Don't let the word "database" scare you - it's just a term for a list of data. You don't need to be a computer programmer to have a well-organized, useful database chock full of clients just itching for your next newsletter. All you need is to understand where you get your names from and what to do with them once they're in the system.
How Do I Get Names for a Client Database?
With the annoyance of junk mail, unsolicited phone calls, and spam Email, the government has placed regulations on when it's appropriate for businesses to contact potential and current clients. You can't just pull a bunch of names from the White Pages, and you can't grab any Email address you see off the Web.
Your database contacts need to be people relevant to your practice who are seeking YOU. The list is made up of:
- Every person who requests your information (that "Contact Us" form on your webpage);
- Every potential client who comes from other sources, but made the effort to contact you on their own;
- Local attorneys who do not compete in your practice areas;
- Any outside vendors you use;
- Your local friends and relatives; and
- Other professionals who would be in a position to influence the people who see them as the guru of THEIR industry.
Networking is a big part in building your client database. You may be friends with a great dentist - put his office on your database and suddenly your newsletter may be showing up on the table in his waiting room.
Make Sure You Allow For Opt-Out
Not everyone wants to be marketed to - the last thing you want to do is get in legal trouble yourself! Clients should always have the option of opting-out of communications from your firm. This doesn't mean you have to completely delete them from your database, but it does mean you should always give them options on how and where you contact them.
If you have a client profile form that potential clients fill out at a consultation, adding an area asking where you may contact them will avoid you sending unwanted Emails when they'd much rather just have your monthly newsletter. All Email marketing strategies should have an unsubscribe link to remove their address from your mailing list as well.
So you've got a good database of contacts that want to hear from you, how do you manage and use it? Keep reading to see how the client database will factor in on many of your new media marketing strategies
Members of Great Legal Marketing are regularly shown new ideas of how to make the most of their database, ranging from great ideas for a monthly newsletter to giveaways that can get your list participating with you. If you are interested in learning more about joining Great Legal Marketing, take a look at our "Test Drive" program!