Study: email 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined

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I’ve been yapping about how email is more effective than social media and this study proves it. If email isn’t at least a part of your marketing mix, you’re missing out.

I know, it seems too complicated. So much to learn, so much to do.

But it isn’t. Unless you make it that way.

In case you have your doubts, let me give you a very simple way to start.

You have a database of clients, right? You have their email addresses on file?

Okay, fire up whatever you use to send emails and send your clients an email that says something like this:

“I’m updating my records and I want to make sure I have your current (and best) email address. Please hit reply and let me know you got this. Thank you.”

Simple, right? What’s next?

Send them one of the following:

  • Information: a link to an article you found online (or wrote): “I thought you might find this interesting.”
  • News: something your firm has done recently or is about to do
  • A legal tip: how to do something or avoid something
  • A consumer tip: how to save money or time or get better results
  • A reminder: to contact you to update their [document], to file their [document], or to call you if they have a question about [whatever]
  • A story: tell them a success story about one of your clients
  • An invitation: to your event, to watch your new video or read your new blog post, or to contact you for a free consultation
  • A thank you: thanks for being my client, thank you for all the comments on my last post, thank you for all the kind words when I broke my leg. . .

Before you know it, the holidays will be here. Not too difficult to send an email wishing them well.

Want to know the one email that gets the highest open rate (according to other studies)? Happy birthday, emails, of course. So add this to your list.

Here’s the key: send anything. It doesn’t really matter what. What matters is that you’re staying in touch with the people who put food on your table.

When you’re ready to take things to the next level, get my Email Marketing for Attorneys course.

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Getting referrals from people you don’t know well

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Yesterday, we talked about using email to reach out to strangers, to see if there’s a basis for initiating a relationship.

But don’t forget the people you already know.

Friends, clients, colleagues, people you’ve worked with–your close contacts can and will send you business, so stay in touch with them, too. An email newsletter is a simple way to do that.

And. . . don’t ignore your casual contacts. Professionals you’ve met once or twice, vendors, consultants, bloggers, and others who sell to or advise people in your target market, can open a lot of doors for you.

These so-called “weak ties” may be a great source of referrals and other opportunities.

Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, said:

“In fact, in landing a job, Granovetter discovered, weak-tie acquaintances were often more important than strong-tie friends because weak ties give us access to social networks where we don’t otherwise belong. Many of the people Granovetter studied had learned about new job opportunities through weak ties, rather than from close friends, which makes sense because we talk to our closest friends all the time, or work alongside them or read the same blogs. By the time they have heard about a new opportunity, we probably know about it, as well. On the other hand, our weak-tie acquaintances— the people we bump into every six months— are the ones who tell us about jobs we would otherwise never hear about.”

Schedule time each week to check-in with a few casual contacts. Send an email, ask what they’re working on, give them some news, or share an article or video you found that might interest them.

Some of these casual contacts will bear fruit, merely because they heard from you and were reminded about what you do and how you can help them or their clients.

But don’t leave it at that.

When the time is right, tell them what you’re looking for. Ask for information or an introduction. Or ask for advice.

Because your casual contacts can open a lot of doors for you, some of which you didn’t know even existed.

Email marketing for attorneys

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Facebook vs. email: the verdict

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Many studies confirm the supremacy of email over social media for marketing, including one I saw the other day.

Sumo sent a Facebook post to 74,000 fans and, they said, they got 10 clicks. They sent the same message to 81,000 email subscribers and got 4,203 clicks.

“In 10 hours, the email had 420x more clicks. Plus, with email you OWN the list. Not Facebook,” they said.

One reason for this disparity: many people simply don’t see your social media posts, due to filtering (censoring), and because many people don’t check social media as often as they check email.

But that’s not the entire story.

Even if you got the same number of clicks from social, email will almost always outperform social where it counts–new clients, repeat business, referrals, engagement, and relationship building.

Because email is more intimate than social media.

With social, unless you PM someone, everyone sees the same message. Most people, therefore, liken social media posts to ads or commercial messages.

But email is perceived as a personal message.

Even though you might send your message to hundreds or thousands of people, if you do it right, each recipient reads it as though it was sent just to them.

Doing it right starts with sending an email, not an ad or commercial message, or an article they can find anywhere online.

Email is the killer app.

This is why I (and others) tell you to build an email list. It’s why we say you can get big results with a small list. It’s why many of us build successful practices and businesses without spending a lot of time (or money) on other forms of marketing.

Build a list and stay in touch with it. By email.

If you want to learn how to do it right, go here

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Spoilers

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I love a good hamburger and one of my favorite hamburger joints is In-N-Out Burger.

