A Picture Says 1,000 Words: Use Images In Social Posts

Pictures instantly connect with people much faster than the written word. So no surprise that social media posts that include a picture generate better results. According to this article from the American Bar Association, “Facebook posts containing images garner as much as 120 percent more engagement than posts of any other kind. Tweets containing photos get retweeted as much as 150 percent more than text-only tweets. The use of image-based social media sites, like Pinterest and Instagram, continue to grow exponentially.” The same can be said for video, only more so, but that is a topic for another post.

So how do you find compelling images for the posts you pull from your Let America Know newsletter? If you post to Facebook and link to another Web page with images, Facebook will automatically grab an image from that page. Sometimes this is okay, but often these images are not relevant to the post, not very good, or both. Twitter requires that you find and add your own photos. How then can you spruce these posts up with the kind of images that grab people’s attention and engagement?

Lets take a suggested post from this month’s Marketing Download on the 2015 Justice Served Awards newsletter: Former Olympian Amy Van Dyken-Rouen started “Amy’s Army” to help others with spinal cord injuries six months after she was paralyzed in an ATV accident. We found a photo gallery on Amy’s foundation website where she encourages visitors to share photos of her remarkable recovery and her work to help others. Right-click the photo you like, save to a local drive, and voila you have a great photo for your post:

Six-time Olympic gold medal winner Amy Van-Dyken with "Amy's Army."

Six-time Olympic gold medal winner Amy Van-Dyken and “Amy’s Army.”

You can also clip images from other sources on the web using several online tools and resources that are often built into the operating system of your desktop computer or available as an app for your mobile phone.

Of course you must be sure the photos you download or clip from another website are available to the public as you certainly don’t want to violate any copyright laws! However, there are thousands of sites out there that provide promotional photos for public use, especially those by advocacy organizations or government entities dedicated to public safety.

And as the ABA article referenced above states: “You can look for free imagery to illustrate your work on the Wikimedia Commons or museum websites (the Getty Museum offers the use of its images for free via its Open Content Program). Or you can get inexpensive images for online use from stock photo sites like www.istockphoto.com, www.shutterstock.com or www.fotolia.com.”

Note that the images we use in the You Should Know newsletters are often copyrighted just for use in the newsletter. So before you copy any of those images to use in a social media post, please send us a note and we will fill you in on the copyright status.

Now go be illustratively illustrious!

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Four Reasons Email is Your Most Important Asset

When it comes to building online community email remains the king in the crowd. Yes, other social platforms are important but that personal one to one outreach just can’t be matched outside of email. Email has become one of the most important forms of communication in today’s world. Whether email use is now 2 billion or 3 billion sends each day, the numbers are staggering. Think about it, how often do you use email in a day? The truth is, your email list is your #1 asset for online community building and in this day and age build it or get left behind. Here’s our take on why email remains so important.

  1. When people allow you to email them it’s a huge sign of trust. People get a lot of email and if they’ve opened the door to let you in their inbox that’s a huge gift.
  2. People are constantly checking their emails. For many it’s a constant routine. They make sure they look before discarding to make sure important items aren’t lost. The same can’t be said for social destinations like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Yes, they may look but often things fly by their news feed garnishing little to no attention.
  3. Ignoring your status update is much easier to do then ignoring your inbox.
  4. Email is more personal and allows better interaction without others watching. Someone is infinitely more likely to send a personal response to email then they are to a social media post.

Don’t get me wrong, social networking, blogging and the other online tools serve an important purpose and help build that online community, but nothing replaces the one on one interaction of email. Building and maintaining that email list could very well be one of the most important marketing assets you develop in years to come.

If you have any questions or ideas you’d like us to discuss, please send them to info@letamericaknow.com. Expect more best practices in email marketing in the weeks to come. We cherish email marketing-messaging and want everyone to understand the power of this extremely important 21st century marketing tool.

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The Crisis of Relevance in Email Marketing Answering: “What’s in it for Me?”

When it comes email marketing, always keep in mind the triumvirate of email marketing savvy: Anticipated, Personal and Relevant. Email campaigns should always try to be all three to recipients. While the first two are clearly important, it is the third, Relevance, that is the most difficult to deliver in a sustained campaign.

The Answer to the Big Question

Much of the email we receive from companies today fails to be relevant to recipients. The reason for this is because many marketers are stuck providing copy that encourages sales rather than providing valuable content that recipients might read. It doesn’t matter how great a product or offer is, if it shows up in an inbox and it isn’t relevant, it goes straight to the trash. Readers sit down and read content that is important and valuable to them. When putting a marketing campaign together you must get in your customers’ shoes and ask yourself: “What’s in it for me?”

Every campaign must offer immediate and obvious value to the reader. If you can provide an answer to the reader’s “what’s in it for me?” question in the first couple of seconds they see your email, there’s a chance they’ll give you a few more seconds of their attention.

