I read an article for real estate agents about ten ways email marketing beats social media. It’s a good article and I agree with all of it. I was going to tell you that it makes no difference whether you’re selling legal services or houses, email reigns supreme.
I even had a favorite “reason”–number 9 on the list: “Email is more intimate”. I was going to talk about how email allows you to have a simulated conversation with people, which helps you build a relationship with them, so that, over time, they come to know, like, and trust you, even before they’ve ever spoken to you.
But I’m not going to do that. Not today, anyway.
Instead of trying to convince you to make email your number one marketing tool, instead of beating the drum about how you are losing clients and money and making your life so much more difficult by not having an email list, I’m going to assume that you’re on board and talk about the right way to use it.
I see a fair amount of lawyers’ email newsletters, mostly because many of my readers think it’s okay to add me as a subscriber to their email list (it’s not). What I see, in my humble but accurate opinion, isn’t getting the job done.
For starters, just because it’s called a newsletter doesn’t mean it should look like a newsletter. Newsletters tend to be boring and self-serving, one small step removed from advertising. They “look” commercial–with stock photos and html layouts and links that say, “click here to finish this article”.
One glance at these and the reader knows that this email is probably not very important and doesn’t have much to say that is of interest to them. They know it’s probably all about the lawyer and not about them. The lawyer’s “exciting news” about how they are expanding or how they won a big case is exciting to the lawyer, but nobody else.
Most newsletters go unread because readers have come to know there’s nothing in them that interests them. There is some value to having subscribers see your name in their mailbox, reminding them of your existence, but it is so much better if they open and read your emails, appreciate them, and look forward to them.
So, for starters, your newsletter shouldn’t look like adverting or anything commercial.
It should look like a letter.
A letter (email) with some news or helpful, relevant information. Something readers care about, something that makes their life better, something worth reading.
It should also read like a letter, from a real person. Not from a committee or “the firm”. Not “canned” articles purchased from a newsletter company.
It should be written in “me to you” format, just like you would write a real letter to a real person. It should look like you sat down and penned a personal message to an individual. Because while you may be sending this same email to hundreds or thousands of people, each person who reads it is an individual.
Write to one person, not to “everyone”. Talk to that one person, as though he or she was sitting with you in your office or talking to you over the phone.
If you do it right, when your subscriber sees your email show up in his or her email, he should get a little excited. “I wonder what [you] will share with me today?”
Kinda like what you’re reading right now.
I share information I hope you find interesting and helpful. I tell stories from my days of practicing and stories about my life today, to add color and interest to that information. Sometimes I’m serious and preachy, sometimes I’m funny, but I’m never boring or irrelevant.
Yes, most of my emails are cut and paste jobs of my blog posts, but my blog posts are usually written like emails.
Many subscribers tell me they read my emails every day and look forward to them. Some tell me they are the highlight of their day.
That’s what I’m going for. A relationship. Intimacy. Transparency.
So, if you aren’t using email to build your practice, you need to. I’ll pound on that again at another time. If you are using email, but you believe social media is more important, go read the article. And if you understand why email is supreme and you want to get better results using it, take my words to heart.
Kill the fancy newsletter, write letters to the people on your list, and tell them something they want to hear.
Learn more about email marketing for attorneys. Go here