email marketing man in chairI love to travel, especially on those rare occasions where it is just me and my wife and a week of downtime in front of us.  I sometimes find myself perusing the Getaways section of Groupon’s website to see if there are any sales on destinations I’d like to visit.

I was doing just that the other day while waiting for a client to come on a conference call.  I saw a listing for a resort in Belize that looked interesting, so I clicked on it to learn more about it and the deal.  Then the client came on, and I shut things down to take care of business.

About two hours later, an email from Groupon popped up in my inbox with the subject, “Still interested in a Getaway?”  When I opened the email, there was a big, beautiful picture of the resort under the headline, “Hello.  Still interested in this deal?  Come back and get it!”

And that, my friends, is email marketing automation at its best.

Email marketing automation is all about catching prospects at the right time with the right content.  According to eMarketer, marketers that connect with customers via automated email marketing see conversion rates as high as 50%.

Here are some other email marketing automation stats, courtesy of myemma.com:

  • Companies that automate emails are 133% more likely to send messages that coincide with the purchase cycle of their customers.
  • Relevant emails drive 18x more revenue than broadcast emails.
  • Personalized emails generate up to 6x higher revenue than non-personalized emails.
  • The #1 reported benefit of email marketing automation is the creation of more and better leads.
  • Automated emails get 119% higher click rates than broadcast emails.

Most of the solos and small firms we know have a finite amount of time to dedicate to legal marketing, so having a process in place that nurtures a lead along the path to becoming a client is a great benefit.

For law firms, we’ve found that one of the best ways to capture leads is through education marketing.  Offering a free report on your website in exchange for a prospect’s email address is a true win-win:  it’s a great way to capture those leads that may not be ready to pick up the phone or send an email and your prospect gets a free guide that helps them understand their legal issue better.

So here is how the process goes when you automate it correctly:

  1. Prospect visits your website and enters their email address to get your free guide.
  2. Your auto-responder system emails them the guide and a few tasty tidbits about your firm.
  3. An automated drip email campaign begins where your prospect is sent pre-written emails according to a schedule you establish in your system that educates them more about your firm, the steps they should take next, testimonials from previous clients, a free consultation offer, etc.

The goal is to lead the prospect along the buying path and get them to do what you want – call, set an appointment, etc.  And it’s all done automatically, with no intervention from you or your staff needed until the prospect calls and your regular intake process begins.

You also use the same system to nurture qualified leads until they become clients, sending a series of emails to prospects that miss an appointment or fail to hire you after the initial consultation.

Using email marketing automation will increase your open and click-through rates, which will in turn increase your conversion rates.

And then you’ll get to spend a lot more time in places like Belize, with or without a Groupon.

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email marketing man in chairIn less than a few hours a month, you can produce an effective electronic newsletter, also known as an “E-newsletter.”

An E-newsletter is a customized electronic newsletter that is commonly used in business, but rarely in the field of law. If you are truly interested in the long-term success and sustainability of your practice, you need to learn how to leverage technology and the Internet to build it.

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