Make Tracking Part of your CRM Strategy

Many experts say that September is the other January, a great time to start fresh, set goals and make changes. Is it because we’re sending the kids back to school or is it the pumpkin spice? No matter the reason, there is definitely something about September that makes some us want to focus and tackle new challenges. If you’re looking to improve business development at your firm, tracking activities in your CRM is an effective place to start.

Tracking activities in your CRM allows you to maintain a centralized location of all the firm’s business development and marketing activities and touchpoints. Why is this important? Your lawyers are busy. Tracking their activities moves important business development information out of spreadsheets or their inboxes and provides you with the ability to measure and report on your firm’s active opportunities. Here are just a sampling of the benefits firms can realize when they track activities:

  • Coordinating pitch efforts (know who is talking to potential clients)
  • Identifying cross-selling opportunities
  • Creating reminders for lawyers so they can keep opportunities moving forward
  • Easily reporting on firmwide BD efforts, including activity opportunities and win rates
  • Eliminating the need to follow up with multiple contacts across the firm to get information
  • Providing lawyers with clear priorities and a focused list of targets to pursue
  • Sharing regular reports with practice groups and firm stakeholders
  • Identifying firmwide and industry trends
  • Reporting on progress toward yearly goals

If you’re ready to start moving your firm’s business development forward, tracking is a great place to start. A successful initiative starts with buy-in from your firm’s key stakeholders and it continues with consistent, correct data entry. Think about what you need to know to help your firm’s lawyers achieve their goals.

Do you remember learning the 5 Ws (and H) of storytelling in school? Think about tracking as the story of your firm’s relationships:

  • Who are your lawyers talking to?
  • Where did they meet them? How?
  • What did they do or talk about?
  • Why are they talking to them?
  • When should they follow up?

If you want to know more about how to start a tracking initiative at your firm, contact the CRM experts at ContactEase. We work with firms of all sizes that are using CRM tracking to move projects forward, improve internal processes and win more business.

Improve Your Metrics by Understanding Your Undeliverables

For many marketers, it might seem like getting sign-off for firm blogs and e-alerts (if not getting them written at all) is the biggest challenge to the success of an e-mail marketing campaign, but there’s one thing that matters even more – your email data quality.  

From layout to content approval, firm marketers spend a lot of time on email campaigns before they can even think about sending them. But, what good is any email if it isn’t seen by its intended recipients?

Sending to undeliverable or “bad” email addresses can have a significant impact on you email performance metrics as well as your overall sender reputation. Let’s take a look at two of the reasons why:

  • Sending to bad email addresses can negatively impact your open rate. When you send to bad email addresses, your open rate declines. While there are many reasons a recipient might not open your email, one of the most obvious is that they aren’t receiving them.
  • Sending to bad email addresses can negatively impact your sender reputation. Consistently including bad email addresses may result in flagging your sender account as spam and send emails from your account directly to the junk folder even when an email address is valid.  

So, how do you improve your contact lists?  Here are a few ideas:

  1. Make sure you’re sending to contacts who want to hear from you (opt-in). Whether you have a process as part of your intake of new clients or a subscription form on your website, make sure your contacts want to hear from you and they know what they can expect to receive from you. It’s not just good manners, it’s good business and can also ensure your compliance with privacy regulations like CAN-SPAM, CASL and GDPR among others.
  2. Regularly review your engagement reports. If you have a high number of bounces or unsubscribes and a low open rate, there’s probably a reason why. Make sure you’re removing bounced email addresses from your lists and create a process to research and update with good ones. Keep track of when contacts unsubscribe and target your content accordingly. Think about a tool like ContactEase Change Tracker which can improve your deliverability by looking for changes to key fields like job title, email address and company name.  
  3. Segment your contact lists. Craft targeted content and build targeted lists to ensure that the information you share is relevant and meaningful to your readers.

Taking a proactive approach and reviewing your email engagement reports on a regular basis will improve your email metrics and ensure that your communications are getting to the right people at the right time. As former law firm marketing and IT professionals, the ContactEase team not only advises clients on e-mail and data quality best practices, but we’ve experienced many of these challenges ourselves. If you have questions about how to address data quality at your firm or want to know how firms are handling similar issues, contact us. We’re here to help!

Revisiting ROI

Unsurprisingly, one of the most popular downloads on the ContactEase website is a case study on boosting revenue with CRM. One of the easiest ways to determine the success of a platform is to look at a firm’s return on investment (or ROI), but what may be considered a huge success for one firm may seem insignificant to another. This is why it’s important to go into any implementation with a clear strategy. What may seem like obvious metrics in the beginning may not be as important a few years in. Taking time to revisit what ROI looks like for your firm is a good way to keep your CRM strategy fresh and moving forward.

Many firms begin looking for a new solution because an existing one has failed to meet expectations. And while ContactEase features an industry-leading adoption rate, we’ll be the first to tell you that the platform is second to a firm’s people and processes. Without an emphasis on either of these areas, your CRM strategy will fall flat.

