.

Compared to other forms of marketing, email marketing is a time-efficient strategy that often results in a high return on investment — and it becomes more efficient and cost-effective when you automate it.

Keep in mind, to succeed with email marketing automation, you must employ a strategic approach to your campaigns.

1. Start Out With a Clear Goal

Define what goal you’re trying to achieve for your law firm and focus on it. Here are a few examples of goals:

  • Get consultations booked
  • Promote an offer (free consultation or package)
  • Get clicks to your blog
  • Direct traffic to your social media channel(s)
  • Increase your brand awareness by sharing your firm’s news or accomplishments
  • Appear accessible to your clients by sharing personal stories

Not having a clear goal in mind is one of the biggest mistakes lawyers make, so avoid simply sending general messages because you feel like it’s something “you should do.”

By starting with a clear, focused goal, you can build your email automation around the success metrics pertaining to your goal.

2. Build Your Email Plan Around Value

To increase the chances of your email messages being read, provide your readers with content that helps them. Since legal clients often have many questions, start your plan by listing frequently asked questions you hear over the phone, in-person conversations, or email. Then, group these questions into themes. For example, as an employment law attorney, you could group a set of questions based on workplace discrimination:

  • How do I know if I am being racially discriminated against?
  • How long do I have to report the discrimination?
  • What do I do if there are several co-workers (including myself) being discriminated against?

Each one of these questions can be one installment in a series of emails, or, if each question has a deeper exploration, could be a theme in itself.

The key is to answer one or a few of these questions in each email and have a call to action in it. If your client opens one email but doesn’t take the desired action, you can send the next email, and so on, until they take action. In any case, every email should provide the client with value, so they are compelled to take the desired action based on the goal you identified in step one.

3. Keep Your Emails Focused and Concise

Don’t write long, technical emails. Constant Contact, a company that provides email marketing software, found that emails containing just 20 lines of text generate the most clicks from readers.

People who open up an email only to find that it’s long-winded with no images, and lacks any other content would most likely not read it. If you need to provide a lot of information, add a short description and link to the full post or article from your website.

Remember, you don’t necessarily want your client to spend a lot of time on the email as much as you would like them to take action.

4. Increase Urgency In an Email Series

If a client opens up an email but doesn’t take the desired action, you should use automation to send the next email with more urgency. For example, if the first email subject line is “Offering a Free Consultation for New Clients,” and you see that 25% of your opened emails never clicked on the “Book” button, you can automatically send an email after 3 days that reads “Free Consultation: Ends this Month.” By creating this sense of urgency based on user behavior, you can harness the power of automation to help achieve your goals.

4. Keep Track of Your Results and Optimize

Many email marketing platforms offer analytics that let you analyze the performance of your campaigns. Two vital metrics to consider are the open rate and click-through rate of your emails.

The open rate provides an indication of how compelling your subject lines are, letting you know how often people open your messages to check out what you have to say.

On the other hand, the click-through rate measures how engaging your actual email content is. Some people open messages but don’t actually read them. If you have a high click-through rate, this means you’re providing content that is potentially valuable to your clients.

One way to confirm these results is to do A/B testing. In this kind of test, you divide your recipients into two groups, with each sent different versions of an email. Afterward, check which of the two emails have generated better results. Continue this testing over time to find trends in what type of subject lines, images, buttons, colors, and other variables contribute to better metrics.

4. Choose the Right Automated Email Marketing Solution

As you decide on the right email marketing automation provider for your needs, consider the following factors:

  • Segmentation options – You should be able to separate contacts in your mailing list into subgroups based on their past interaction, product usage, and demographics for better targeting.
  • Automatic category updates – Your email marketing provider should have categories that adapt to the changing circumstances. For example, users who have already opened your emails should be automatically separated and not sent the same emails again.
  • Simple user interface – Look for email marketing solutions that provide tools with easy functionality while still being able to make professional-looking emails.
  • Integration – Third-party integration is vital for any email marketing solution as it provides organizations with high-quality data of their target audience from other sources.

Our recommendation is HubSpot as it checks all of the above, but also, HubSpot does more than send emails with automation. It provides CRM and Sales data that can profoundly help you organize and manage your business operations.

Done effectively, email marketing automation can help nurture, educate, and convert potential clients. Feel free to reach out to us for any help with email automation or HubSpot—we’d be happy to help.

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