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Effective E-mail marketing? Is FindLaw nuts?

FindLaw publishes something to their site called Modern Practice, which I always thought was more for show or an attempt to sell their services, than information of value, especially when it came to latest in Internet marketing.

Modern Practice includes a section called Top Marketing Ideas in which FindLaw published a piece called Making the Most of E-mail Marketing. It gets worse, the link they give to a law firm doing a great job of email marketing is broken.

Email newsletter marketing is outdated marketing for a number of reasons.

  • Email newsletters are increasingly blocked by corporate firewalls and spam filters.
  • Email, in this day when we are overwhelmed with so much of it, is viewed as obtrusive even by those who subscribe to email newsletters.
  • Email newsletters do not provide an index or search to content in previous editions.
  • Email newsletters are not indexed and optimized for the search engines, the number one place prospective and current clients are looking for legal information.
  • Email newsletters are outmoded compared to the advantages marketing blogs offer – cost, ease of publishing, distribution via RSS, ease in reading and indexing for the search engines.
  • Blogs offer updates to email subscribers not using RSS.

It is a shame when a company like West Group’s FindLaw, which is receiving millions of dollars from law firms, publishes outdated marketing advice which can only lead law firms astray.

Worse yet, this article appears to be a ploy for selling something called West’s FirmSite Communicator, which allegedly provides firms with e-mail marketing services that monitor usage trends and help firms gain intelligence about its client base.

Mark Jacobsen, Director of Product Development for FindLaw, just shows he is falling behind the times when quoted in the article saying: “It is the additional services that firms provide that bind clients to their attorneys. When it comes time to hire an attorney, the name you’ve seen in your e-mail inbox every month is the firm that is going to get your business.”

Heck, if I see a law firm’s name in my in-box all the time, I just think more spam or worse yet – just another law firm that lacks innovative people.

When the FindLaw salesperson comes calling, ask them if they really know what they are doing when it comes to Internet marketing. I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts you know as much or more if you are reading the latest on Internet marketing, something they’re not.

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