Law firm CRM has come a long way. From integrations to automation, it seems like today’s CRM can do it all. From integrations to automation, it might seem a little silly to focus on something so basic, so traditional as holiday cards. Then again, given the response to the survey it seems like most marketers understand pretty well.
Yes, CRM can integrate with your firm’s systems like time and billing and it can automate processes and improve efficiencies. When used as part of a firm’s overall marketing and business development strategy, it can even help win new business. Yet with all the advances CRM has made, we receive numerous questions about holiday cards every year.
Holiday cards can be a lot of work. Are they worth it? Respondents to this year’s survey seem to think so.
- Firm size: Ranged from 13 lawyers to over 1200 with an average of about 160 lawyers per firm.
- Firms sending cards: 90% of firms responding sent cards in 2021 (down slightly from last year).
- Total number of cards sent: Ranged from 150 to over 29,000 with an average of 6,000 cards sent per firm.
- Time spent: Ranged from about 5 hours to over 200 or about 800 hours cumulatively and 40 hours on average, or in the words of one unnamed respondent, “Ugh. Too many!”
While it can be hard to quantify ROI, we know that most firms are spending tens of hours on holiday cards. Of course, this doesn’t take into account the time spent by marketing or others in the firm who are sending requests for contact information or updates to mailing lists – the cat herding you have to do leading up to holiday card season. No matter how you approach it, you’re probably reaching out at least a few times.
Other interesting takeaways from this year’s survey include:
- Fewer firms are sending paper cards
- More firms are sending electronic cards
- More firms are designing their own electronic cards and videos
And is it just us or are law firm cards getting more creative? We’ve seen many cards taking advantage of the firm’s musical and artistic talents. From pulling together a firm band to sharing old family recipes, today’s law firm cards are increasingly clever, creative and personal. For some inspiration, check out Above the Law’s annual holiday card contest winners.
Based on the survey results, it’s a safe bet that many marketers will be focused on holiday cards again soon. There are a some things you can do now to get started and prevent future holiday card horror stories:
It’s never too early to get started. Take a little break to enjoy the new year and reflect on your successes.
Q1: When you’re ready, take some time during Q1 to go through your undeliverable cards – whether that’s bounced emails or a stack of returned envelopes, don’t wait until the next holiday card season to know who isn’t receiving your communications. If they didn’t receive your holiday card, they probably didn’t receive anything else you sent them.
Q2: Start thinking about the type of card you’ll send. Did you get great feedback to the new video card? How can you improve? Will you need outside assistance? Now is the time to make a plan.
Q3: If you’ve done the cleanup and planning in the first half of the year, Q3 can be dedicated to getting lists in front of your lawyers to give them plenty of time to update their contacts.
Q4: And if you do that, you’ll be ready to send those cards in Q4 and maybe even get out of a few of your own!
Want to avoid holiday card horror stories of your own? Contact us!