A simple way to grow your email list

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You want more subscribers for your newsletter, right? More people hearing your words of wisdom, your success stories, and your offers.

You also want these subscribers to be people who are likely to need your services at some point, or to know people who might.

You want to grow your email list because more subscribers eventually translates into more clients.

One of the simplest ways to grow your list is to partner up with other professionals, business owners, bloggers, and other centers of influence in your niche.

If you are an estate planning, consumer bankruptcy, or divorce attorney, you might pair up with an accountant, financial planner, or a financial blogger.

Who might be a good source of referrals for you? If they have a list and write to it regularly, talk to them about a strategic alliance.

What might that look like?

You write an article for them, they write an article for you. Or, you mention their newsletter and they mention yours. Or you promote their offer and they promote yours.

You might interview each other. Or co-author a piece that gets published in both of your newsletters.

You could do the same thing on social media.

The key is to find someone with the right attitude, someone who wants to grow their list and is willing to work with you to do that. You don’t need everyone to say yes, you just need a few.

Once you find someone and execute your first “swap,” you can (a) do it again in a few months, and/or (b) go find someone else.

To learn more strategies for building your list, including the ones that get my highest recommendation, check out my course on email marketing for attorneys.

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Use this checklist for better headlines, titles, and email subject lines

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A friend of mine uses a checklist to double-check his titles and headlines. It can be used for emails, blog posts, articles, book titles, presentations, ads, and more.

He calls it the “ABCD” Formula:

A – Attention
B – Believable
C – Care
D – Different

[A] The first job of your headline is to get attention. It needs to make people curious or promise a benefit, to flag them down and get them to read the headline. The headline should then compel them to read your email, blog post, or sales copy.

[B] If the headline isn’t believable, if it promises too much (and isn’t obviously tongue-in-check), the reader is likely to turn the page (or tune out of your presentation).

[C] Your headline or title has to be relevant to the reader or prospective client and their problem or desire They have to care about what you’re saying.

[D] Finally, in the age of massive competition for eyeballs and dollars, your headline or title needs to be different from the competition’s. Why should they read your article or ad when it appears to say the the same thing as a dozen others?

When a prospective client sees your ad or post, they’re asking themselves, “What’s in it for me?” You need to tell them that, and the telling begins with your headline, tile, or email subject line.

Because if it doesn’t start there, it doesn’t matter how good your sales page or email or presentation is, nobody is going to see it.

To learn more about writing effective headlines, titles, and subject lines, especially for your newsletter, check out my Email Marketing For Attorneys course.

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Small favors lead to referrals

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You want referrals but you may not be comfortable asking for them.

Try this instead:

Instead of asking for referrals, ask your list for a small favor.

Something easy to do.

Like forwarding your email or sharing your link. Or replying to your email and telling you which title (for your next article, for example) they like best. Or, asking your list to recommend a good hotel or restaurant in a city you’ll be visiting for the first time.

Why is this a good idea?

When you ask for a small favor, you invoke the psychological principle of ‘consistency’ which says that people tend to act consistently with how they’ve acted before.

If they’ve done a favor for you, they begin to think of themselves as someone who does favors for you.

Which can eventually lead to referrals.

Try it. Send your list a short email and ask for a favor. Then, thank the people who helped out or sent suggestions or voted for their favorite, and tell everyone what happened, e.g., how you enjoyed the restaurant.

An engaged list is a responsive list, and a good source of referrals.

Engaging your list is a valuable part of email marketing

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Email ping-pong

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We all play it. We go back and forth, forth and back, acknowledging each other’s latest email, letting the other party know their message was received and read and will be acted upon, adding thanks and emoji, and. . . it often wastes a lot of time.

It’s even worse when there are multiple people on the list.

Sometimes, you want a reply so you have a record that your message was received.

But often, you don’t.

How do you let people know they don’t need to reply?

The simplest way is to do that is to end your email with, “NO NEED TO REPLY”.

Four little words that could save you (and the other party) a lot of time.

Some people may perceive this as a statement that you’re not interested in their opinion or point of view, however, so you may want to soften it a bit by saying, “. . .no reply is necessary, I just wanted to keep you informed”.

