Get Better Email Open Rates and Conversions for Your Law Firm With These 3 Tips From an 11-Year DSS Veteran

Illustration in blue and gold of contact files and letters representing email lists and tagging

One of the most powerful tools you have in your marketing toolkit is your contact list. These are all the website visitors stored in your customer relationship management (CRM) software that raised their hands and asked you to contact them. Nurturing and converting these leads—and keeping your firm top of mind with them—can be the difference between success and failure in growing your law practice.

One of the main ways you nurture your list is through email drip campaigns that provide your leads and potential clients with useful information and a reason to hire you. But the emails you send need to be crafted to speak directly to the lead’s legal problem and demonstrate how you can solve it. 

Your emails need to resonate! 

If you send a series of emails to a lead that speak generically about your firm and its services, and not the specific pain points of your lead, they not only won’t convert, they won’t open your emails. Or, even worse, they’ll unsubscribe.

But how do you make your emails more targeted? I’ve been using DSS for over 11 years to improve my open rates and conversions, and I’ll share my three best tips with you below. 

1. Segment Your Law Firm’s Contact List with Tags

Segmenting your list is the best way to ensure that your leads receive highly targeted emails that will convert. This is done by adding tags to the entry for that lead in your CRM. This can be done in two ways, and I use both.

Option 1: Automated Tagging. 

As a Foster Web Marketing client, I use DSS for customer relationship management, which affords me an extensive array of automation tools for segmenting my list, including a robust tagging feature. Every contact form on my site requires the visitor to specify the relevant area of my practice for which they are contacting me. This then allows DSS to apply the appropriate tag.

So, for example, if someone fills out a contact form because they are interested in filing bankruptcy and wish to speak with me, their entry in DSS will be tagged “Bankruptcy.” If they are filling out a form to download one of my offers, they are automatically tagged with the practice area that relates to the offer. This allows me to drop them into campaigns that are specific to the practice area that is of interest to them.

My virtual receptionist service, Call Ruby (another FWM Strategic Partner), uses a separate contact form (one not indexed on my site) to get intake information from callers. They get a name, telephone number, email address, zip code, and relevant area of practice. Once this is saved to DSS, the system automatically sends an email to the lead with useful information specific to their legal problem and the promise to get back to them within 24 hours or the next business day. They get an immediate response to their call and are primed to expect my call back.

Option 2: Manual Tagging. 

One of the tasks in my regular morning routine is to go over the leads that have come into my system in the previous 24 hours and apply the appropriate tags. This helps me to segment my list into appropriate subsections and allows me to place them into highly targeted campaigns to convert them to clients.

All of my contact forms require the visitor to disclose their zip code. This is a very small “ask” (compared to requiring a full street address) that allows me to determine if the lead is in my geographic area for the particular services they are inquiring about. I then apply a geographic tag to the lead of either Hot Lead (nearby), Warm Lead (within reasonable driving distance), or Non-Lead (completely outside my service area). 

If they are Non-Leads and specifically asked to talk to me (as opposed to downloading one of my lead magnets), I tag them as Out of Service Area, and a declination email customized to the particular practice area is then sent to the lead. If they are Hot or Warm, then they are placed into a 6-month campaign that sends them an interesting email every 10 days.

2. Weed Your Garden to Make It Grow

As your website becomes more and more successful at attracting and converting visitors, your list will quickly grow. But should you keep everyone that comes in, or should you do some periodic pruning?

Having a large list can give a nice boost to your ego, but if a good portion of it is composed of poor-quality leads, it can give you a false sense of confidence and have you marketing to people who will never hire you. The question you must answer in making this decision is, after a certain period of time, is that lead still in need of your services?

For example, if someone contacts me about bankruptcy, debt negotiation, expungement, or student loans, I will keep them on the list, as they have an ongoing problem. In fact, I have often been hired by people who got onto my list years before they ever called me. 

However, if they contact me about a traffic ticket or DUI charge, and I have not engaged and converted them within a week or two, I will remove them from the list. They have obviously already made a decision about hiring a lawyer or missed their chance to make the decision for themselves. I review my list monthly to determine if there are any leads that need to be removed.

Weeding and cultivating the garden that is your list can keep it full of good leads and empty of bad ones. It gives you a good sense of where you are and allows you to focus your marketing efforts on the leads most likely to turn into clients.

3.  Use Your Law Firm’s Emails as “Surgical Strikes”

Hopefully, you already have an e-newsletter that you send out regularly. And, ideally, you’re also sending out email campaigns that are designed to work with particular funnels, whether they be for lead magnets or contact forms. However, another way to keep your list members engaged is by regularly sending targeted emails that are specifically designed to speak to that list segment. 

If you’ve tagged and segmented your list effectively, your message will resonate with the lead, and you will have dramatically magnified your conversion rate.

For example, I do student loan law. With all that is going on in that area on the national level, there is often lots to talk about with people that have reached out to me about their student loan problems. Since I have tagged and segmented my list to identify those with federal loans, New Jersey State CLASS loans, or private loans, I can talk very specifically to each one of them about information they need and engage them more directly.

Something similar can be done with a personal injury practice. Was the lead hit by someone who was talking on their cell phone? Was this person a pedestrian hit by a car? Was he a passenger? 

The more you know about the lead, the more effectively you can target your message.

A Track Record of Success

Photo of Steve Richardson, accomplished lawyer, author and presenterIn the 11+ years I have been a Foster Web Marketing client and used DSS to market my practice, I have developed systems and procedures to leverage my list and maximize the effectiveness of my email campaigns. If you would like more actionable tips on how to market your law firm and use a CRM, then subscribe to my weekly newsletter, which will provide you with a great tip in your inbox every Friday. You can also find helpful articles on my website at www.stevenjrichardson.com

Want even more information? Then read my book, Getting Off the Hamster Wheel: Transforming Your Law Practice to Make More Money in Less Time Through Effective Systems and Marketing. You can secure an electronic copy here, or order a physical copy on Amazon.com.

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