Whittier to Speak on Future of CRM at LMA Northeast 2016 Conference

Jennifer Whittier, Chief Operating Officer for Cole Valley Software, will be among the panelists at next week’s LMA Northeast 2016 Conference in Boston.  Her session: “The Future of CRM – and the CRM of the Future” will provide attendees insight into features of CRM that can provide firms with real value, including:

  • Signature scraping
  • Relationship scoring
  • Opportunity pipelines
  • Activity and referral tracking
  • Business card scanning
  • Company data enhancements

Panelists will also discuss best practices to address common issues such as:

  • Adoption issues
  • Attorney buy-in
  • Effective communication
  • Data integrity
  • ROI

Jennifer has extensive customer relations experience and is responsible for the successful implementation of numerous ContactEase CRM installations.  A former ContactEase client for over five years, she joined Cole Valley Software in 2009. She is a frequent speaker on best practices of CRM implementation, including the integration of technology and marketing. Using her in-house experience as a former Director of Marketing and Client Relations, she understands the need for successful team work and collaboration. Jennifer enjoys visiting law firms across the country to share her knowledge of CRM best practices. Her clients rely on her for sound advice, extensive knowledge and most of all, her ability to bridge the gap between marketing and information technology.

For more information on “The Future of CRM – and the CRM of the Future,” or to register for the conference, please visit https://lmaneconference.com/.

Avoid Turning Into The Grinch This Holiday Season: Follow-up

We wanted to thank everyone who joined us last week for our holiday card webinar: How to Avoid Turning Into the Grinch This Holiday Season. The webinar covered best practices with list management, creative, physical cards and e-cards, how to stand out from the crowd, and most importantly timing. After the webinar we got numerous requests for the presentation and notes. So to better help you through your holiday card work we created a holiday card guide! Request your copy by emailing marketing@colevalley.com.

You can check out holiday card samples and find inspirations on our ContactEase Pinterest board.

Avoid Turning into the Grinch This Holiday Season

Grinch

It’s that time of year again! Summer is officially over and the season for holiday cards is looming around the corner. Join ContactEase for our upcoming holiday card webinar: How to Avoid Turning into the Grinch This Holiday Season. 

This thought leadership webinar will provide best practices related to list management, creative concepts, physical v. e-cards, standing out amongst the crowd, and how to manage the timing needed to complete your holiday cards this season.

This webinar will be hosted on Tuesday, September 23rd at 12:00PM CST.
>>REGISTER TODAY

Already a ContactEase client?
Learn how to use ContactEase from our resident trainer and an expert on holiday card management, David Chatburn. He will demonstrate how to use ContactEase fields, categories, assignments and Mailing List Manager to support your holiday card programs. This live session also allows you to ask questions and participate in the discussion. Learn more about the training webinar or request a recording by emailing marketing@colevalley.com.

Reflecting on the 2014 ILTA Annual Conference

Last month our entire ContactEase team had the opportunity to attend the 2014 ILTA Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee themed Imagine. The four-day conference had over 200 peer-developed educational sessions, numerous networking opportunities, and provided our team with the insights and inspirations to better partner with our clients and prospects.

Having our entire team at the conference also allowed us to come together afterwards and discuss the sessions we attended. These sessions varied from creating marketing and business development ROI to implementation and deployment best practices. With so many sessions and an overwhelming amount of content, we have decided launch a new blog series “ILTA Reflections.” Once a week until the end of October we will be reflecting on one of the sessions a team member has attended. Next week the series will kick off with the blog post “ILTA Reflections: Using Big Data To Measure Marketing and Business Development ROI.”

If you also attended the conference and are interested in sharing your take on a session we would love to share it here. Just send an email to marketing@colevalley.com with your session recap and we will post it here with you as our guest author!

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation: Consent and Burden of Proof

So far in our series about Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) we have covered the basics and commercial electronic messages. In this post we will cover the different types of consent and the burden of proof.

Consent = Permission

There are two different types of consent that apply to CASL, express and implied. Express consent means an individual must take affirmative action to “opt-in” to your list willingly. Implied consent is when a relationship exists, but the recipient is added to your list without any affirmative action.

With both types of consent there a is “burden of proof” that is required. This means that it is your responsibility to track, record, and document the information necessary to prove that you have consent to be contacting that person. Best practices include ensuring that all records of your compliance procedures and policies are maintained, and that proof of consent is documented and tracked. This information may support a due diligence defense at a later point in time if your firm is ever called into question.

So let’s see this in action….

