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In my last few posts, I’ve been reviewing marketing automation software for attorneys. I recently reviewed Drip, a lightweight, email marketing software that we use here at LawLytics. I also reviewed Constant Contact, a marketing automation program that’s been around since the mid-nineties and is still relevant and useful today. Moving ahead with our email marketing series for lawyers, I’ll review another popular email marketing tool: MailChimp.

MailChimp for Attorney Marketing Automation

You’d think with a name like “MailChimp,” this would be a marketing automation software that’s hard to take seriously. As it turns out, you’d be wrong. While the name is a little funny, there’s no monkey business happening here.

MailChimp has an array of features for both individuals who are just getting the hang of email marketing and those who are interested in more intricate elements of marketing automation.

Let’s take a look at what MailChimp can do for your law firm.

MailChimp’s Main Features

Email templates and design: Like Constant Contact, MailChimp gives you options to choose from a variety of templates. For the design-savvy, you can build your emails from the ground up. You can either build an email design with their drag-and-drop feature, or you can go as far as coding it yourself. If you want to do the designs personally (but you’re feeling uninspired), MailChimp offers a gallery of designs with examples to encourage your creativity.

Social media integration (and more): MailChimp understands that your business uses lots of web apps to get your message to the masses. Whether it’s Google, Facebook, Twitter or another program, MailChimp integrates with hundreds of web apps and services.

Segmentation: As I recently discussed in my post about email etiquette, your clients are individuals who should receive tailored emails to meet their individual needs. MailChimp’s segmentation feature will help you do exactly that. You’ll be able to create and organize lists that allow you to communicate with your clients about their unique interests. To see what sort of content your audience is engaged with, use the subscriber profile option: you’ll be able to see what email client and device they’re using, their current time zone, and other detailed information. Like other marketing automation software, you’ll be able to see the open, click, bounce and unsubscribe rates for each of your¬†audience members.

Subscriber profiles: This feature allows you to make personalized notes about any client. As an example, say you meet a potential client outside of a law firm setting. They gave you their email address and maybe you’d like to catch up with them later. This option lets you make a note for yourself to do so. Maybe you practice family law and you have a client who loves your blog posts, but only wants to receive emails about topics such as divorce — not adoption or child welfare. Here, you can make notes to keep track of your clients preferences.

Time zones: As the use of tablets and smartphones increases, so does the annoyance of unexpected interruptions. If you’ve ever had your phone alert you to a late night, automated email that wakes you out of a dead sleep, you know what I’m talking about. MailChimp lets you send your emails according to time zones, which means you’ll no longer risk irking a client by sending emails at the wrong time.

A/B Testing: A/B testing — also referred to as split testing — can be valuable in determining what appeals to your audience. A/B testing works by creating templates (email, landing page or otherwise) featuring a control page and a¬†variable page. These templates are sent to similar groups of subscribers. Then, you can determine which version encourages more interaction with your content. If you think this sort of testing isn’t worthwhile, think about a travel company such as Expedia. Their A/B testing led them to remove a single field from their landing page, which resulted in an annual profit of $12 million dollars.

MailChimp’s Pricing Structure

MailChimp offers a number of different programs and pricing structures to meet your needs. Their basic programs (such as the “Growing Business” option) are competitively priced with other software such as Drip or Constant Contact. However, some of the fancier tools, such as multivariate testing and some of the automation features, come with a heftier price tag (“Pro”) that can be tacked on to a smaller plan of your choosing. Here’s an example of what the Growing Business plan (with the supplemental Pro features) looks like:

MailChimp Pro Pricing

Adding the Pro option will run you an extra $199.00 monthly, but may be worth the cost, depending upon your law firm’s needs.

Advantages for Law Firm Email Marketing

In the spirit of “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it,” MailChimp seems to be one of the more comprehensive and thoughtful marketing automation software programs available and thus has a number of advantages for law firms in its ability to provide varied email marketing tools. Law firms will find particular value in being able to tailor their content to the interests of their clients as well as being able to engage their audience from nearly any web app or social media site. For those who choose the advanced features, there are a number of components available — such as comparative reports, multivariate testing and advanced automation — that can give you a leg up in understanding the behavior of your readership and help you make changes to your marketing strategy.

MailChimp’s Potential Drawbacks For Law Offices

As I’ve mentioned with marketing automation software such as Constant Contact, one place that MailChimp might be a drawback to your law firm is in the numerous options for email template design. If you’ve got a design in mind and can quickly put it together, then using a feature like their drag-and-drop tool could be great. However, even with predesigned templates, you can easily get bogged down choosing the perfect palette or structure for your email.

Additionally, only some of the add-ons that come along with MailChimp’s Pro plan may be of use to your law firm. For example, perhaps your firm will make lots of use of this software’s advanced automation features and comparative reports, but won’t be interested in using the multivariate testing or e-commerce data tool. In that way, you may not feel that the extra tools available to you will justify the monthly expense.

Summary of MailChimp for Law Firms

This software is, across the board, very comprehensive and includes everything you’ll need to produce great looking emails that reach the right people in the right way (at the right time).

As I continue to add to our “Email Marketing for Lawyers” series, you can access the very latest by checking out our series page.