Email is Dead? Long Live Email Marketing with Jim Hacking


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Are you thinking about focusing on email marketing for your firm? In this episode of the Maximum Lawyer Podcast, Jim provides practical tips for effective email marketing within a law firm. 

In order to do email marketing, you need to be dedicated and committed. This is because email marketing usually entails sending planned mass emails to people depending on what is in your marketing plan. Sending sporadic, random emails to people will not be as effective, so it is important to sit down and plan how email marketing is going to look for your firm. Another aspect of email marketing is building a dedicated email list of people who are already subscribed or have connected with your firm.

Jim outlines the difference between leading and lagging indicators. Leading indicators are what you can control and what you can do to get more subscribers or clients. For example, if you are wanting to dedicate your time to email marketing, focus on sending out dedicated content. Make a plan to send out 3 emails to your email list each week for a year. Lagging indicators are things that you can’t control. This can be losing subscribers or clients as you are dedicating yourself to sending out 3 emails a week.

Planning content ahead is crucial to ensure you do not fall behind. It is important to plan for email launches weeks in advance to ensure everything in your email is covered. Writing an email the day it is to be launched is one of the worst things you can do when email marketing. Make a plan ahead of time!

Jim also talks about the importance of having a call to action for those who are reading your emails. This provides people with things to do. An example can be inviting people to join a Facebook group or to sign up for an upcoming webinar. This connects those on your email list with other platforms and brings more subscribers or watchers to those platforms.

Another important aspect of email marketing is using branded and unbranded emails. Branded emails will have your logo and name of your firm, while unbranded will not. There are reasons to use both which can make email marketing effective. It is good to use branded emails for the sporadic, blow horn emails. Unbranded emails are more effective as they are short, personal and usually ask for a reply. You can even respond to these replies using a template, especially if you are getting the same response from different people.

List segmentation is another great aspect of email marketing. Using email providers like Mailchimp allow you to segment your emails based on a topic. For example, if you get a bunch of people asking about citizenship or the process of getting citizenship, you can segment your list to where you can send these people all types of information only on citizenship. As a lawyer, this will allow you to help solve a specific problem.

Listen in to learn more on how to do effective email marketing.

Episode Highlights:

  • 1:10 The importance of making a decision to do email marketing
  • 10:41 The significance of including a call to action at the bottom of an email
  • 11:37 The effectiveness of unbranded emails that are short and personal

🎥 Watch the full video on YouTube here.


Transcripts: Email is Dead? Long Live Email Marketing with Jim Hacking

Speaker 1 (00:00:01) - Run your law firm the right way. The right way. This is the Maximum Lawyer podcast. Podcast. Your hosts, Jim Hacking and Tyson metrics. Let's partner up and maximize your firm. Welcome to the show.

Speaker 2 (00:00:24) - Hello, everybody. We're going to talk a much more practical than my talk this morning. I have been doing email marketing for, well, since I started. The firm started with a really little list. The list is up to like 26,000 people. And we we cut people who don't review our emails regularly. And that's important and something that we'll talk about. We have gotten to a point where our emails, we're at like a 45 to 55% open rate, which is really sort of crazy. So we spent a lot of time on email marketing. We get a lot of good cases, and I'm going to talk. I'm trying to be as practical as possible. So the first thing, even going along with the lines of what I talked about this morning, is that you have to make a decision, you have to make a decision that you're going to do email marketing.

Speaker 2 (00:01:10) - If you're going to half ass it, don't do it. And that's true of any marketing channel, but it's especially true with email because if you send sporadic emails, it's not going to be nearly as effective as when people start to get used to receiving content from you. So you've got to make that decision. You have to decide to build an email list, all right? And you have to begin with the end in mind. So what do we want? We want to sign up 12 new cases. And we want to do that by staying top of mind. So our email list is our greatest competitive advantage because they know us already. We've already spent all this money to get them to give us their email address. And we while we have them in our email world, while they're still subscribing to our emails and hopefully opening our emails, we're the only voice they're hearing from hopefully. Right. And so we want to sign up 12 new cases a year. So one a month out of email. How how would one extra case a month just by sending email and probably 45 minutes a week.

Speaker 2 (00:02:15) - How would that sound? Good. All right. And but of course, 12 new cases is a lagging indicator. That's something that's sort of out of your control. Does everybody know the difference between lagging indicators and leading indicators. Right. So the leading indicator would be what you can control what you're going to do. So if you're going to make this decision with me I want you to promise to yourself that you're going to send three emails a week, every week for the next 52 weeks. All right. And that'll be a leading indicator. And I would suggest you have a little chart, a little piece of paper. Jerry Seinfeld was asked, Jerry, how do you write so many jokes? And he said, I have a big desk calendar, and I write one joke every day, and my job is just to not break the the X's. So he puts an X on each day when he makes the joke. And you can do that with three emails a week. Are you going to do it or not? And again, don't half.