This morning, a video presented itself to me with the title, “BRITISH Try IN-N-OUT BURGER for the FIRST TIME!” so naturally, I read the description: “This is probably our most requested video EVER! We FINALLY GOT TO TRY IN-N-OUT and we LOVED it!”

Color me surprised.

Videos like these usually don’t tell you the verdict. You have to watch the thing to find out. Now I don’t have to.

For the record, even if they hadn’t revealed their opinion, I wouldn’t have invested 11:50 to find out.

Okay. I don’t know if posting “we LOVED it!” in the description was done intentionally, but in marketing, we do our best to come up with irresistible headlines and clickbait-y titles, to draw in readers and listeners to our content.

So, you have to wonder, is there anything to be gained by revealing the takeaway in advance?

The answer is, “maybe”.

If you’re a fan of the couple who made the video, if you’re one of the many who requested it, you watch it because it’s your thing.

If you’re crazy about IN-N-OUT and are curious to see what they ordered or to hear what they liked best or you want to know what they thought about the crowds or the service or the decor, or you’re bored and looking for something new to watch. . . maybe you watch even though you know how the movie ends.

Different strokes.

But this raises another question.

When you’re making videos, writing blog posts, or creating other content and hoping to get more eyes and ears on your creations, how do you know when (or if) you should provide spoilers?

You don’t.

But when you know your market well, eventually, you develop your Spidey Sense and know when it’s okay to break the rules.

Which is why you need to research your target market and make sure you know it inside and out (In-N-Out).

You can learn how to do that in my Email Marketing for Attorneys course.

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Sixty-second marketing

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What are you doing for the next sixty seconds? Okay, after you finish reading this?

You could be using that minute to market your practice.

I just watched a one-minute video by a guy walking and talking into his phone. No intro, he just started talking. He shared his thoughts on a subject and the video ended.

No promotion, no request to Like or subscribe or hit the bell. Sixty seconds and he could get on with his day.

It wasn’t scripted, and it wasn’t brilliant, but it wasn’t boring, either. He gave me something to think about.

The next time one of his videos comes up in my feed, I’ll probably watch it. If he continues to share something interesting, I may subscribe.

That’s how you build a following.

You could do the same thing. Just you and your phone, or you and your computer screen. Press record and talk for one minute.

You could record audio only, convert it to text and post that on social.

Or use that text in your email newsletter.

In sixty seconds, you would probably push out 150-180 words, and yes, that’s enough for a short email newsletter. If you have more to say, speak for two minutes instead of one.

What do you think? Do you have a minute to talk about something your audience or subscribers would find interesting or valuable?

If so, go record something. Like I did. Right here.

How to build your law practice with email

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What’s the wrong way to write an email?

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I found this question posted on a forum: “What’s the wrong way to write an email?”

The answer, according to someone with a sense of humor as warped as my own: “With paper and a pen.”

Actually, writing an email with paper and a pen isn’t a bad idea. It might result in a more authentic, thoughtful message since writing by hand accesses a different part of the brain.

Recent research concludes that taking notes by hand increases comprehension and memory, so there’s probably something to it.

Years ago, I wrote in a spiral notebook every morning for 15 or 20 minutes. I wrote non-stop, to suppress my “inner editor”. I became a better writer as a result.

Anyway, I thought I’d take a crack at a serious answer to the question, “What’s the wrong way to write an email?”

My first thought is that there isn’t a wrong way, there are 100 ways.

Too much information, lack of clarity or specificity, talking endlessly about yourself instead of writing about the person you’re writing to, not telling the reader what you want them to know or do, poor grammar and spelling, and the list goes on.

The answer would fill a book (or a course).

For now, I’ll limit my answer to two of the biggest mistakes I see with respect to email.

First up:

(1) Not writing one.

Whether we’re talking about a personal email or a newsletter, email is the easiest way to keep people informed, connect with them, and remind them that you’re (still) available to help them and the people they know.

If you’re not regularly using email to stay in touch with clients and prospects, you’re missing out on a simple and effective way to build relationships, provide value to clients and prospects, and grow your practice.

(2) Writing instead of calling.

Yes, email is quick and easy but there are times when it’s better to call.

When you have bad news to deliver, it’s usually better to speak to the client. The same goes for delivering good news.

And, email (or a printed letter) can never take the place of a conversation for building a relationship.

Call your best clients and professional contacts from time to time, to say hello, ask how they’re doing, and find out how you can help them.

Call and connect with on a personal level with the most important people in your life.

What’s the wrong way to make a phone call? Yep, not making it.

If you want to know the right way to write an email, go here

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Reading this could be a waste of time

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Most people aren’t that interested in learning the bulk of what you could teach them about the law. If you’re trying to build a following by pushing out as much information as possible, no matter how good that information might be, you’re probably wasting your time.

