Consumer Bankruptcy Journal Summer 2015 | Page 52

THE SCIENCE BEHIND EFFECTIVE E-NEWSLETTERS By Fred J. Cohen I f you’ve turned to the web to shop, reserve a hotel room or even sign up for a guest pass to your local gym, you’ve likely become a recipient of the vendor’s e-newsletters. From mega-corporations like Pepsi all the way down to one-person flower shops, businesses across a multitude of industries are spending big bucks on e-newsletter campaigns. The reason: e-newsletters are a highly efficient way for businesses to stay top-of-mind with members of their target markets. I regularly hear from attorneys who question the effectiveness of e-newsletters; often they’ve tried sending these out in the past with little success or they detest e-newsletters that they’ve received from other attorneys and don’t want to follow that trend. With the right strategy, however, and an understanding of the science behind developing and implementing a sound top of mind marketing campaign, your firm can craft an effective e-newsletter that nurtures relationships with clients, colleagues and prospects. Consider the following: The Subject Line Can’t Be an Afterthought Like you, your recipients receive dozens of emails each day. To stand out in a crowded inbox, your e-blast must contain an attention-grabbing subject line. Avoid generic subjects like “August 2015 Newsletter” and instead take time to craft a subject line that will spark the interest of recipients. Most of these individuals aren’t all that concerned with the latest news from your office but most are concerned with their financial futures; take this into consideration and design subjects that are benefit focused. You might also consider highlighting a date for action (e.g. “One day left to sign up for our free event on rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy”) to increase open rates. 52 CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY JOURNAL Timing is Everything Many firms send out their email blasts at times when most people won’t read them. This is prevalent among solo practitioners because they just don’t have time during the course of the day, so they wait until the evening when they have a few hours to devote to non-billable work. As a general rule of thumb, avoid sending out e-blasts very early in the morning (before 10:00am) or late in the evening (after 8:00pm). Many experts agree that the start of the business day and during the early afternoon hours (Tuesday through Thursday) is best because this is when most people check both their professional and personal email accounts. The Right Software On far too many occasions to count, I’ve received e-newsletters from attorneys sent through Outlook where I was just one of about 27 recipients. Besides the fact that this may be unethical (if a client’s name and email address i ́