Etiquette appears to be dying a slow death in our high-tech society. Customer service tends to be more about the server than the customer, neighbors aren’t nearly as neighborly as they used to be, political correctness is scoffed at, and we have to ask to be removed from spam email lists that we never signed up for in the first place.
Emily Post would be aghast.
There isn’t a lot we can do about the current generation’s lack of manners or terrible customer service other than teach our own children and grandchildren better values and be the best role models we can be.
But we absolutely have control over our email marketing campaigns. We can ensure that our emails are faux-pas-free and encourage our recipients to like and respect our firms through excellent email behavior and courteous messaging.
Here are five tips to help your law firm adhere to modern email etiquette guidelines that Ms. Post would have been proud to include in her book.
1. Request permission
Don’t spam your contacts. Just because someone hands you her business card doesn’t mean that you have carte blanche to send her promotional emails. Get permission before emailing your contacts. If you ask for permission via email, remember to re-introduce yourself so that your recipients are reminded where they met you, who you are and why they should want to be in touch with you regularly. Once you have obtained permission, send a warm welcome message letting your subscribers know how much you appreciate their interest.
2. Let subscribers leave
Give your subscribers a quick and easy way to unsubscribe from your email campaign whenever they want, for whatever reason. You may be legally motivated by the CAN-SPAM Act, but honestly it’s just the right thing to do. If you’re concerned that a prominent unsubscribe link will increase the number of unsubscribe requests, then you probably need to take a hard look at your campaign. People don’t unsubscribe from emails that they receive value from.
3. Be relevant and timely
Your subscribers are human beings, not machines (unless you have purchased an email list, which is a massive no-no and could mean that you are, in fact, emailing machines rather than people). Your content should be relevant and valuable to each of your subscribers and should sound as much like a face-to-face conversation as an email can sound. Be careful to avoid spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, which will quickly diminish your credibility.
4. Respond in a timely fashion
You may receive responses from your emails and email newsletters, particularly if they are part of an effective and successful communication campaign. Make sure that a human being is monitoring those responses, as it is essential that you reply to any responses received (whether positive or negative) within a day or two. It is quite possible that you could lose leads for new or additional business if you fail to respond to replies from your campaign.
5. Keep it classy
Your email marketing campaign represents you and your law firm. Your brand should be well represented through aesthetically pleasing design, error-free messaging, and readable typography. Avoid gimmicky tactics that could turn your prospects off, like symbols, slang or abbreviations. Sophistication will always trump trends.
Etiquette helps you achieve success
Etiquette means “treating people with consideration, respect and honesty. It also means being aware of how our actions affect those around us.” The goal of etiquette is to help us build more successful relationships. Apply these principles to your email marketing campaigns, and you will reap the rewards now and in the future.
Becca Fieler is an Online Marketing Specialist for the BizActions | PDI Global brands from Thomson Reuters. She provides strategic planning and oversight for our online and email marketing initiatives. Becca also helps clients develop comprehensive marketing and lead generation programs. She is a prolific writer when she has time. Read more of Becca’s blog posts here.
Academy Guest Blogger
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
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San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555