Resources: Our Law Firm Marketing Newsletter

The Rainmaker Institute
Rainmaker Report
Practice Building Tips for Today's Attorneys
  April 2015   
  888-588-5891   
A recent lead generation benchmark survey conducted by marketing research firm Ascend2 and Research Partners is worth paying attention to for the insights gathered from 50,000 U.S. and international marketing leaders representing a wide range of company types, sizes and locations.

That is what is known as a statistically significant survey.

When queried on the most effective tactics these companies deploy to generate leads, the #1 choice by a significant margin was email marketing. So if you are serious about lead generation, you need to have an email marketing program working for you right now!

What is an email marketing program? Do you have one? And is it really working for you -- as in delivering a steady stream of qualified leads?

If not -- or you don't know what it is -- Keep Reading.

Sincerely,

 

Stephen Fairley

What is an Email Marketing Program?

An email marketing program is any use of emails sent to potential clients, current or former clients, or referral sources for the purpose of increasing business, generating new leads, or developing relationships for the purpose of referrals. This can take the form of follow up emails, a drip marketing campaign, an autoresponder series, or a monthly newsletter.

How to Measure Your Email Marketing Performance

Electronic newsletters (e-newsletters) have proven to be one of the most effective methods for attorneys to market themselves to prospects, clients and referral sources.  Every year, email marketing service provider MailerMailer provides a report on email marketing metrics across 34 different industries, including Legal.

Their 2014 report is based on data gathered from 62,000 e-newsletter campaigns totaling 1.18 billion emails sent between Jan. 1, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2013. Here are the results -- and what should be your new minimum benchmarks -- for your law firm e-newsletter:
  • Open rate (what percentage of your recipients opened your email):  13.5%
  • Click rate (what percentage of your recipients clicked on a link in your email): 1.6%
  • Click-to-open rate (of the recipients who opened your email, what percentage of them clicked on a link):  11.8%
  • Bounce rate (the percentage of emails that cannot be delivered):  2.4%
Every email service (Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, iContact, etc.) provides these statistics for each e-newsletter you send out. If your e-newsletters are not delivering at rates that meet or exceed the benchmarks above, you have a problem. If you have a lot of experience sending e-newsletters, like we do, you should easily exceed those benchmarks.

For example, our average law firm client gets open rates of 30-50%, with many of them higher than that. Please note, "open rate" cannot be accurately measured when emails are opened on a smartphone, so if many of your readers only use smartphones to read their emails your true open rate will be higher than what is reported.

Here's what you should consider to improve your click, open and bounce rates:

Are your subject lines engaging to entice people to open your email? Short subject lines-1 to 3 words are best. A study by Contact Monkey, an email newsletter provider, found the length of subject lines directly correlates with open rates.

Subject lines with two or less words in them (for example, "RE:," "Follow up," "Re: Update," "Re: Introduction" or "Re: Checking in") consistently obtained over 70% open rates while more traditional subject lines (like "January 2015 Newsletter") received less than 15% open rates!

Are you sending emails on the right day and at the right time? The highest open rates vary widely depending on your audience. In general, Monday morning before 10am is the worst time to send a newsletter, but on other days open rates are higher between 8am and noon. However, it's important to test different days and times to see if you can find ones that are better because every audience is different.

With our e-newsletter (that focuses on business development & marketing for law firms) we have had some of our highest open rates to be Saturday mornings. We would have never discovered this unless we tested it out.

Is your email list updated regularly and cleaned of old, undeliverable email addresses? Bounce rates are when an email is unable to be delivered so it "bounces" back. Three common reasons for your email to bounce are the person's inbox is full, their internet service provider has a problem with your email (perhaps misidentifying it as spam) and bounces it back to your server, or they have changed email addresses.

Bounces are inescapable, but can be improved if you send out emails on a regular basis. The less frequently you send out a newsletter the higher your bounce rate will be.

Have you segmented your email list so you can tailor your content to different audiences? Targeted emails deliver 18 times more revenue than general blast emails. We recommend at least two lists: one for your current & former clients and another for everyone else (referral sources, networking contacts, colleagues), just in case you want to send something different to each group.

Are your emails personalized? Personalizing the message content can boost open rates significantly. Something as simple as using their first name in the body of the newsletter goes a long way.

Do you use a responsive design template so your emails are displayed properly for every screen size? More than half of emails are now opened on mobile devices. Be sure to preview your e-newsletter on your smartphone before you send it out.

If your e-newsletters are performing at or above these benchmarks, you may still have some work to do: if you don't know the source of your success, you can't repeat it. If you'd like to learn about our done-for-you e-newsletter service, I invite you to sign up for a complimentary strategy session with one of our trained Rainmaker Law Marketing Consultants by calling 888-588-5891 or filling out this form.

If you'd like to learn more proven strategies for business development, I invite you to attend a Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day law firm marketing workshop. We have sessions every month around the country - go to RainmakerRetreat.com to check the schedule.

We have helped over 10,000 attorneys across the nation discover the secrets in building a financially successful and personally satisfying legal practice and we would love to have your law firm be our next success story!
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