The Best Email Marketing Tools for Your Law Firm
There are so many email marketing platforms at one’s disposal: Mailchimp, Active Campaign, Constant Contact, AWeber, Keep, Ontraport, SendFox, SendGrid, just to name a few. It can be overwhelming to decipher which is best for your practice and the marketing goals you are trying to achieve.How can you decide which one is best for email marketing in law firms?
Email marketing in law firms is an underrated yet powerful form of marketing; unfortunately, most law firms don’t utilize this marketing strategy to its full capability.
This article isn’t going to be specifically about what emails you should be sending and when you should send them; rather, it will serve as a baseline assessment of which email service provider (ESP) is best for your practice.
The Importance of a Branded Email Address for Email Marketing in Law Firms
How you will send your emails to potential clients, existing clients, and referrals is the most important factor to consider. Why? You want your emails to be delivered.
First things first: you need to have a branded email address.
If you currently use an email address with an email server domain (e.g. gmail.com, yahoo.com, aol.com, etc.), you need to change your email provider. Rather than your provider being Gmail or Yahoo, you want your provider to be your URL: your website.
This is easy to do. Whether you’re plugging in to a Microsoft or a Google solution, which would mean using Outlook or the Google Business Suite, it can be done quickly, and you will have an email address related to your business and that is suited to you and your practice.
Why do we advise you to do this? In order to use any of the major email marketing platforms, or at least to maximize their usage, you need to connect it to your domain name.
You can do this by yourself easily. As a matter of fact, many platforms will allow you to do a simple connection. It will log into whatever service registers your domain (whether it’s GoDaddy, SiteGround, etc.) and make the connection for you. Some require a bit of manual input, but virtual assistants can handle that for you. After that, just change the passwords on your email service provider and domain registrar. Web developers can also assist with these kinds of needs.
The main thing to consider when choosing an ESP is deliverability. Most of the major email platforms have a pretty high deliverability rate. However, there are things you need to do on your end to maintain deliverability, no matter what platform you choose. Use good email practices and send out emails regularly.
You don’t want the recipients of your emails to forget that they subscribed or why they subscribed. Emails are meant to keep your audience engaged and updated; the last thing we’d want is a potential client wondering “Why am I getting these emails from a law firm? I don’t remember getting them in the past.” You might be surprised how quickly that can slip. Only a month, or two, or three has to go by before people forget that they’re supposed to be receiving your emails and you start getting opt-outs and complaints.
The Emails You Will Use in Your Marketing Campaigns
We’re going to highlight two categories of emails that you are most likely to use in your email marketing for campaigns. One category consists of broadcast emails, and the other consists of automated email sequences.
An example of a broadcast email is an email newsletter. It’s where you would pick a list of people and send all of them the same email.
Automated email sequences are triggered by a specific event; for example, someone filling out a contact form on your website. It will send one email to a person based on what action they took on your site.
The Email Service Providers We Recommend
Why should you choose any of these? Which one is right for you?
All three are trustworthy in their ability to deliver emails, and will work well in your firm. The main difference is their range in simplicity to complexity. Simplicity is valuable when it comes to usage and usability, but complexity helps you build for the future.
Mailchimp is the simplest. ActiveCampaign is right in the middle. Keap is the most complex and sophisticated.
Mailchimp is great for broadcast emails. They have solid templates that allow you to go with high or low design, and are nice for rhythmically sending out emails and occasionally doing email pushes. An example of an email push would be sending out three emails over three days in order to get the people on your list to activate as new clients or know about a community event.
ActiveCampaign is where we can start doing more of the automated email sequences. Although Mailchimp also has this capability, it isn’t the provider’s strength. If you were looking to perform automatic email sequences with Mailchimp, it would be best for setting up basic ones, such as someone filling out a contact form and getting an automated email and a follow up email.
ActiveCampaign is built more for doing the heavily segmented follow up email campaigns.
The dividing line between ActiveCampaign and Keap is really the difference between linear campaigns and reactive campaigns.
What does a linear campaign look like? Say someone comes to a website and requests a free webinar. After this request, they will be sent five emails that will be sent in order. No matter what action they take in regards to those emails, they will continue to drip out. This is what ActiveCampaign is best for.
A reactive email campaign involves more action. In this scenario, say the recipient of the email clicked to view the webinar on the second email that was sent. A reactive approach would send this recipient to a whole new email campaign. Perhaps after viewing the webinar, the new email campaign will send them messages regarding scheduling an appointment. Keap supports these scenarios best.
It’s sophisticated but effective marketing. Most law firms will choose between providers like Mailchimp and ActiveCampaign. You may like a service like ConvertKit as well, but that platform is mainly targeted towards creators, for people who are selling their email newsletters, or selling small pieces of information or small goods.
Keap is for those who are building a more sophisticated marketing infrastructure. You may be advertising a lot of different offers. You may need to segment your list of recipients regularly and heavily, which essentially means you need to be able to pull specific lists of people. For example, you may divide your clients and cases between those that are in pre-litigation versus litigation, prospective clients versus those that have gone through the appointment process, etc.
The process on Keap is advanced, and you can make your emails look professional and clean. It allows you more personalization than the other providers. Upper level businesses regularly have this. However, it is not 100% necessary for a law firm’s email marketing system. For the most part, law firms will be sending broadcast emails and automated email sequences.
A lot of people complain about how complex Keap is, but we have yet to find a solution that matches its level of capability and sophistication, and does the basics very well. In fact, Keap scored a 96 out of 100 on an email deliverability test we recently ran.
Takeaways of Email Marketing in Law Firms
The real key to choosing an ESP? Just get started.
You can easily plug in all three of these email service providers into what you are already doing, and they can allow you to magnify your marketing by sending out consistent, sophisticated emails. Email marketing in law firms is an underutilized and untapped resource.
If you’re curious about how you can use email more often in your law firm, or how you can use emails to get more clients, those are the discussions we have in our memberships. Take a look at our coaching programs that will show you how to integrate email into your existing marketing ecosystem and amplify what you’re already doing.
Most attorneys start their firms assuming that being a really, really good attorney should, in and of itself, be a marketing advantage. Those attorneys believe that joining a whole bunch of committees and putting their name in lawyer directories is “marketing,” and they never bother to ask if there is a better way.
Attorneys are catching on, however, and those who succeed learn to leverage their current resources to create effective (and ethical) marketing. What they discover isn’t a magic pill or silver bullet but a different approach to marketing that your competitors haven’t considered.
by Charley Mann
Charley is the Chief Marketing Officer at Great Legal Marketing and believes in results, Results, RESULTS!