Legal Marketing 101

What should I look for in my email marketing software?

March 18, 2024 Rosen Advertising Season 3 Episode 9
Legal Marketing 101
What should I look for in my email marketing software?
Show Notes Transcript

What should I look for in my email marketing software?

Join our host, Toby Rosen, as we dissect the must-haves and nice-to-haves of tools like Active Campaign, Mailchimp, and GetResponse, and navigate through the critical components of a comprehensive marketing stack.

We zero in on three crucial considerations, from integrations to automation, that will make or break your email marketing efforts. Could your legal firm's marketing strategy use a secret weapon? Let's unlock the potential of email marketing software together.

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Speaker 1:

This episode of Legal Marketing 101 is brought to you by Thumbs Up Survey. Build better online surveys faster with Thumbs Up Survey. Mention Legal Marketing 101 when you request access to the beta at thumbsupsurveycom to get access to features and discounts first. Thank you to our partners at thumbsupsurveycom. What should I look for in my email marketing software? Welcome to Legal Marketing 101. I'm Toby Rosen.

Speaker 1:

Email is definitely not the hottest tech tool on the block today, but it does seem like it is very much here to stay. We talk a lot about different places to put your content on Legal Marketing 101, and, despite some not-so-unexpected up and downs with certain social media apps recently, I expect the landscape is actually going to continue to look pretty much the same. The good traffic will come from Google's properties, the on-platform content will continue to be best on Facebook's properties, and everyone else is going to play third or fourth fiddle in our orchestra, because, after Google, youtube, facebook and Instagram, the majority of the people in the world still usually go ahead and open up Netflix. So, my editorializing aside, let's talk about email. It's something we all spend too much time on, but it's unavoidable because of its value. It's direct, it's flexible, it allows a fairly uncreepy level of tracking and it works incredibly well as a conduit for a huge number of different types of content. So today we're talking about email marketing software and what you should be looking for in your system, and when we talk about email marketing software, we're talking about things like active campaign, mail, chimp, get-response and even things like Lomatics.

Speaker 1:

But I do want to stress that there is a difference between these products and something like Clio Grow. They are independent elements of a complete marketing stack and, yes, there is a huge amount of overlap in features between Clio Grow and something like active campaign, but there are features that each have that are critical parts of the sales funnel that the other does not have. For Clio, this could be generating documents, because while active campaign technically can do this, the implementation isn't particularly smooth and the result is fairly clunky to use. That's just an example. So I want to move beyond all of that when you're thinking about systems, because what we are really looking to do here is to find something that fits well within your marketing stack. Every firm is going to have different requirements for different reasons, and that's okay. The key is to find something that fits within the constraints you're faced with but that will still enable scale and then figure out how to make that work with the least amount of interaction possible.

Speaker 1:

Now I could spend all day here pontificating about the different elements of email systems and the virtues thereof, but I still haven't found an AI that can mimic my voice well, so I do actually have to record and edit these, and neither of us have the kind of time it would take for me to explain every part of my manifest. Let's just, let's move on. So today we are going to focus on three key areas that are critical, at least in my opinion, for an email marketing system. We're going to skip price and some other bits and pieces that I would consider to be generally more of a your problem kind of thing. As much as I might like to, I do not technically control your firm's budget, even if you do actually work with me. So when a lawyer sends me a system to vet for a potential purchase or asks me to create a proposal for work on a system I'm not directly familiar with, these three things are the first things I'm looking for that will tell me the software is something I'm interested in spending time on or not, or basically if it's a good idea or not.

Speaker 1:

And number one is integrations. This is major and in the integrations category, I'm really looking for three things here as well. First, do they have an integration with Zapier? Zapier is the portal to the rest of the app world, so if they have an integration with Zapier, I know I can get a lot of stuff done. Second, does the system have an integration or integrations with the other software in my marketing and sales stack? This could be things like Clio or my Case Practice, panther, lexus or whatever their new cloud-based product is. If you're using a practice management system or a scheduling system like Calendly or Calendur or any other piece of software that you use in any way related to clients, I'd be looking for an integration for that. If the system doesn't have a specific integration but does have a Zapier integration, you're not shit out of luck, but it does mean your life may be a little bit more complicated when it comes to plugging the two pieces of software into one another.

Speaker 1:

Okay, and the third in the integrations category, I'm looking at how many integrations this piece of software has overall. If they only have a few, is it because the company is just new? If they have tons, are they still adding integrations. This is certainly a speculative play here, but when I'm looking at email software, and particularly marketing email software, I usually want to see what the growth of the integrations catalog is going to look like. If they don't have a specific integration I want, is there a chance they're going to add it soon? Maybe Could I bother them to integrate it at some point soon? Or is there no chance at all and the company is content to kick back and collect subscription payments for what you see is what you get product. If you go 10 or 15 products deep on G2 or TrustPilot or whatever review platform you choose, you're going to run into one of these situations with a product, and I like to find out if the company is checked out early, because that usually tells me that they're going to be phoning it in when it comes to other areas of the product. You'll see how that works later.

