How to think your way to more effective email marketing

Every firm understands the potential of email marketing and that they should engage. At the same time, too often emails are being sent ‘for the sake of it’. In this post Jeff Hemming, Product Manager at Tikit North America, urges firms to think before they send. The more considered your content strategy is the more effective it will become.  

One of the great strengths of email marketing is that the cost is relatively low. However, this is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because firms can afford to communicate regularly. But it’s a curse because sometimes it means we don’t think as long and hard about content strategy as we perhaps should on every occasion.

Of course it very much depends on what you are trying to achieve in the first place. But again think about that strategically. What does the firm need right now? Perhaps you want to remind people you’re there, demonstrate your understanding of a particular area of the law, advertise a new specialization, or highlight a recent success that burnishes your reputation. Maybe you want to make people an offer, or reframe their perception of your firm. Whatever it is, make sure your message delivers the objective.

Remember it’s a contact sport

In reality, though, much of the time, what we want is to acquire new clients. In this regard, one very helpful aspect of the law is that it’s a contact sport. If you don’t know how clients feel about the firm – ask your attorneys. They have daily contact with clients so will have a feel for how the firm is perceived.

Ask them what their sense is of what clients like about the firm and why they chose to work with you. Is it about trust, technical expertise, the way you treat clients? This will give you a steer on the messages that prospective clients will find most persuasive. Ask them too about their sense of what clients dislike about the firm. This may well be something you haven’t thought about and which can be addressed in the messaging to prospective clients.

As well, always ask attorneys to tell you where their best clients have come from, both at your firm and in their previous firms. These are the clients you want more of. This will give your email marketing a better sense of direction.

It’s all in the timing

Another of the great strengths of email marketing is that you can quickly tell what is working and what isn’t. (Advertising, by comparison, is a shot in the dark.) So another good place to start with client acquisition content is to assess which kinds of content are demonstrably working for you and which aren’t, and then then do more of what is working.

But also think about timing. Both in the round: is the prevailing political and economic climate or this week’s news making people more or less anxious, more or less confident? And in the specific: which days of the week work better? Which time of day has the most impact? Too often we’re trying to ‘get something out before the holiday’ but is that really the moment people are likely to be most receptive?

Target, target, target

Finally, another of the great strengths of email marketing is that it can be very well targeted. The better systems will let you segment the database in a lot of different ways: by industry sector, by job title, by matter type, by geography and so on. One of the great differentiators of email is that it’s a direct, one-on-one contact with individuals. So always think, is this relevant to the people I’m sending it to, and why should they care?

Then tailor the message accordingly – and that includes thinking about its length. Maybe everyone in a sector is interested in your interpretation of a piece of new legislation, but some will want a higher level of detail than others. Think about a long and short version, depending on who will receive it.

The key is never send out email marketing messages because you can and you have a schedule to keep. Hard thinking before you press send will be its own reward.

Jeff Hemming, eMarketing v6 product manager, Tikit.

Find out how to make your e-marketing as impactful, engaging and successful as it can be by visiting

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