EXPRESS CONSENT

Jeff's Business Card

You collect someone’s business card and after meeting them send an email to confirm that you met them and they have requested more information or to be added to a list. This allows you to have the necessary information needed for the burden of proof.

Filled out form

 

Someone fills out a form on your website with the intent of being placed on your list. A confirmation email would then be sent which requires a recipient to click a link to confirm they wish to be placed on the list. When they click the link, the date/time and IP stamp should be recorded.

Phone

A person gives you their email address over the phone with the intent of being placed on your list. The same process of sending a confirmation email applies, but express consent could be proven if you recorded the conversation for each recipient.

IMPLIED CONSENT

Interest

If someone expresses interest in your business as part of the sales process or enters their email address on your website to download educational material, they are to be considered “prospects” and implied consent is given to send commercial electronic messages for a period of 6 months only.

 

 

 

 

Checkmark

If a recipient is added automatically or is required to un-check a box to opt-out during a process, this method is considered implied and not express consent under CASL. As a best practice this should be avoided anyways as it will typically generate a large volume of emails flagged as spam which negatively affects your reputation as a sender. In order for it to be express consent, a recipient must go through an opt-in mechanism, as opposed to opt-out. The end-user must take a positive action to indicate their consent.

Check back as our next post will cover the fine print of CASL and processes that can be used during the three-year transition period in case you are not going to meet the July 1st deadline!

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation: Commercial Electronic Messages

In our previous post about Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation we briefly covered the law and provided some recommendations and considerations. In this post we will cover Commercial Electronic Messages. As defined by the law a Commercial Electronic Message (CEM) is any electronic message that “encourages participation in a commercial activity” regardless of whether there in an expectation to profit. CEMs include:

  • Emails
  • Instant messages
  • Text messages
  • Any other electronic correspondence

Examples of CEMs:

  • Offers to purchase, sell, barter or lease a product, goods, a service
  • Offers to provide a business, investment or gaming opportunity
  • Promoting a person, including the public image of a person, as being a person who does anything referred to above, or who intends to do so

Parts of a message to examine to determine if it encourages participation in a commercial activity include:

  • Content of the message
  • Hyperlinks in the message to website content or a database
  • Contact information in the message

Accordingly, businesses should consider removing all promotional messaging, including messaging promoting the business itself (e.g. an award or ranking) from electronic messages that are not categorized by the business as being a CEM to avoid having such messages caught by CASL.

In our post next week we will cover the four key requirements of CASL and specifically the types of consent and the burden of proof.

Playing the Relationship Game in Today’s Connected World: Insights from the LMA Annual Conference

John Simpson, CEO, and Kalev Peekna, Managing Director of Strategy for One North Interactive lead an engaging session during the LMA Annual Conference entitled: Playing the Relationship Game in Today’s Connected World. The session focused on the effects relationships have and how they can impact a firm’s business and opportunities.

John and Kalev showcased how other businesses are using interactive marketing to reach their clients at every point in their decision-making experience. They also shared how essential it is to align your digital marketing and business development efforts along “The Relationship Cycle.”

Relationship Cycle

From the session, the key lesson that resonated with me was that in the relationship cycle many firms are not participating in the “Active Evaluation” phase. It is in the evaluation phase that you can really learn about your business; then by following-up on the feedback, it formalizes a relationship and creates loyalty.
My favorite quote from the session reinforces this:

 “Loyalty counts more and costs less than awareness.”
– Harvard Business Review

It shocked me to learn from the session that only 1 in 8 (12%) of firms always meet up with their clients to see how satisfied the legal department was with their work and 18% NEVER meet with their clients to discuss satisfaction. By engaging your clients and asking for feedback it opens the dialogue so that in future situations if an issue arises they may feel more comfortable coming forward with issues or input. Client retention should be a key part of the marketing and business development plan.

INTERACT: Does your firm actively seek feedback?

Developing Powerful Individual Marketing Plans

At last week’s LMA-MN luncheon we had the ability to attend Ross Fishman’s presentation Developing Powerful individual Marketing Plans. Fishman discussed marketing plans, budgeting, differentiation, and marketing best practices.
Here are the five key takeaways from the luncheon:

1. Lack of Focus
The number one mistake in coming up with a marketing plan is a lack of focus.
Focus

2. You CAN’T Do Everything
Marketers should help identify who the right people are to target by focusing on a narrow audience. It is also important to remember that you can do more with less if you try. Fishman suggests using more “creative tactics” to reach your audience as it is cheaper. By being bold the work is more memorable. We loved the example below…Advertisement
Which ad gets your attention for the divorce lawyer? I guess he does look hard
at work in the left and who doesn’t love reading lots of text… NOT.

