According to the 2016 State of Marketing Research Report published by Salesforce Research, 80 percent of marketers consider email to be a core component to the success of their business. Nearly half said the use of email is directly connected to their main source of income.
Now that you’ve set up a professional business email account for your law firm, you’ll need to boost its potential as an effective communication channel. Here are five ways you can make your email responsive, informative, and personalized for your firm:
#1 Initial client requests
A client finds your law firm online and sends an email to the contact provided, then what happens next? If you don’t have a process in place to field initial client requests via email, you’re undoubtedly missing a valuable source of leads and potential business for the firm.
Ideally, your firm should have a main inquiries email address to receive these first client requests. Create a main inquiry address (firstname.lastname@example.org?), designate who will receive these requests and have a process for assigning who will respond. If the first response goes unanswered, consider setting up some sort of follow-up email. This can be either an informal message to check-in or a more direct invitation to schedule an in-person meeting, all to keep open the line of communication.
#2 Email newsletters
Most email marketing campaigns are built around the email newsletter, a periodical which discusses any news and events happening at the firm. These newsletters can highlight a practice area, focus on interesting cases, introduce a new attorney, showcase a prestigious award, or discuss any pertinent news items. Consider including an invitation to an event or seminar offered by your law firm.
#3 Auto responders
An autoresponder is an automatic email sent in response to messages received by your firm’s business email address. When someone sends an email to a certain address, you can set up a message to automatically send back.
- Thank them for their interest in your firm
- Give them a timeline to expect a personalized response.
- Direct them to other sources on your web site.
- Inform them about any upcoming events that your firm might be participating in.
When you send out an auto responder, you are talking to an audience that is already interested in your firm. These email recipients may have already checked out your website, seen you at an event or seminar, or contacted you based on an online search. The more you can engage with them, the better.
#4 Out of office reply
Whether members of your law firm staff are out of the office for just the day or for an extended vacation, an out of office email reply will give clients and others alternative contact information until your return.
To write an effective out of office reply message, you should include:
- The exact dates of your time away
- The general reason for your absence, since potential clients might still attempt to reach you if you’re on a business trip or a conference, but not if they know you’re on vacation.
- The names, phone numbers, areas of expertise, and email addresses of those who can help them while you’re out.
Keep it short and to the point, letting them know you’ll do your best to get back to them soon—just not right away after your return.
Tailor an email message to a very specific audience by sending out multiple versions of content based upon the needs of the recipient. Virtually any part of your email can be personalized, including the subject line, the greeting, the message, and the signature. Personalize your email to mix your personal flair with your professional connection for messages that will make your firm memorable.
Customized email signatures also make it easy for potential clients to contact you, with your firm’s name, website, and logo easy to find. Avoid having your logo show up as an attachment with a free email signature tool like WiseStamp, which helps generate a professional business email signature. Is your law firm on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter? Include the icons in your email signature to invite customers to explore your presence.
What other ways can your law firm’s business email be used to increase efficiency, improve communication, and generate business for a law firm? Tell us about it in the comments!