IT'S ALL FREE! Effective Email Marketing

Constant Contact has named an All Star every year since it started.  The All Star award recognizes as one of Constant Contact's top email marketing performers for each year.  Thank you to the newsletter subscribers for your support! 

Have you ever thought about email marketing?  Were you unsure about how to start or what to write?  Let's look at tips, tools, and timesavers that new LNCs can use for effective email marketing.

* Define what you want to accomplish with your overall email campaign.  To bring in new clients?  To obtain name recognition?  To be an educational resource for attorneys?  Set a goal for your email campaigns.

* Email marketing, like traditional marketing, is not something you do once with the expectation that you'll immediately reach your goal.  To achieve results, expect to spend time creating and sending emails on a regular basis.

* Identify your target market to build your list of names.  If you want your audience to open and read your emails, the content of the emails has to be relevant to your readers.

* Your emails shouldn't be entirely self-serving.  There's nothing wrong with mentioning your company and the services you provide.  In fact, it's a good idea to have a link to your website for potential clients.  But you should also provide value to the reader.  I've seen LNCs provide value to attorneys by writing about case studies or the LNC's clinical specialty.  For example, if your specialty is oncology, you could provide information to attorneys about a different cancer term or treatment in each email.

* Write about things you know and a point.  Don't write about things that you love to do but won't accomplish your goals.  For example, don't write about scuba diving or your 10K run unless you can relate them to your readers in some way that's meaningful to them.

* Make a list of future topics to write about and update it every time you think of a new topic.  Then review your list when you're ready to write.  If you're having trouble deciding what to write, check out Marketing Artfully for thoughts on email marketing topics.

* Decide how often you want to send emails.  Weekly, twice monthly, and monthly are common.  Potential clients may hit the Delete key if you send out emails more than once a week.  And those potential clients will forget about you if more than a month elapses between emails.

* Once you've decided how often you want to send emails, publish them at regular intervals.  For example, publish them every Thursday instead of Tuesday one week, Thursday another week and Wednesday the next week.  A schedule accomplishes two things.  First, readers know when to expect your emails.  Second, it forces you to be disciplined about constructing them.  You'll be less likely to procrastinate if you know you need to send an email the first Wednesday of the month than if you think you can send the email any day of the month.

* Wednesday is the prime day of the week for business clients to open and read emails.  Stay away from Monday, when potential clients are catching up from the weekend, and Friday, when they are finishing work before the upcoming weekend.

* Stick to a single topic for each email.  Quarterly newsletters with multiple topics are a holdover from direct mail marketing when it was expensive to send marketing materials frequently.  And don't send your email as an attachment.  Some people won't open attachments even if they know the sender.

* Use your logo and website colors in your emails.  Consistency helps brand your business.

* For a small monthly fee, consider using an email marketing service such as Constant Contact (the service I use) or iContact.  These services offer professional templates to design your email campaigns and the ability to track how many of your readers opened your email.  In addition, email-marketing services can send your emails at any time on any specified date.  This means you can write your emails when you have time to do so but send them on the date and time of your choice. 

* If you send emails without an email marketing service, you'll only be able to batch your emails to 30-100 recipients at a time, depending on your  internet service provider (ISP).  Email marketing services can send thousands of personalized emails at the same time without rejection by ISPs as spam. 

* And speaking of spam, your emails must comply with the CAN-Spam Act.  Among other things, this act specifies that the email must include a valid physical postal address and a subject line that reflects the content of the email.

*Consider offering a discount or small fee reduction to email subscribers with a clear call to action.  "The first hour of medical record review is FREE to clients who contact me at 555-555-5555 by the end of this week and mention this email!"

...Katy Jones