You’ve surely heard the adage that attorneys make the worst defendants (the same way that doctors make the worst patients). It seems service professionals often have a difficult time putting themselves in their clients’ shoes. Without being able to think like a client, see like a client, feel like a client and walk through the buying cycle like a client, missteps can occur. You have to thoroughly understand the customer experience in order to successfully market to and win new clients.
Your goal is to design an exceptional customer experience that will nurture prospects, expand your client base for increased revenue and profitability, and retain your most valuable assets: your existing clients. As you review your communication plans, one strategy that could enhance your firm’s customer experience program is email marketing.
Understanding what prospects need, want and expect – and then giving it to them through a series of nurturing emails – is part of creating the first-class customer experience from the onset of your relationship that will help you generate a higher quality and quantity of leads.
Start running in your clients’ shoes: develop an incomparable customer experience, leading with an email marketing campaign, by following these three tips.
1) Target for Relevance with Customized Content
Ensure that your database is properly tagged for targeted marketing to ensure that your messaging is specifically geared to each group of recipients with common attributes. According to MarketingSherpa’s Lead Generation Report, delivering highly relevant content is the most significant challenge that marketers face. Without proper segmentation, a prospect could receive the wrong information, unsubscribe and walk away due to the poor customer experience. The Aberdeen Group reports that personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%.
Kick generic email newsletters and messages to the curb. Segment, target and personalize your communication to enrich the customer experience and generate more qualified leads.
2) Nurture with Opportunities to Engage
When you email out relevant, customized content to your highly segmented contact lists, win your prospects over with a consistent stream of educational, informative and helpful articles, solutions, case studies, and resources. Be proactive, not reactive. Offer opportunities to engage, interact and respond. Relevance will play the most significant role in this area.
Inspire your prospects to engage by including free or helpful resources, including webinars, whitepapers, FAQs, e-books and other content, along with relevant calls to action. According to HubSpot, the click-through rate (CTR) for targeted and segmented lead nurturing emails can be as high as 8%, as opposed to broadcast (generic) emails, which generated a 3% click-through rate.
3) Align Messages with the Buying Cycle
To ensure that your prospects remain fully satisfied with their customer experience, you need to know where they stand within the buying cycle so that your messages tie directly to their level of interest. It is not necessary to purchase an expensive customer relationship management program (CRM). Keep things simple and follow the three-stage buying cycle:
- Stage 1 – Oblivious
- Stage 2 – Aware
- Stage 3 – Motivated
Keep your segmented lists updated based on click activity, additional interactions through other media, and your knowledge of the relationship’s status. Remember that the overall customer experience involves more than your email campaign; by tracking other communications and engagement, including phone calls, social media, face-to-face meetings and direct mail touches, and using that information to score your prospects and track them as they move through the buying cycle, you are more likely to know when a prospect is ready to make a decision to hire you.
MarketWire reports that multi-touch nurturing increases engagement by over 65%. Tracking all activity within your email marketing database (or synced CRM) helps ensure that your email messages remain relevant and on target.
Walk a Mile in Your Prospects’ Shoes
Everything that happens throughout the journey a prospect takes with your firm – from initial attraction to and discovery of your brand, to the recognition and appreciation of your value, through the final purchase of your estate planning services to referrals and advocacy after the engagement – affect the customer experience.
If you can walk a mile in your prospects’ and clients’ shoes, you will generate measurable results – especially when you apply that insight to your email campaigns and other marketing strategies.
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.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555