Speaker 2 (00:03:11) - Asit, if you agree to do this, I'm prohibiting you from stopping for 12 months. You can't look at the data, you can't get down on it. And again, this is true of any marketing. If you're going to start a YouTube channel, I think you've got to put your head down and do it and wait to judge the results. So like I said, you have to have the tracking sheet you're going to commit and then you've got to build your list. All right. So we're going to go over all these things. You need to open a MailChimp account. MailChimp is super easy to use. It's $17 a month. So and it MailChimp has come so far from when I first started doing email marketing. It's really all that you need. So cost is not a factor here, right? And 17 per month is is definitely if you're starting with a small list, $17 a month is definitely enough. And even if you start growing your email list, it's still a really, really cheap form of marketing.

Speaker 2 (00:04:02) - So we're going to build that list. We want to export our contacts out of Gmail or Outlook, and we're going to clean up the list in the Google Sheet. We just need first name, last name, email. And so you might have stuff on all different platforms. You might have stuff scribbled on a piece of paper. Just start adding this to your list and then you're going to upload. Once you have the list clean you're going to upload, you're going to upload that list, import it into MailChimp, and that's going to be your first set of contacts. And then part of your job is to keep adding new contacts. When anyone calls our office, if they want to ask a question, they have to give us their phone number and their email address. And we just say, you know, we might lose the connection. Before we get started, can you tell me your phone number, your name and your email address, and you just add them to the list? That's the cost of getting to talk to anyone at your law firm, so it doesn't even have to be you who's ever answering the phone.

Speaker 2 (00:04:52) - You make sure that happens. And like I said, they don't have a choice if they want. Otherwise hang up. Goodbye.

Speaker 3 (00:04:59) - All right.

Speaker 2 (00:05:00) - So now that you've created your initial list, we're going to talk about the weekly schedule. It's really important that you plan out the content. You don't want to be having to write an email on the morning that the email is supposed to go out, right. That's the last thing you want to do. In fact, you want to get maybe 4 or 5 ahead of time, right? So we do them. We do them in two week batches and we try to stay two weeks ahead. So because the greatest way to get writer's block is to have to do it under a deadline. Now when it comes to content, the most important thing don't be boring. Don't be boring. That's like the cardinal sin of marketing is being boring, right? And so don't make that mistake. Also, don't be afraid to take a stand and to be willing to let some people hate you.

Speaker 2 (00:05:49) - So I have sort of a easy practice area when it comes to marketing to let people hate you. Right. So I'm an immigration lawyer, so I decided long ago that there are 30 or 40% of the people who hate what I do would never refer me a case and would hope that my practice is put out of business, and to them I want to stick it right in their eye. Right? So I want to market against that. I want to I want to get them ginned up. I mean, not in my email marketing, but just generally you have to be willing to take a stand because if you're milquetoast, if you're boring, if you're vanilla, then no one's going to. It's just going to be boring, run of the mill crap. And this goes for any service that will write emails for you is by definition, crap. So I'm sorry if there's anybody here selling that as a service. But in my opinion, the only way that works is that they can capture your voice.

Speaker 2 (00:06:46) - But if they're selling your content to other people that do what you do, then that's by definition you're not standing out. Another great thing when it comes to all forms of marketing, but especially email, a good email that you send is better than a perfect one that you never send, so you have to be willing to ship. You have to be willing to hit send, right? It doesn't have to be perfect. And yet you might come across a typo. I sent out an email the other day about The Karate Kid and I spelled dojo dojo instead of dojo. Nobody cares. All right, so we should send out. We're going to send out our emails Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, and we're going to send it at 8 a.m.. All right. We're just that's when we send our emails and you can schedule it ahead of time. You can schedule it months in advance. Right. So we're going to send Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. On Tuesdays we're going to teach the reader something about our practice area, some news, something that we do in our field on Thursday.

Speaker 2 (00:07:45) - You don't have to write jack squat. You just have to summarize a recent video that you did. Because, of course, email marketing is not your only form of marketing, but you're going to summarize in a couple paragraphs of video that you released last week. I got an email back from somebody the other day. Mr.. Jim, I already saw this in last week's YouTube video. I was like, okay, thanks, but that's generally not true, right? So people think and people get worried. Oh three emails Jim. Man, that's a lot. That's a lot. I don't know if I don't know if I want to be bugging people that much. Well, always make it easy to unsubscribe and don't be boring. And they're not they're not going to want to unsubscribe and they're not going to see half the emails anyway. On Sunday, my favorite emails, those are the ones that I still write myself. You want to inspire your clients with success stories or mindset shifts or life advice. These are where I'll write about my son's going away to college, my daughter Noor playing softball, about a client that we fought for, and we won their case.

