By Art Kosieradzki, Co-Founder, Trial Attorney
Many attorneys practice some degree of offline marketing. Often this consists of postcard campaigns, print newsletters, flyers, etc. In this post we’ll look at online and offline marketing campaigns. We’ll look at some of the similarities, some differences, and some common pitfalls that are worth avoiding.
What’s In Common – Online & Offline
1. Both strategies are about relationship building. For the large majority of your intended recipients, you won’t know whether they’re in need of legal services or not. And on any given day, it’s a good bet that only a small percentage of them will. Therefore, use your marketing efforts to provide some substance to both of these groups.
Granted, if someone is in immediate need of legal services, you want to be front and center, ready to serve. But if your reader is not in need (again, the overwhelming majority of your recipients at any given time) would you rather they keep and retain your marketing message, or would you rather they throw them away?
2. Each strategy is an opportunity to grow your brand. Regardless of what firm you work for, every time you send out a message you’re not just representing yourself, but the whole industry of trial attorneys. Take a good look at each piece you send out and ask yourself: “How does this make me feel about my firm?”
3. Finally, frequency is an issue to be considered. We once heard about an attorney who started sending out one mailing a month. He was pleased with the positive response from his contact list. He then reasoned that if he was getting a good response from one a month, imagine how much better three a month would perform. That was a mistake. As soon as he started sending three per month, he started to receive complaints that he was sending too much stuff. The information he discovered here is valuable to all of us.
Likewise with your online email campaign, frequency is important. In fact, it’s even more critical online. The reason it’s more critical is because as soon as one of your recipients unsubscribes, you have to honor that request. End of campaign. Therefore, do NOT send too many emails in your email marketing campaign. Once per month is plenty. If you send more than that (unless there are special circumstances), you’re likely to see your unsubscribe rate climb.
Major Differences: Online vs. Offline
1. Tracking. With an online email campaign, you’re able to determine whether your recipients are receiving, opening and responding in some way to your campaign. The information is direct and immediate. With offline campaigns there is usually no appreciable way to determine the success or failure of the campaign.
2. Price. Stamps are free online. With an email campaign, your costs per piece drop through the floor. While this may tempt you to start sending more frequent emails, resist that temptation ( See item #3 above). So while the costs can be far less, look at your online campaign investment in terms of savings – you’ve boosted your top-of-mind awareness for a lot less.
3. Opt-outs. When somebody unsubscribes from your online campaign, that’s it. You can’t send them your email campaign anymore, according to the Federal CAN-SPAM Act. But really, the feds have done you a favor. Why would we WANT to be wasting money sending stuff to people who get angry at us when they receive it?And the benefit of doing this via email is that it’s easy for someone to opt-out. How often do people opt-out of your offline mailing campaign? Almost never! So again, your online campaign gives you an opportunity to spend your marketing budget wisely.
‘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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Return here for 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.