“I know that half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. My only problem is that I don’t know which half.” is probably the worlds’ most famous aphorism about marketing. In the UK, its attributed to Lord Leverhulme, but in the USA they think it was Henry Ford or possibly JC Penney. Irrespective of who said it, the key question they ask is whether their marketing delivers.
It’s famous because it reveals an important truth about quite a lot of marketing – it is very difficult to measure results. Of course, digital marketing has added some powerful analytical tools to check the effectiveness of on-line marketing, but even then, incomplete tracking can provide some misleading results.
Always double check that your marketing delivers!
We came across a classic example recently when a law firm appointed an SEO (search engine optimisation) specialist to improve the firm’s ranking on Google. To measure results, the SEO specialist set-up a dedicated telephone number on the website that appeared nowhere else. Calls to that number were monitored so that the firm could see how many calls were being generated from their website. It turned out that calls to the new number were high and so it seemed reasonable to conclude that the SEO campaign was working. Or was it? When the firm dug deeper, they found that over 90% of the incoming calls on that number were from existing clients who had just gone to the firm’s website to get their telephone number. The SEO campaign wasn’t generating anything like the amount of new business the number of calls might suggest.
Extend the range of your marketing activities
Now, we are great advocates of search engine optimisation. Indeed, all the website content we create for our clients is carefully crafted with SEO in mind and improving your ranking for certain keywords is one very good reason for adding content to your website.
But if you really want to be sure that your marketing spend is working for your firm and that your marketing delivers, there is another marketing channel that we think you should focus on. That tool is eMail Newsletters.
No, don’t click away just yet. If your immediate thought is ‘I hate spam email, so I don’t want to send any’, you are in good company. But there are a host of powerful reasons why eMail Newsletters should be an essential part of your marketing activity.
1. You’ve already earned your clients’ trust
Firstly, choosing a law firm is, more than anything, about trust. After all, why would a client ask for advice from someone whose expertise they didn’t trust? Earning that trust is hard, but the good news is that your existing clients already trust you – that is why they appointed you in the first place. So, marketing to existing clients is more likely to yield positive results than almost any other form of promotion or advertising.
2. Your clients might not always think of you
Secondly, clients have tunnel vision. Weirdly, a client that may have used your firm for, say conveyancing, won’t necessarily think of you when they need a Will. That is annoying, but true; if your client is not thinking about making a Will when you are helping them to buy a house, they won’t necessarily associate you with drawing up a Will. And the same principle is true for every service you offer. The key, of course, is to make sure you tell them what you do and an eMail Newsletter is the perfect vehicle.
3. Timing is everything
Thirdly, client needs change over time. What was once irrelevant to them, estate planning for example, is likely to become a priority at some point. Again, if they don’t associate your firm with that service, they are likely to go looking elsewhere for help when the time comes. At some point, your eMail Newsletter will strike a chord with a client as their priorities evolve and you will be ideally positioned to help.
4. Out of sight, out of mind?
Fourthly, if your clients do start looking elsewhere for help there are plenty of other firms out there keen to pick up their business. If you don’t remind clients regularly about what you do, you are effectively hoping that your clients will a) remember your firm and b) get in touch to ask whether you offer the sort of advice they happen to need now.
5. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it
Finally, email is an incredibly powerful tool that enables you to target different clients with messages relevant to them, to analyse the results of different campaigns (and so improve their effectiveness), to create specific ‘calls to action’ and to measure exactly how many clients responded and to what. If you really want to know what effect your marketing spend is having, email will give you the answer.
So yes, spam email is dull and annoying, but the point is that it is annoying largely because it is dull. Given the importance of retaining clients and the effectiveness of email marketing, surely the answer is to create eMail Newsletters that are engaging and to use the analytical tools available to make your marketing spend as effective as possible. And that is where we come in.