CRM is for Everyone

One of the biggest challenges when it comes to CRM is overcoming some lawyers’ insistence that the system is simply a marketing tool Of course it is, but it can be so much more. Often lawyers won’t make CRM a priority until it affects them directly. For example, one firm came to us after a client received an important notification in their personal email after the relationship partner was asked not to send anything to that address. One tersely worded email from the client was all it took to get the lawyer on board.

Your Firm’s Needs

Before one mid-size firm implemented CRM, they had several contact “databases” (mostly spreadsheets) and thousands of paper cards (in a Rolodex — the original CRM?). As you might imagine, this caused a lot of problems (and a lot of work) for the marketing team. Not only were contacts receiving multiple mailings some weren’t receiving them at all. Hence one of the goals for this implementation was a centralized location for all firm marketing contacts. To some firms this might seem like a simple goal, but for many firms this is everything.

Automate and Increase Efficiencies

An effective CRM also allows firms to streamline communications. Before CRM, many firms spend days if not weeks preparing to send communications. With CRM and integrations with marketing automation tools like Constant Contact, HubSpot, and Vuture firms know they have the most recent contact information available. No, CRM can’t help your lawyers write faster, but it can help ensure you get your client alerts to the right people at the right time.

A successful CRM implementation can pay for itself many times over, but it’s important to to look at more than the bottom line.

Colorado Privacy Act: What Law Firm Marketers Need to Know Now

In a recent report from U.S. News, Colorado was ranked second in a list of Best States for economy. In that same study, the Rocky Mountain state was ranked 4th for business environment, 5th for growth, and 1st for employment. Colorado is also known for its highly educated workforce and is home to three of the top twenty performing cities in the United States. In addition to established businesses and industries, Colorado also has a thriving startup market. Over the past five years, capital invested in Colorado companies has grown nearly 90% in industries as diverse as artificial intelligence, software, biotech, fintech, media and telecommunications — all of which makes Coloradans lucrative to marketers in any industry.

To address privacy concerns and increased data collection, the Colorado Privacy Act (CPA) was recently passed by state legislators and will soon go before Governor Jared Polis for his signature. So, what does this mean for firms marketing their services in Colorado? Firms that acted under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) or the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) should be in good shape.

Wondering if the CPA applies to your firm? Here are some questions to get you started:

  • Does your firm collect and store data on more than 100,000 Colorado residents?
  • Does your firm earn revenue from the data of more than 25,000 Colorado consumers?
  • What kind of opt out process do you have in place?
  • What kind of data are you collecting and storing (in your CRM, for example)?

If you answered yes to either of the first two questions, the CPA applies no matter where your firm is located. Unlike CCPA and GDPR, the CPA includes a provision for a universal opt-out which would provide Coloradans with the ability to say no to the collection of their personal data across all websites (akin to the National Do Not Call Registry). With the universal opt out in play, it’s important to have a process for managing your opt outs.

Worried you’re not quite ready? Don’t fret! If signed by Governor Polis, the effective date for the bill is July 1, 2023 and the universal opt out must be must be honored starting in 2024 — you have some time. In the meantime, our team of former law firm marketing and IT professionals are here to help! Contact us with questions about the data your store in your CRM or to conduct a database audit.

Look for a post on best practices for managing your opt outs and unsubscribes coming soon. Having a process in place isn’t just a best practice, it’s good business. The integrity of your contact data and the quality of your mailing lists impact your deliverability and your sender reputation which ensures that those wanting to read your communications get the chance to do so.

Back to Basics: A Single Source of Truth

In our Back to Basics series, we’re doing just that – getting back to basics to understand the fundamentals of CRM and why it matters to your firm. In this post we’re looking at CRM as a single source of truth and what that means.

As we wrote in our last post, the main job of any CRM is to store and organize your firm’s contacts – all the details, any communication or touch points you’ve had with them – in one place (i.e. a single source of truth). CRM helps your firm’s professionals stay connected to your clients and can help improve profitability and internal processes (see ROI: Boost Revenue with CRM).

So yes, at its most basic, CRM provides you with a single source of truth for your firm’s important clients and contacts. With so many data stores available at most firms, it can be difficult to know what to trust. A CRM provides you with a single, reliable source of truth where your clients, contacts and opportunities exist. This is also why integrations are so important.

An essential feature of any CRM should be the ability to integrate with other systems (see Bridge Building with CRM). When you integrate CRM with your firm’s existing systems, data from your technology stack can be captured across platforms and you can rely on your CRM as, yes, you guessed it, a single source of truth. At ContactEase, we know that we make a great CRM. We don’t want to do it all. That’s why we partner with other popular applications that your firm already knows and uses.

In recent years we’ve introduced integrations with marketing automation systems like Constant Contact, Mailchimp, and Vuture and time and billing systems like Aderant, Juris and Elite. We are constantly evaluating the market and speaking with our clients to connect with the systems they are using. If your systems don’t talk to one another, you run the risk of having information that is outdated, incomplete and just plain wrong. When you make CRM and data integrity a priority, your firm will be better equipped to understand where your communications with your clients and prospects stand.

