Last week when I checked my “snail” mailbox (typically full of physical junk mail and solicitations), I was surprised to find two handwritten cards from friends.
One was a greeting card – a fun, playful, witty and heartfelt appreciation of our friendship; while the other was on notecard paper and a simple thank you note for officiating their wedding and being a friend. Checking my mail is usually done out of obligation and rarely do I look forward to finding a treat. Gone are the days in the 70s, 80s, and even 90s when getting something in the mail was exciting. So receiving these “love letters” was such a delight and affirmation of our relationship, friendship, life, and contribution. It was far more moving than an email message because of the extra personal touch and effort it took.
When did you last receive a “love letter” in your MAIL box? Been a while? Well, let me tell you, it’s a dying art. The rise of social media, Facebook, Twitter, text messages, email and online marketing has rendered most snail mail to junk mail delivery status. So why would anyone in their right mind use the good old fashioned U.S. postal service to reach out to their existing clients?
Let’s examine the open/viewing rates. There has been a growing trend to replace many nurture marketing and relationship building efforts with email marketing. Now think about your email inbox: what types of messages do you receive? Do you read everything sent to you? Do you file things to read later with the best of intentions and never get around to it? Like most of us, chances are you don’t read every email sent to you. Your clients and email subscribers are no different. In fact, in the legal industry, the open rate for email marketing messages is 22.49%. What do you think the open rate would be for snail mail “love letters” you send to clients of the law firm who already know, like and trust you? Certainly higher than 22%.
I’m not knocking email marketing – it’s an essential and cost effective way to reach many people on a regular basis. So please continue your efforts in this area. However, it should not be a primary way to market your law firm or stay in touch with your clients and reinforce your relationship with them. In fact, a study by Cohber Press showed that 70% of Americans say physical mail is more personal than the internet. And with the volume of daily mail people receive significantly dropping, it’s much easier to stand out from the crowd. Research shows that physical media, such as a paper letter, postcard, flyer, or newsletter leaves a greater impression on the brain than electronic media does, which means you have a higher chance clients will read what you send, you’ll reinforce your relationship with them, and they’ll take action on what you’re inviting them to do. I invite you to consider what types of “love letters” you can send your clients via snail mail.
- Regular law firm newsletter
- Birthday cards
- Seminar invitations
- Welcome to the law firm family (when they are retained)
- Sympathy cards
Then add those activities to your law firm marketing calendar. Remember, the more effective your nurture marketing and reinforcement of your role as trusted advisor, the higher your lifetime value (of revenue) per client.
P.S. If you’re not currently doing email marketing, get it on the calendar and set up your email campaigns this quarter.
Practice Leadership Coach
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128
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