For people you correspond with regularly, another way to handle this is to add a “short code” to the email subject line.

Examples:

  • NNTR: “No need to reply”
  • NRN: “No reply needed”
  • NRR: “No reply requested”

  • FYI-NNTR: “For your information; no need to reply”
  • NNTO: “No need to open”–when all the information they need is in the subject line, not in the body of the email. For example, APPOINTMENT THURSDAY AT 2PM CONFIRMED. NNTO.

When you DO want a reply, you could add PLEASE REPLY or PLEASE RSVP to the subject line, to call attention to the need for a response.

Whatever code(s) you use, make sure people know what they mean. You might add an explanation or “key” to the footer of your email template to do that.

How do you tell people you want–or don’t want–a reply?

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A newsletter is a sales letter

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The objective of every newsletter your write is to get your subscribers to do something.

To call for an appointment or to ask questions, to reply and give you their opinion, or to share something you wrote with people they know, just to name a few.

And, you have to convince readers to do that.

That’s why you write a newsletter, after all.

This doesn’t mean being pushy or sales-y or anything less than professional. On the contrary. Your professional demeanor is an important element in persuading readers to listen.

But you can’t be boring.

Too many lawyers see the function of their newsletter as a mechanism to deliver information. Information is valuable but it’s not everything.

And too much information is often. . . boring.

You need to talk to your readers.

You have to write copy that addresses their emotional needs in a relatable way.

You want to come across as authoritative, trustworthy and likable. Someone who understands what your readers want and how they think.

And, once you’ve done that, you want to tell them what to do next.

Before you send your next issue, read it out loud and ask yourself how it sounds. If a lawyer sent this to you, what would you think about them?

If you want to see how to do it right, head over to this page

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A newsletter isn’t a newspaper

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Some lawyers’ email newsletters are too long. They cram too much information into each “issue”.

This is especially true of newsletters that are published infrequently.

You can see the logic. If you publish once a month, you’ve got a lot more to say than if you publish daily. But only the stalwart reads these tomes.

Most people don’t.

They may skim them, to see if anything catches their eye, but when there’s nothing but lengthy discussions about the law and documents and procedure, eyes glaze over and your reader is not long for this world.

Do this consistently and they won’t even open your email.

The solution is simple. In addition to being shorter–something that can be read in a minute or two–your newsletter needs to have some “human interest”.

You’ve got to talk about people.

Your clients. Litigants in cases you’ve read about. People in your community or in your client’s niche market.

Your office staff, your family, your neighbors, and yourself.

It’s not difficult to do. Just uncommon. But if you want people to read what you write, which is kind of the point, you’ve got to give them what they want, and they want to read about people.

Something else. When you write about the law or the news, don’t “brief” them, tell them what you think about it.

Because people want to know what you think.

Because that’s how they get to know you, which is the first step towards building a relationship with you and hiring you or sending you traffic and referrals.

If you want to know how to write a newsletter people want to read, without breaking a sweat, check out my email marketing course.

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“I thought I was being considerate”

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David Gaughran is an author and I’m on his email list. His latest newsletter issues a warning to those of us who write a newsletter, and those who want to.

He tells how he made a pact with his readers, telling them that if they signed up for his list, he would promise not to email them until he had a new book coming out.

“I thought I being considerate. I thought it would attract more people to my list. . . I thought most readers wouldn’t really care to hear from me in-between releases, and that I’d run out of things to say. . . I was wrong–so very, very wrong.”

What happened?

“People forgot who I was. Open rates fell. . . fewer and fewer were clicking and less again were buying. Reviews were dropping. Sales were increasingly tepid. It was a cascading clusterfudge of exponential fail.”

Emailing your list occasionally, e.g, only when you have an announcement or something “important” to say, is not the way to build a responsive list.

What is a responsive list?

A list that looks forward to hearing from you and reading what you write.

A list that comes to know, like, and trust you because of what you write, and then hires you or re-hires you.

A list of people who may never need your services (or need them again) but know people who do and refer them to you.

A list of people who tell others about your events, your videos, your articles, and your newsletter, and thus help you build your list.

Not a list of people who forget who you are or that they signed up on your list.