Speaker 2 (00:08:48) - That's where people want to say, oh, that could be me. I want to be like that. And so people really like those Sunday emails, and I get more feedback, more email replies on Sunday than any other day. And I've tried every all seven days. All right. Now let's talk about the format, the format of your email subject line. The whole purpose of the subject line is to get them to open the email. That's it. Again. Don't be boring. Make it interesting. You don't want to make it clickbaity. I'm not advocating for that. I'm not advocating for clickbait. But you want to give them some reason to say, ooh. What's in there? I think I'd like to read that. One thing that's great with MailChimp and all other email service providers is that you can use merge fields to make it seem as if you are writing directly to that person, so you can put in their first name, you can put in their last name, you can put in all kinds of stuff in their merge fields.

Speaker 2 (00:09:41) - And one of the things with immigrants receiving emails is sometimes they think that I'm really writing just to them. And I had one guy come to me and said, Jim, my mother thinks she has to reply to every email you send her. So you got to be a little careful with the personalization. Now let's talk about tone. Think about Starbucks and think about email as a conversation starter and a conversation method. Right. So there's a big difference. If Alice and I are sitting across from each other having a nice conversation at Starbucks versus me standing up on the table and saying, hey everybody, I'm going to have a webinar next week, right? So there are times where you want to have that webinar kind of a blow horn announcement, but those should be rare. Those should be infrequent. Typically what you're hoping is to start a new conversation. So as an immigration lawyer, again I want to have my sentences easy to read, short easy sentences, plain language. Don't use a bunch of legalese.

Speaker 2 (00:10:41) - And I very rarely have any paragraph that's more than two sentences. It's sentence white space, sentence white space because people can read it much faster. Nobody wants to read your your Emancipation Proclamation. All right. At the bottom of the email, you to have a call to action. You want them to do something. Hey, we've got this Facebook group for immigrants. It's called Immigrant Home. You should join us there. Hey, we're doing a live show on our YouTube channel next Tuesday. Here's the link. You want to give them something to do? A couple reasons for that. One is you can measure how many things people are actually clicking, and you can and you giving them something to do. Another way to to make that sticky connection. And the most important part of the email. Anybody know the PS? The PS watch yourself when you get emails, you will scroll to the PS and you will always read the PS. You may have the peas. That might be your call to action.

Speaker 2 (00:11:37) - I usually have a call to action somewhere in the middle and then repeat it in the peas. Really good. All right. Now. Branded versus unbranded emails. You want to have both. So you want to have some with your name of your firm, your logo, all that stuff on there. Those are good for the more blow horny emails, which again, should be sporadic. The unbranded emails are much more effective. They're short, they're personal, and they're expecting a reply. I'll talk about that in a minute. Now, sometimes the lead will respond. That's a great thing. That's better than your open rate. That's better than click through. They'll actually send you a response. And I would say that we get probably we send out 18,000 emails three times a week each time we send out an email. We get probably 40 or 50 replies. Oh, Mr. Jim, I've been meaning to tell you something. Oh, Mr. Jim, do you think you can do what you did for these people, for me? And so you've got to be ready for that, right? Because, again, we're law firm owners.

Speaker 2 (00:12:44) - We don't want to get all caught up in the machinations of responding to each and every email. So you've got to have templates. Now Google makes it really easy. You can save templates inside your Gmail, or you can have an assistant do this and just have a built in response that's templated right now. The best kind of email response that you get from a client or a potential client is the love letter. The love letter is. And this I got from Dean Jackson. The love letter is when they tell you their whole life story. They send you a long ass email and it's not one sentence white space, one sentence white space. It's big old paragraphs. That's an opportunity to sift through. Hey, is there something we can work with here? Is that could be the start of the conversation. But that's when you know that they know, like and trust you because they're telling you their story and they're looking for help. Right. So when you when you start getting those love letter emails, you should do your happy dance because that means you're doing something right.

