Get your law firm’s marketing database into shape

The health of your law firm’s marketing database is important. Keeping healthy is the key to success in marketing, just as it is in sport. You wouldn’t expect to run a marathon or compete in the Olympics without the necessary preparation. It’s the same when it comes to marketing. Your law firm’s marketing database and it’s health or otherwise can have a big impact on the effectiveness of your law firm’s ongoing communication with clients and referrers, particularly your e-newsletter. Without regular care and attention, your data can become out of date or you could miss opportunities to grow your database through contact information collected but stranded in Outlook, LinkedIn or your accounting software. So how healthy is your law firm’s marketing database? These tips will have it back in shape in no time.

Know your goal

Whether you are training for a marathon or developing your database, it’s good to know what you’re aiming for. The goal of developing your law firm’s marketing database is to help you communicate better with your clients and referrers, an essential step is to produce the best possible database of contacts. This database is where all of your marketing contacts should live and it forms the basis of your law firm’s e-newsletter audience. Therefore, it’s important to keep your database in good shape to make the most of your e-newsletter marketing and other communications.

Develop your workout

So you know your goal. Now you need a workout that will help you achieve it. And the best workout for your law firm’s marketing database has these three components.

First of all, make sure that your database has a consistent format. At a minimum, it should have separate columns for the first name, last name, email address and phone number of each contact. Make sure there is a separate entry for each individual person you want to receive your e-newsletter. Also, check that there is only one name in the column for first name. You might like to use a preferred name if that is appropriate. However, don’t include middle names – this is important because the name in the first name column will be used in the “To:” section of your emails and the greeting line of your e-newsletter. You can’t personalise your communications if the first name is not separate.

Your final format should look like the example below.

Law firm's marketing database format

Practical options for the format for a law firm’s marketing database.

Next you need to ensure that your data is current. Check that contact details, particularly email addresses, are up to date and accurate. Check for any typos, especially in email addresses. This includes unnecessary spaces before or after entries, as these can cause problems with your email delivery service. You should also look for data in your Outlook contacts, LinkedIn network or office accounting software that might not have made it to your law firm’s marketing database yet. Then consider adding any new contacts to your marketing database, taking into account any opt-in or consent requirements.

Lastly, you may need to remove old data from your database. Identify any old email addresses that should be removed. Your e-newsletter delivery service should be able to show you any email addresses that don’t appear to be monitored or are returning ‘message undeliverable’ notifications.

Now, having tackled the three components of the marketing database workout, your law firm’s marketing database should be looking a lot healthier.

Stick to your schedule

As with any new workout regime, enthusiasm may quickly wane without a schedule. So find a schedule that works for you, and stick to it. Your marketing database workout is not a one-off. Just like regular exercise produces benefits over time, likewise your marketing communication will benefit from regular database workouts throughout the year. You might find it easier to schedule a smaller block of time more often, rather than a bigger chunk of time less frequently. Whatever frequency you choose, make sure that you schedule time in advance and commit to investing in your marketing database.

Enjoy a healthier marketing database

So there you have it. Everything you need to enjoy a healthier marketing database. And a healthier marketing database means more effective marketing, which in turn means more work for your firm. At Lift Legal, we love helping law firms of all shapes and sizes to make the most of their online marketing. If you’d like to know more about our e-newsletters for law firms, or any other law firm marketing solutions, feel free to get in touch. We’d be happy to help.

About the author
Peter Heazlewood

Peter Heazlewood

Peter Heazlewood is a management and marketing consultant, he specialises in helping law firms develop their practices using business planning marketing and performance reporting techniques refined in his own successful law firm. Peter lives in Sydney with his wife and is the father of five adult children.

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