Talking Points: Does My Firm Need CRM?

If there’s no single source for information at your firm, you run the risk of duplicating outreach, having outdated information, and leaving key contacts off of important mailings. CRM can provide a single view of every client’s contact information and firm outreach, without which, you may not be able to fully implement strategic marketing and business development initiatives.

The State of CRM at Law Firms: A Market-Wide Study

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Nearly 75% of all law firms have some sort of Client Relationship Management (CRM) system in place, yet respondents to a recently released survey indicate that few of their lawyers regularly use it. In contrast, ContactEase users report a higher-than-average utilization rate for their attorneys. The Ackert Advisory’s “The State of CRM at Law Firms” examines utilization, user experience and return on investment (ROI) of CRM platforms and their relationship to business development.

ContactEase was recognized by its users in a number of areas. Among the findings:

  • ContactEase (24%) and InterAction (45%) lead the CRM legal market with a combined market share of 69%.
  • ContactEase has increased its market share by 6% since last year’s survey.
  • ContactEase users reported a higher utilization rate than the overall market.
  • ContactEase users reported a lower level of data entry issues and a less complicated interface (in comparison to other CRM systems).
  • ContactEase users reported an average of 18% of lawyers use CRM regularly (the majority of survey respondents indicated 0-5% of their attorneys utilized CRM on a regular basis.

About ContactEase
ContactEase communicates with clients and prospects to enhance existing relationships and drive new business. In addition, ContactEase works with firms to develop ROI with business analytics and opportunity/pipeline management tools, and integrates with accounting and other systems.

ContactEase has a greater than 90% adoption rate due in part to its seamless Outlook integration, easy-to-use tools and a highly experienced support team. ContactEase can pull contacts from email, alert users of changes in their data, integrate with telephone systems, allow updates from mobile devices, allow contacts to RSVP online for events and update their own data.

Selecting the right CRM platform is essential to the success of any firm’s marketing and business development program. For more information about ContactEase and CRM best practices for getting buy-in, implementation, data management and ROI, visit our resources page.

ContactEase is used by over 250 law and accounting firms, with 16,000+ users worldwide. To read the report in its entirety, click here.

 

ContactEase CRM Welcomes New Law Firm Client: Osborn Maledon

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ContactEase CRM welcomes new law firm client Osborn Maledon PA with 50 attorneys located in Phoenix, Arizona. Visit them online at  www.osbornmaledon.com.

 

 

ContactEase CRM Welcomes New Accounting Firm Client: Haefele Flanagan

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ContactEase CRM welcomes new accounting firm client, Haefele Flanagan, located in Maple Shade, New Jersey. Visit them online at  www.hfco.com.

Getting Buy-In For CRM, A Step-by-Step Guide

handshake of businessmen.You’ve done your research: you know that CRM can maximize efficiency, help your department dramatically shrink the time it takes to organize mailing lists, and get targeted communications out the door and into the right hands. But first you have to convince management it is worth the investment.
Download our step-by-step guide to help you define the cost of not having a CRM…

http://www.colevalley.com/Resources.aspx

Webinar: Getting Partner Buy-In for CRM!

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Wednesday, November 02, 2016

2:00 PM ET – 3:00 PM ET

Register to attend – https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/711881380025152769

Need CRM, but worried about getting buy-in?

Learn how to build consensus and understand the needs within your firm. Hear how others have obtained buy-in from management and most importantly, hear from management directly.

Firms realize the need to be more efficient, replacing existing systems like spreadsheets and obsolete products, but what does it take to move forward? Our panelists will teach you how, why and when to ask for CRM in your firm.

Our panelists will discuss:

  • How they won approval for CRM in their firms
  • What problems prompted the why CRM discussion within their firms
  • What was the process for identifying the internal champions
  • When did each of them make a business case for CRM and ultimately get it approved

Meet Our Panelists:

  • Paul Morton, Chief Operating Officer at Burns & Levinson, a Boston-based firm with more than 125 attorneys and offices in Providence and New York.  He is responsible for facilities, finance, human capital, marketing and business development, operations, strategic planning, and technology within the firm.  He has managed law firms for more than 30 years.
  • Paul J. (PJ) Sawchuk joined in 2006 Franklin & Prokopik, a mid-Atlantic law firm with about 65 attorneys focused on insurance defense.  In his role as Director of IT, he develops and implements strategic initiatives to align technology with business process. These responsibilities also include direct oversight of end user support operations, facilities and systems management, and leading interdepartmental projects.
  • Jaclyn Braga has worked in marketing for service industries for over 12 years. As the Marketing Manager at Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, PC, she led all marketing initiatives for the firm of 40 attorneys, including website management, social media development, advertising, and CRM roll-out and integration. Jaclyn recently moved to the accounting industry and now holds the position of Director of Marketing at Tonneson + Co.

For more information about ContactEase CRM Made Easy for Professional Services Firms, please contact us: 1-800-447-1712 ext.2 or sales@colevalley.com.