Gaughran has seen the error of his ways and is changing his approach. If your list isn’t responsive, or isn’t as responsive as you’d like, you might do the same.

It’s not difficult. Write something your list wants to read and send it to them often.

If you’d like to learn how to do that effectively, and why it’s a lot easier than you might think, head on over to this page to learn more.

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The easiest way to grow your practice

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There are many elements that go into an effective marketing campaign. And by campaign, I mean all of things you do to bring in new clients and repeat business and otherwise build your practice.

All of it.

Headlines and email subject lines, offers, building trust, building relationships, stimulating referrals, client relations, SEO, effective website navigation, content marketing, engagement, copywriting, and the list goes on.

Some factors are much more important than others. But there is one factor that is MOST important.

What is it? Frequency of communication.

How often your prospective clients, current clients, former clients, referral sources, and everyone else who can hire you or refer you or promote you hears from you.

If they rarely hear from you, you can’t expect much from them. If they hear from you often, all things being equal, you can expect to see more new business, repeat business, referrals and other goodness.

So, if you do anything different in the new year, let it be to connect with people more often.

The simplest way to do that is by email.

Which just happens to be the subject of my Email Marketing for Attorneys course.

It shows you what to say and how to say it for maximum effect. And it shows you how to do everything you need to do in one hour per week or less.

Go here for all the details.

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Oops

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Got an email recently from a business consultant who contacts me a few times a year.

That’s her first mistake. A few times a year and people forget who you are or why they signed up on your list. Or IF you signed up on your list.

But I remembered her and didn’t send her email to spam.

Unfortunately, even though we’ve spoken, she didn’t remember me.

Her email started like this: “Hi David”.

So far, so good.

Then it said, “As a female entrepreneur or professional who provides a service paid by the hour, or by the session, I would love your thoughts.

I am doing important research about business women like you and would much appreciate 15 minutes of your time.”

Yeah, not female, don’t charge by the hour, don’t have sessions.

And that’s why I usually don’t segment my lists and when I do, I keep it simple.

Because if you make a mistake, you lose credibility and subscribers.

Put me on a list of professionals or consultants or brilliant minds, we’re good. Put me on a list of people who haven’t bought, ditto.

Or, put me on one list, along with all of your subscribers, and don’t sweat the details.

Then you can write, “If you’re a female entrepreneur. . .”

And not worry about making a mistake (or trying to clean up your lists after you hear from a bunch of subscribers who are on the wrong list.)

Now. . . don’t misunderstand.

When you do segment your lists and you know precisely to whom you’re speaking, it’s good to be able to show them you know who they are and what they do.

When you write to a niche market, for example, you want to talk about issues that pertain to that market. You want to use industry-specific terms and tell stories about people in that niche.

When you do that, your readers see that you “get” them and you often get a higher response.

Just be careful. Make sure you haven’t messed up your lists.

And if you’re not sure, make sure you say, “If. . .”.

Email marketing for attorneys

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4 out 5 people don’t open your emails (and that’s okay)

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The “open rate” for emails in the legal “industry” is 22%, according to this article. About average, it turns out, across all industries. 

So, why do I rap incessantly about how effective email is for marketing a law practice?

Because a low open rate doesn’t matter. Just seeing your name show up in their email inbox makes a difference. 

Not everyone who gets your email needs your services when your email arrives. Nor do they have time to read every message. But, every time they get an email from you, they see that you’re still helping people solve legal problems and still sending out your newsletter as promised. 

You make an impression every time you send. 

And, when they do need you, or talk to someone who needs your help, they remember you are in their life (and inbox) and read your latest. 

You may be curious about my “open rate”. It must be through the roof, right?

I don’t know. I don’t track my open rate or click rate or any other rate. It’s not important to me. As long as I’m getting sales, that’s all that counts. 

I write something I think you’ll find interesting or useful, makes you think or makes you laugh. I tell you about my products and services, books and course, and tell you what they can do for you. 

As long as people buy or hire me, I’m good.

I don’t get bogged down in the minutia. I don’t sweat the small stuff or spend a lot of time trying to write the perfect missive.

I put some words on “paper” and send it out.

Which is precisely what you should do with your newsletter.  

You can learn everything you need to know right here.

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