Email has been a top marketing tool for years, and since the COVID-19 pandemic began, it has become an absolutely essential one. Right now there is no faster way to directly communicate messages of hope, education, and support to your community than by sending out emails. With so much going on in the world right now, your firm is likely not on anyone’s mind. But, with a properly crafted email, that is sensitive to the issues created by the coronavirus crisis, you can re-engage clients of the past and spark new relationships. Below, we’ll offer five legal marketing tips to help guide your email creation efforts during this time.
1- Let People Know Your Firm Is Still Open
It may sound silly to say, but one of the biggest reasons law firms should be sending out emails right now is to let people know they haven’t completely shut down. So much of the world has been put on pause since mid-March, and a lot of people will likely just assume your practice is taking a hiatus as well. The average person may not even realize they have options for legal help during this pandemic, and that anyone is willing to make their issues a priority right now.
In your email, be as transparent as possible about what your firm’s current situation is. If your office is closed, let your clients know that. Then go on to explain how your practice will be continuing to communicate with clients during this time. Let people know who at your office is still available to talk, when the best time to reach them is, and your firm’s preferred method for communication. You may also want to discuss the obstacles COVID-19 has created for you in handling new cases, and your practice’s plan for overcoming those obstacles. The more information you give on how your firm is adapting to current circumstances, the more prepared and savvy you’ll come off to prospective clients.
2- Stay Focused On What Matters Most
We’ll be rather blunt with this point: the COVID-19 crisis needs to be the focus of all marketing emails you send right now. People don’t want to hear about awards you’ve recently won, or see pictures from staff outings. There will be a time in the future to bring all these things up again, but we’re definitely not there yet. Right now, if you steer too far from talking about anything non-pandemic related, it could come across as insensitive or make your firm seem out of touch.
When talking about the coronavirus in your emails, you’ll have to find a way to do so without it seeming like they are using this crisis to your financial advantage. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who will try to manipulate this situation, and even if your firm does ultimately have good intentions, you must be ultra-aware of how anything you send out right now will be perceived. During this time, It’s best to avoid any language in your emails that sounds at all salesy, such as “now is the time to take action” or “you need an attorney”.
Instead of telling people to hire you, show them why they should want to hire you. Showcase your legal knowledge by offering actionable advice on how they can address certain problems they might be experiencing because of the pandemic through the lens of your expertise and implications you have insight on. Let people know you care, by offering to hop on a call (not schedule a consultation) with anyone who has COVID-19 related questions. Offer messages of education and support and let clients come to the conclusion themselves that they need your legal guidance.
3- Present Yourself As A Leader In Your Community
Right now people want to hear from leaders and experts, and pretty much no one else. So in your emails, you’ll want to avoid coming across as a salesman, and instead present your firm as a chief figure in its community. Let people know that your practice will continue serving anyone in its area that is in need of legal assistance and plans on being a significant part of the recovery and normalization process that is to come. Before sending out any emails, take the time to talk with a wide variety of people in your community to get a sense of some of the major issues they’re dealing with right now, then use your emails as a platform to discuss solutions to some of the most frequently mentioned problems.
You’ll also want to take the time to thank all the frontline workers who have kept your community going, and offer a sincere message of gratitude. Don’t just copy and paste someone else’s thank you message. In addition, share information on the organizations people should turn to if they are in need of assistance, or the places people can donate to if they are in a position to help. If your firm has taken part in a charitable activity related to COVID-19, it is more than okay to mention it, as long as you aren’t presenting your act in a braggadocious manner. More than anything else, let people know in your emails that your firm isn’t just sitting back and waiting for this pandemic to pass, but plans on having an active role in helping your community get through this crisis.
4- Reach Out To More Than Just Potential Clients
Your client lists should be the first people you email during the pandemic, but they shouldn’t be the only ones. You’ll also want to send out messages to the rest of your community to let them know you’re still open and ready to assist in any way you can. One group in particular you should be reaching out to right now is local reporters. If you’re reading this and thinking “I don’t have time for this right now”, here’s why you should make the time.
As this crisis continues on, there will be a lot of pressure on reporters to continue to produce engaging COVID-19 content, and do so during a time in which the nation will start to experience coronavirus fatigue. Journalists know they will need expert sources to make their stories feel credible and worth following, and that’s where you come in. Be proactive and email local media members now to let them know that you want to help keep your community informed and are happy to serve as an expert resource for any future stories. You’ll likely be surprised by how quickly a reporter takes you up on this offer, and features your name and firm’s name in an upcoming story. Having your expert take in a news story or video can help introduce your firm to a significant amount of new people in your community, and is likely to result in new business for your firm.
5- Respond To Any Replies Right Away
People don’t like to feel like their time is being wasted, especially when they weren’t the one that initiated the conversation. So don’t be the lawyer that sends out a mass email, then forgets to check their email again until later in the week. When you get an email reply, aim to respond within the hour, or right away if possible. Don’t give people time to search for other legal help. Remember that your competition is just a Google search away.
When you do get a potential client to respond to your emails, work to get the person on a phone call or video chat as soon as possible. And when people do call in to speak with you, make sure you always have a live receptionist ready to greet them.
We hope attorneys find the above legal marketing tips to be of value. Answering Legal understands that the legal community is struggling right now, and we are eager to offer support in any way we can. You can learn more about our company’s response to the ongoing pandemic here.