In the beginning, prospective clients read what you write in a blog or newsletter because they’re looking for information–about their problems or interests and about your ability to help them.

Once they’ve satisfied themselves that you can help them, they won’t continue to read what you write or watch your videos or listen to your podcast unless you give them a reason to do that.

And you want them to do that.

You want them to continue to read or listen to you until they’re ready to take the next step. You want to build a relationship with them because that relationship will mean that if they hire any attorney, they will be more likely to choose you.

That relationship can also help bring more traffic to your website, build your following on social media, and generate more referrals.

That’s one reason why I put a lot of “me” into my content, and why you should do the same. We are a lot more interesting to our readers and followers than the information we provide them.

Building a following isn’t just about showing people what you know. It’s as much about showing people who you are.

Let people get to know you; liking and trusting and hiring won’t be far behind.

To learn how to build a following with email, go here

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Are you sure about that?

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“I don’t know. I can’t recall. I’d be guessing.”

We like to hear things like this (sometimes) when our client is testifying but what about when we hear ourselves saying them?

They make us sound weak, don’t they?

No. They make us sound smart.

According to Jeff Bezos, “The smartest people are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they’d already solved. They’re open to new points of view, new information, new ideas, contradictions, and challenges to their own way of thinking.”

Just when we think we’ve got this “law practice” thing working smoothly. . . that’s when we need to stop and re-assess.

What if we don’t know? What if we’re wrong? What if there’s a better way?

But do we do that?

Unfortunately, we often think we know better. We think we’re good at what we do and that’s enough. “If it ain’t broke. . .” we tell ourselves.

Sure, we take CLE, we read the journals, we keep up with the latest in our field. But all that knowledge can’t help us if we’re afraid to be wrong.

It takes courage to admit you’re not as good as should be, and courage to do something about it.

How do you develop that courage? A good place to start is to surround ourselves with people who challenge us and are willing to be honest with us and being willing to listen to them.

Early in my practice, I had people working for me who knew more than I knew and were better at their job than I was at mine. I got better at my job because I was willing to admit I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

Today, I’d like to think I would be willing to do the same.

Would I? Would you?

If we’re as smart as we think we are, the right answer is “I don’t know”.

Is your email marketing as good as it could be?

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Write or get off the “can”

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Once a year my CPA sends me an inch-thick stack of forms and instructions and important tax information. I’m sure it is very good information but I’ve never read it.

It’s too much. It’s fine print. And it’s about as dry as unbuttered toast.

Maybe your CPA sends something like this to you. Maybe they send you the identical package of information, purchased from the same service (I’m sure) my CPA buys it from.

Maybe your dentist, insurance agent, or financial planner sends you an outsourced or “canned” newsletter. Maybe you send something like this to your clients.

It’s better than not sending anything to clients, but let’s face it, most people don’t read it.

There’s a better way. Send your clients something you wrote and put some of “you” into it.

Share an idea and tell them what you think about it. Tell them about one of your clients who used that idea and benefited from it. Put some personality into your message and you’ll get more people to read it.

Why is that important? Because when people read what you send them, they are reminded that you’re still around, still helping clients, still available to help them or someone they know.

And when they read your message, they learn something that can benefit them. They appreciate you for that and look forward to your next message.

Be brief. A few paragraphs in an email is enough. You’re not in the “information delivery business,” after all.

Don’t buy it from a service. And don’t send it once a year.

An email newsletter is one of the easiest ways to provide value to your clients and one of the best ways to build your practice.

You can learn everything you need to know in my new Email Marketing for Attorneys course.

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Who you know or ‘who knows you’?

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Who you know is important. But just as important is who knows you.

How many people (in your niche or market) know your name?

Or, more pointedly, how many people know someone who knows you?

Your network isn’t limited to people you know. It encompasses the people THEY know. If you know 250 people and each of them knows 250 people, you can potentially reach 62,500 people.

Whatever the size of your network, one thing is certain.

Your network is only as good as your ability to communicate with it.

If you want to notify your list of 250 people about your upcoming seminar or a new document you’ve added to your website, if you want to remind clients and prospects that you can help them (or someone they know) with their legal matter, how do you do that?

You can’t call everyone. Regular mail gets expensive. Social media limits who sees your messages.

The best way to connect with your list is email.

You own the list. You control the messages that get sent to it.

One click and your message goes to their mailbox. From there, your network can act on that message and share it with their network.

Email allows you to stay “in the minds and mailboxes” of the people who know you, until they’re ready to hire you (or hire you again) or send you a referral.

My new course, Email Marketing for Attorneys shows you how to use email to build your law practice.

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