Originally published by Stacey E Burke Blog.
Email marketing can be one of the most cost effective methods of communicating with your current clients, former clients, and professional contacts. A monthly or quarterly e-newsletter can showcase big victories, introduce new partners or associates, and provide a recurring touch point to keep your firm top of mind.
While many law firms utilize their email contact lists for electronic newsletters, most miss the boat when it comes to personalized interaction with their various types of contacts. To accomplish this requires only one thing: segmentation.
What Is Segmentation?
Segmentation is dividing your contact list into different segments by the type of contact or the nature of your relationship with the contact. This creates targeted lists that can be utilized to curate personalized content for distribution. But how should your law firm start segmenting? Below are some of our top recommendations for law firms just getting started with segmentation.
10 Great Ways to Segment Your Law Firm Email Marketing Lists:
- Activity / Inactivity
- Birthday or Other Personal Date
- Clients For Reviews
- Content Topic
- Event Attendance
- Job Function / Job Role
- New Subscribers
- Referral Sources
For instance, let’s say your firm has multiple clients involved in transvaginal mesh litigation. Sending an email to those contacts containing information related to the litigation, including what it means for their cases, demonstrates your law firm’s dedication to keeping them in the loop and reestablishes the firm as an authoritative source to its own clients.
Similarly, you could create an email blast targeting former clients involved in car accidents. While their cases have resolved, providing new information about road safety issues or changes to laws (e.g. Texas’s new law banning texting and driving) will ensure they remember your law firm and pass along future referrals.
Informational emails are particularly useful during class action lawsuits. Disseminating email updates to class members is an easy and cost effective way to keep them informed.
Your firm can also use a segmented list to communicate only with referral attorneys or professional contacts. The content curated for these contacts would also keep your firm top of mind and provide thought leadership to your peers.
How Do I Segment My List?
Fair warning: segmenting a list is easy but time consuming. Ultimately, it depends on a variety of factors: if your law firm is using case management software allowing for easy exporting, if the data in your software is “clean” (meaning the contacts were input correctly), and how many contacts your firm has.
When creating the master email contact list, make sure to do the following:
- Use Excel. Do NOT use Word or a text file of any sort. Every single email marketing tool (MailChimp, Constant Contact, InfusionSoft, and more) requires data imports in a .XLS or .CSV format. Starting with this format from the beginning will save you hours of work and headaches later.
- Make sure every field is in a separate column. Do NOT put first and last names in one column. Again, when importing data, most software requires separate fields for each data point, so make sure you follow this rule when setting up your list.
- Create a list of the different categories of contacts in your database. If you track marketing by attorney internally, your firm may want a category for each practice group and/or each attorney. But you can drill down further, as mentioned above.
- At the same time, don’t go overboard on the segments. In reality, you don’t need one segment for “car accidents” and another for “truck accidents.” More isn’t always better; sometimes it’s just more.
Law Firm Email Marketing
Segmenting can play a huge role in shaping your email marketing strategy. With digital communication at all time high, utilizing email to speak directly with your contacts is both immediate and cost efficient. It can also be tailored… if you make an initial time investment and commit to segmenting your contacts. Contact us to find out how we can help craft your law firm’s email marketing strategy.
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