Email marketing continues to grow, both in importance and frustration. In a recent report, "US Email Marketing Forecast, 2009- 2014," released by Forrester Research this month, strong growth in email marketing is expected to continue through 2014, spurred primarily by the decline in use of US Postal services. Advertising Age this week predicted that digital marketing will grow from about 12% of overall advertising spending to about 21% in the next five years.
Professional marketers now know that digital marketing -- both online and email -- is no longer experimental. It is proven effective, especially in terms of ROI. In fact, even the Direct Marketing Association (primarily direct-mail) credits email marketing with an ROI of $43.52 (per $1 invested). Other researchers, however, place it even higher at approximately $130 (per $1 invested).
At the same time, though, spam is a constant frustation for professional marketers. A recent study revealed that spam accounted for 90.4% of all email traffic scanned in June of this year. Everybody hates spam and no one wants their email to be considered "spam" by their recipients.
How can you implement an effective email marketing campaign for your law practice? One that does not get your firm "black-listed" as a spammer, one that does not annoy your clients, but rather is seen as a valuable resource? One that drives new business and generates a decent ROI?
Here are some tips:
Make sure you know your cilents well, and create highly relevant emails
Practice good list hygiene and make sure your email marketing system is CAN-SPAM compliant
Email with enough frequency to maintain client awareness, but do not bombard your clients either.
Utilize the "from" line to identify yourself, emails from known senders are more likely to get opened, and even if they aren't opened, you have made another impression for your brand.
Always maintain a professional appearance in design, delivery and message. Remember, your message leaves a lasting impression on everyone who sees it, even those who do not respond. Make sure that impression is a good one!
Be honest and compelling in your subject line. Never use "trickery" to fool people into opening your email. Make sure your email delivers on the subject line promise. Also, avoid puffery and other "spammy" tactics ... including FREE! DISCOUNT! LAST CHANCE and ALL CAPS w/ EXCLAMATION POINTS!
One effort we have made to boost the ROI for our clients' email marketing is to host a unique, animated e-newsletter on their website. Whether recipients click-through on their email or not, the online newsletter adds keyword-rich content to their website. The animated presentation is interactive, easily forwarded to a friend, printable and best-of-all -- searchable. Not only by the user, but also automatically indexed by search engines. This way, we provide a WOW! factor to the site, an interactive experience for their readers, and boost their search engine rankings with new, keyword-rich content every month.
As professional marketers, we have to keep looking for every penny we can help our clients squeeze out of their marketing investment.