Attention is gold in email marketing. Your potential clients have it. You want it. And you’re going to have to do some work to get it. But, if you do, you are rewarded with your clients’ trust and loyalty. If you fail, your subscriber base will start to shrink – the kiss of death in email marketing.

So how do you offer immediate and obvious value?

First, you need to know that people are interested in their safety, well being and other key needs. At Let America Know, we produce an editorial calendar centered around these concerns. Think, tips for shopping for safe toys, summertime child safety and distracted driving. Each month our writers focus on one issue and dig deep into the concept. The articles vary from month to month and address issues of civil justice, safety and consumer advisories.

If you can catch a reader’s attention, they may want to dive deeper into the topic. Accordingly our writers provide links to outside sources that give even more information on the month’s topic, and occasionally our very own You Should Know podcast. Additionally the newsletters always have a quick read “By the Numbers” section that provides immediate, eye catching and valuable content. At Let America Know, each issue is personalized for the participating member attorney, providing links to their web presence and any personal message they would like their readers to hear.

If you have any questions or ideas you’d like us to share we look forward to hearing from you. You can reach us at: info@letamericaknow.com.

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Generating Higher Open Rates Over Time

Welcome back to the second and final part of our blog series focusing on getting the most out of your email marketing. In this segment we will be focusing primarily on open rates.

Many LAK open rates fluctuate depending on the topic, and the law firm. We see some attorneys getting open rates upwards of 20 percent, while some top out at eight or nine percent. However if we look at and calculate cumulative open rates (unique opens over the entire year, since readership varies greatly on a month to month basis) the number of views is much higher, and your message gets in front of far more people than a low monthly open rate may suggest. Many times we have found that simply having your name appear in a person’s inbox helps build top of mind recognition. One member says he receives positive feedback and direct referrals from some of his clients who do not open and read his newsletter, but simply because the attorney’s name appears in the contact’s email inbox.

We could do a seminar on generating higher open rates, but here are some of the basics our research has shown to be successful.

  • Be realistic: A 15-20% open rate is a great benchmark for You Should Know. A consistent send pattern helps so readers don’t forget who you are between sends, you may find that some readers anticipate their newsletter each month. Good content that engages the reader’s interest and not yours is imperative. That’s why Let America Know currently works with AAJ and seven other state trial lawyer associations to develop a solid content strategy. At Let America Know, we know that our best content focuses on one or more of the following: safety, health and legal rights of the public.
  • Cumulative Open Rates: Remember you won’t always have the exact same readers every month, and that is a really good thing! The more diverse your readership is, the farther your name and message travels. Readership depends greatly on your contact’s schedules, the topic of the email, and many other factors that keep us from our inboxes each month. Accordingly, cumulative open rates for the year are actually much higher than what you experience on a monthly basis in the metrics we provide to our subscribers.
  • Content for Social Media: Don’t forget you use the content we provide all of our members each month via the marketing download. It’s a great way to expand your reach in a way that is consistent with your monthly topic. You already have the newsletter content so why not repurpose it.

Keep in mind that email marketing is just one piece of an overall marketing and public relations strategy. Relationship marketing is not an exact science but it does work and when done correctly helps build the image of who trial lawyers are.

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Email as a Core to a Multi-Channel Marketing Strategy

There are many channels in which attorneys market themselves today: online advertising, print advertising, web sites, seminars, print mailings, TV, social media and email.

We all know that marketing is a game of leading people to what you have to offer. Each marketing strategy gives you a different entry point into your target market. The savvy marketer quickly learns to develop a multi-channel approach to generate the greatest return on investment. Let’s face it, there is no magic bullet. There is no one right answer. The miracle of effective marketing comes from those who learn the value of blending all their efforts toward one strategic goal: Top of Mind Awareness.

If you have not been thinking about how to stay top of mind in your marketing efforts, there’s no better time than right now. You want your market to think of you the minute someone mentions the word attorney. To do this you need to get out there and make your presence known. And that presence should feel consistent across the board. In this industry, you are your own brand.

The Upshot

So remember, don’t judge the effectiveness of an email campaign solely on clicks, opens and conversions. If you do, you may be underestimating the true impact that your email campaign is having on driving productivity. By keeping people connected to your brand identity, it is likely that your email program is influencing behavior that may sometimes be attributed to other marketing channels. They all work together to win the game.

‘Til Next Time

Our mission is to change the way the world sees trial lawyers, and you’re helping us accomplish our goal. The more attorneys participating in the Let America Know campaign, the stronger we become. Take a moment and tell your friends about what they’re missing. It helps all of us. Thanks! We really appreciate it.

If you have any questions or ideas you’d like us to discuss, please send them to info@letamericaknow.com. Expect more best practices in email marketing in the weeks to come. We cherish email marketing-messaging and want everyone to understand the power of this extremely important 21st century marketing tool.

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