Legal Industry Survey of Holiday Card Practices

CE Blog

In the United States, Thanksgiving is barely over, but the holiday card season is well under way. At ContactEase, we’ve talked to many marketers about managing the holiday card process at their firms. While some firms have moved from traditional paper cards to electronic ones, it seems that holiday cards are still very much a part of a firm’s relationships and traditions. Are we right? We’d love to get your thoughts on the subject. We’re conducting an industry-wide survey of lawyers and marketers to understand:

  • The importance of holiday cards
  • What firms are doing
  • How opinions differ between lawyers and marketers

Please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HolidayCards to take the survey. It should take about three minutes to complete. Feel free to share the link with other law firm marketers and lawyers who may have an interest. We plan to summarize these results in an upcoming white paper and will be happy to share the results with anyone who participates. 

ContactEase Holiday Traditions: P.J. Sawchuk, Director of Support & Technology 

If you’ve spent any time with our Director of Support & Technology, P.J. Sawchuk, you know how passionate he is about food. As it turns out, that extends to his family as well! One of P.J.’s favorite holiday traditions is the Feast of the Seven Fishes. This Italian-American tradition is a celebration on Christmas Eve that typically includes fish and other seafood.

Of his family’s tradition, P.J. says, “We shoot for double digits. While you’ll always see things like shrimp, scallops and crab cakes [note: P.J. resides in the Baltimore area], we like to experiment, too. Some family favorites include bacalao (a salted cod dish) and an escarole with bread crumbs, olives, anchovies and capers. Big flavor!”

What’s your favorite holiday tradition? Let us know in the comments!

Jennifer Whittier and Amber Elliott to Present at LMA Tech Midwest 2018

LMA Tech Midwest Speaking

Join us at LMA Tech Midwest in Chicago! Integrations are all the rage, but are they always the best answer? In this case study presentation, Joy Long, Director of Marketing at Ostrow Reisin Berk & Abrams (ORBA), Jennifer Whittier and Amber Elliott, from ContactEase, will share their experiences integrating CRM with ORBA’s new website and Constant Contact. Tying these three systems together has automated the marketing team’s workflow, eliminating duplicate entry and the risk for human error and saving the team countless hours on mailings each month. Attendees will learn what to look for when considering an integration and more importantly, the questions they need to ask of both their technology providers and others in their firm as well as who to involve (hint: don’t forget IT).

Participants will leave this session with the information they need to lead technology adoption in their firms and how to ensure the project keeps moving forward. To learn more about LMA Tech Midwest or to register, visit: https://www.legalmarketing.org/page/lmatech/midwest/2018/Home.

#LMATECH

GDPR: The Clock is Ticking

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Are You Ready for GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect on May 25, 2018 — just a few short weeks from now. If you’re not ready, you’re not alone.  Earlier this year we presented a webinar on GDPR to our clients and as the deadline for GDPR compliance draws near, we’ve had the opportunity to talk with many of them about their data concerns. We’ve had some great conversations and received some thought-provoking questions. While there remains plenty of gray area when it comes to GDPR, two things are clear:

  1. There is no one right approach to compliance
  2. If your firm collects data on EU residents, no matter its location, you must be prepared to comply

While some firms we’ve talked to are making no changes to their data intake processes, many are using GDPR as an opportunity to clean up their data and obtain consent from all of their data subjects (no matter where they reside); others are relying on legitimate interests (a non-consent based option for collecting personal data).

Questions?

If you have questions about GDPR compliance and your marketing data, contact us! We’re here to help.

Resources

CASL Compliance: What You Need to Know

It’s not too late to get compliant!

The three-year transition period for the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) ends on July 1, 2017; however,  there is one piece you don’t have to worry about (at least for now) — the Canadian government has suspended the private right of action which would have allowed individuals to sue anyone for sending spam. Earlier this month, the Canadian government announced:

Canadians deserve an effective law that protects them from spam and other electronic threats that lead to harassment, identity theft and fraud. At the same time, Canadian businesses, charities and non-profit groups should not have to bear the burden of unnecessary red tape and costs to comply with the legislation. 

The Government supports a balanced approach that protects the interests of consumers while eliminating any unintended consequences for organizations that have legitimate reasons for communicating electronically with Canadians. 

For that reason, the Government will ask a parliamentary committee to review the legislation, in keeping with the existing provisions of CASL.

So, what does this mean for you? No matter your location, if you send commercial electronic messages (email, text, or instant messages) to anyone with a Canadian address, you must still comply with CASL. Violations may result in steep fines from the government not to mention the potential damage to your firm’s reputation or your relationships with clients and contacts.

While many of you have likely taken the necessary steps to ensure compliance, there is still time for those of you who have not. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Visit the Canadian government’s site at http://fightspam.gc.ca to familiarize yourself with CASL and any recent updates.
  • Review your mailing lists. If you don’t have a record of consent, get it now!
  • Update your email templates to include:
    • Company name
    • Physical mailing address
    • Telephone number
    • Email address
    • Website URL
    • Unsubscribe option
      • Unsubscribe requests must be processed within ten days of receipt

Effective July 1, 2017, you may only send messages to those with express consent. There are two exceptions to this: you may send messages to individuals up to two years after a purchase or up to six months following an inquiry, but it is recommended that you obtain consent during this time.

Lawyers, accountants and others in professional services industries may be understandably concerned about their ability to reach out to referrals. A single message on the basis of a referral is allowed with the following stipulations:

  • The message must include the full name of the person making the referral
  • The referrer should have a relationship (familial or otherwise) with the person to whom you’re sending the message

CASL is a complex law and it is likely that questions will continue to arise. If you have questions about CASL compliance, or how you can use ContactEase or additional products, such as Mailing List Manager, to ensure that your firm remains compliant, contact us!

If you are working with a third party email system, you may find that their policies are stricter than the CASL requirements. You will also likely find that most of these concerns have already been addressed for you.

Did you know that ContactEase now integrates with Constant Contact and other email systems? Contact us today to learn more about this exciting add-on feature!

Does the GDPR Affect You?

On May 25, 2018, European Union’s General Data Protection Plan (GDPR) goes into effect in the European Union.   If you’re curious about how (or if) the GDPR impacts your business, take a look at this recent publication from our friends at Vuture.

Did you know that ContactEase offers full integration with Vuture and many other products? For information on how ContactEase can integrate with your existing systems, contact us  today!

GDPR

 

 

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.