Speaker 1:

Now the number two thing I am looking for is how the contact management system works and whether or not a deals or sales system is included. Sometimes those systems are only included at a higher pricing level and it can make sense to start small and expand, but in general I do like to see some sort of projects or deals or sales being tracked somewhat independently of the contact records I'm planning to create. So when I'm looking at the contact management system and how it works, really, I'm just looking for a common sense approach to contact records, and that can mean something slightly different for each firm. For a family lawyer, we might need a contact record with multiple deals attached to it for multiple different cases that one person has, or we might only need the contact and deal record for a client who engages in mediation. In the latter scenario, we might even be able to squeeze by with just a contact record and then some well-planned custom fields for notes, but for a criminal lawyer or maybe a lawyer, let's say, a lawyer who defends corporations from employee lawsuits or from personal injury suits, or something like that, we're going to need contact records with lots of deal records attached to them to keep track of all the matters for that client. In almost every case, though, we are going to need custom fields, and we are going to need a lot of flexibility in organizing the contact record itself, and we are going to want to be able to customize those built-in fields things like names and stuff like that so we can coordinate our data between different pieces of software and all of this. This all starts with how the contact management system actually works, and sometimes you'll be able to create a free account and play around with the system or even just see how most of it works from the website. But sometimes you are going to have to schedule a demo or eat the $49 or whatever it is to create an account and try things out for a month. Yeah, it's always annoying to jump through those kinds of hoops, but in the long run we're going to save money here by knowing what we're buying before we commit.

Speaker 1:

If you still don't know which email platform you should be using and you've already listened to all of our email marketing episodes then you need to know about Email Tool Tester. Email Tool Tester is the place to start building your email list, with its reviews and tutorials of email marketing services like Active Campaign, mailerlite, getresponse and many, many more. So you can take the ideas we talk about here on Legal Marketing 101, and Email Tool Tester will give you the guidance you need to implement those strategies for your firm. Email Tool Tester even offers a newsletter service, smart finder to save you time in the requisition process and help you make the right decision for your firm. Check out the link in the show notes to get access to the smart quiz.

Speaker 1:

Now, before we jump into the third thing I'm looking for in an email system, I do just want to say this yes, I am looking for these three things in order when I look at a new system. But if the system fails in one category or another, it doesn't necessarily mean it's getting crossed off the list. It also doesn't mean I'm not considering all the other features and the specific use case of the firm for which we're installing this system. Those things can, and often do, override this list, even though this is still where I'm going to look first. Okay, number three on the list is automation, and yes, it is getting slightly harder to vet software using this criteria because of the flood of quote unquote AI products that have entered the market and the absolute collapse of any real definition of the words artificial intelligence, automation and machine learning. But as someone who spends a huge amount of time creating and often fixing automation in email marketing systems this part of the software it's a major deal breaker for me.

Speaker 1:

There are scenarios where we don't need amazing automation or you really just need two or three basic things, but for the vast majority of firms who are consumer facing, we really do want to have more. There's nothing stopping law firms from building incredible relational email campaigns using the exact data points that e-commerce businesses use to create and trigger their campaigns. There are plenty of firms hitting on this level right now and there is really no reason to continue subscribing to the idea that Clio grow is the best that it gets when it comes to marketing for lawyers. I like Clio and I'm sorry, but it's just so basic. So, when it comes to automation, again there isn't one specific thing I'm looking for. I'm looking for an overall level of capability in the product that's going to enable me to deliver the features the firm is looking for, from time based triggers on emails for an e-course to lead score based content changes and emails to clients during the pre-intake phase everything including completing intake document delivery automatically. These are all things that I might want to do for a firm and really we are just scratching the surface there. And yes, of course, you don't have to create any of the automations I just mentioned to run a successful law firm and to get clients through the door.

Speaker 1:

If, in this scenario, the icing on the cake is increasing revenue, then this is how the icing gets on the cake in the first place. We can be the local bakery that ices their cakes by hand and produces a unique creation every time, or we can start to be general mills and make Betty Crocker. If you want to go big, there are some things you'll have to get your hands off of, even if that means spending less time licking icing off the spatula in the kitchen, which you shouldn't be doing anyways if you're a baker, because it's really unsanitary. But before we go, I do want to give one bonus thing to look for when you're looking at email software, and that is customer support.

Speaker 1:

I mentioned at the beginning there was a reason why having a team of slackers is not great. Customer support is really important. It can be a little tricky to get a good read on how a particular company's support actually does in terms of solving problems, but reading reviews and asking around it's a good way to start. Customer support at some point is either going to be your best friend or your worst enemy, and if we can start with a company that has great customer support, then getting them to be your friends is just going to be that much easier. That's it for Legal Marketing 101. Check out rosanadvertisingcom for more Thanks.