Speaker 2 (00:13:46) - Spear emails short, personal, expect and reply. I have many times sent email to people. An automated email to everyone on my list. Elise, how are you doing? Question mark. Jim that's it. Automated. I've spaced down the unsubscribed towards the bottom and again people reply and the thing they always say is, I've been meaning to ask you something. You can't beat it. You can't beat it now. So that's sort of the weekly emails. I got five minutes left. That's sort of how we're going to do our three emails. So teaching on Tuesday, video on Thursday, inspirational on Sunday. The next level. The next phase of our email marketing is list segmentation. So the great thing about MailChimp and other email service providers is you can tag or segment your list. So let's say that you do immigration law. You have somebody who lets you know that they're interested in citizenship. You can send emails specifically to them about citizenship or asylum or deportation or whatever. Right. And this is really important because people aren't interested in everything that you do.

Speaker 2 (00:14:57) - They just want to know, can you solve my problem right? Do you know about my problem? Are you an expert in fixing my problem so you can tag people manually? Or when you do your squeeze page, which we'll talk about, you can actually ask them, what is it that you're interested in and have a little dropdown and they can click and you can start even before. So so those emails you can send three days a week, you might start them in a campaign related to their practice area for a week or two, and then shift them over into the weekly regular email that everybody gets. All right, tagging and segmenting. We talked about that. We talked about three emails per case type. So we're just going to get that started. Get them like send them a video about that question. Tell them a story a success story. You can reuse the weekly emails that you used before. And you can save them and put them into your campaigns for that practice area. Does that make sense? All right.

Speaker 2 (00:15:49) - So the way they're always willing to trade information for an email address. So a great way is a special report. We used to put a lot of time and energy into reports about practice area. People don't want to read all that stuff. What they want is your best stuff. So our single best email trade system item is our documents of what we submit, what kind of marital evidence people can submit when they're applying for a green card. People love that stuff because they're obsessed about how am I going to make my green case stronger? And you might say to yourself, oh, I don't want to give away my best list. If I if I give away my best list, they'll never hire me. They'll never hire me. Wrong. Give it all away. All your best stuff. Give it away, give it away, give it away, give it away now. Because you're right. Lots of people will take that and use it and not hire you. But you know what? If you care about immigrants, that's okay.

Speaker 2 (00:16:43) - If you care about people who are hurt, that's okay. But if you if the ones who you want to work with, who recognize your value and recognize your expertise, they're going to love you for that and they're going to be grateful. And that's again starting the conversation. So those single page downloads, things like that are are really, really effective, especially right now. Squeeze page. So a squeeze page is. Either a video or that download that you're giving them with a squeeze page. Just it's a box that says first name, last name, email. You all filled them out, email, maybe cell phone number. You might not want to put cell phone number. You might want to get that later because that'll impact how many people actually fill out the form. Right. So again you want that email. And then if you want to have a little bit of you could do it afterwards too with MailChimp or keep or whatever, you can have them tell you after the fact. They can fill out one of those checklists so that you know what to what marketing to send them.

Speaker 2 (00:17:40) - All right. Last email tip again comes from the email guru, Dean Jackson. If you haven't studied Dean or taken his email mastery course like I did, I highly recommend it. And that is the amazing nine word email that revives dead leads. All right, so the amazing nine word email that revives, that leads. So when everybody gets home, this is what I want you to do. I want you to find your list of everyone who's contacted your firm in the last three months. So go back 90 days, find anybody who emailed you or whose email address you have and who asked you about something. Now hopefully you can remember what they asked you about, right? But if you don't know, you can keep it sort of vague. Right? And so I'm going to show you the nine word email, but I want you all to go back home or tonight, send this email to your list. And I can almost guarantee that you will start 3 or 4 conversations towards maybe somebody's hiring you because you incorrectly assumed that they were no longer interested because they did not hire you on the spot.

Speaker 2 (00:18:47) - We actually have this at the end of our 90 day campaign. So 90 days after someone has contacted us, they haven't hired us. They get this email. So even this can be automated. Dear Geraldine, are you still looking for blank help? Jim. That's it. That's it. Now, the evil Dean Jackson, he sent me, I didn't I didn't sign up for his course right away. He sent me an email that said, Dear Jim, are you still looking for email help now? Tyson will tell you that when we have these conferences, I'm always the first one to run to the back room and sign up and buy shit, right? So I'm a special kind of kook. But that email from Dean Jackson, it got in my head like a like a worm. Like a worm, like, oh my God, how could I not respond to this? He must know something about email that he forgot to tell me. And I've got to find it out. So I've got to reply.

Speaker 2 (00:19:42) - That's what the amazing nine word email that Revive Dead Leads does have a great rest of your conference, everybody.

Speaker 1 (00:19:50) - Thanks for listening to the Maximum Lawyer podcast. Stay in contact with your hosts and to access more content content. Go to Maximum Have a great week and catch you next time.

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