3. Decide Who You Are Then OWN It
This was a great point that came from the presentation. You can never be everything to everyone, but you can find your niche. For example a firm could say they are the “finance expert” but what does that mean? If there is a specialty such as “aircraft finance,” own it and dominate that market.

4. Do One Thing Well
Fishman brought up a great point… What do you do if you only have enough money to do one thing well? He gave an example Don’t just check a box (we have a blog, check) but determine what is effective and needed to do the project well.

5. Re-Use Re-Make Repurpose
As resources continue to be stretched thin, don’t remake the wheel but rather repurpose it. Content marketing will continue to be a key asset in the future. Repurpose content to maximize your initial efforts.

Old Model: Speak, leave, pray.

NEW Model: Cut it up and spread it across the internet! Re-use the content you worked so hard to create by either using the entire thing or by segmenting it into sections:

  • Videotape: put the content on Vimeo, YouTube, and your website
  • Audiotape: edit the audio into podcasts
  • Transcribe: articles, blog posts, and tweets
  • Remember synergy created powerful SEO

For more information on the topic and to learn more about Fishman visit: http://www.fishmanmarketing.com/

What Happens in Vegas… Shouldn’t Stay in Vegas

With hundreds of high quality sessions and record breaking attendance, this year’s ILTA (International Legal Technology Association) conference was a success. With four days of back to back sessions plus the social outings it is hard to retain everything you learned and remember everyone you met. After being out of the office for that long all of the inspiration and insight can quickly be lost once getting back in to the routine of your day to day tasks. The question becomes how do you retain what you learned and keep the conversations going with the new friends you have made?

Here are my top three suggestions post-conference to make the conference last more than the week you were in Las Vegas:

Keeping the Fire Alive
While at the conference I become so emerged into the new technologies, insightful case studies, and the innovative ideas I feel like I could come back to the office and change the world. What really happens, unfortunately, is I come back Monday overwhelmed trying to get through the 100s of emails and making sure my projects are still on track. To keep the innovation and passion post conference I will take the following Friday and block off time to go through my conference notes. I know if I try and do this earlier in the week my heart won’t be in it as I am really thinking about all of the day to day stuff I need to get done.

With my coffee in hand, I go through and create a list of the things that really stuck out to me. The list should be no more than 20 items. These are the items you want to build into your plan or goals. Then start to add them one by one to your routine or into your plan for the year. Monthly, review the list and add additional items as you are able to check others off. This makes the list accomplishable and showcases that the conference really did have an impact on the business. This also helps to justify your attendance the next year as you were able to take what you learned and integrate it into your work.

Continued Education
The content and education doesn’t stop just because the conference ends. Attend your local ILTA Post-Conference Recap event and share your inspirations and insights with attendees and non-attendees from your area. This also helps to spark things you might have already forgotten. To keep up with current discussions and education post conference, schedule time once a week to read review conference materials, read the blogs, and check out the news feeds.

A Friendship Doesn’t End Just Because You Go Homes
With the sheer number of attendees and my outgoing nature, I tend to meet a lot of people at a tradeshow. During a show I will write notes about the person on the business card themselves. These are both business and personal items such as “struggles with analytical reporting” to “wants me to come out to NYC for their birthday.” After the show I will go back through my cards prioritizing them. I do this based on the business, the projects I am working on, and the personal connections that were made.

After prioritizing the cards I select 10 people from a show to write a handwritten card to. You would be amazed at the impact a handwritten card v. email can have. Then based on the prioritization, I will block off an hour once a week until all cards have been entered to complete the following as appropriate:

  1. I input the contact information and notes into my Contacts. I enter what we talked about and something personal to help me better remember the person. I have also created segmentation in my Contacts and will sort them accordingly. For me this is things like service providers, mentors/industry leaders, leads, etc.
  2. Connect. I will connect via LinkedIn, Twitter, and depending on level of friendship and trust Facebook.
  3. Lastly, I will create a calendar reminder three months out with a list of the top contacts to check-in with. It could be something personal or a simple hello but keeping that point of contact throughout the year helps to maintain the relationship and build a better connection.

This year’s conference was a huge success and it was great to meet so many new people, I can’t wait for next year in Nashville! In the meantime if you have other ideas on how to keep the conference alive or best practices you use please feel free to share them, we look forward to hearing from you!

Best Practices for a Successful CRM Implementation

lists
The list of recommendations when it comes to best practices could easily become a list longer than anyone wants to digest. But, I think it can be boiled down to 5 key suggestions. In fact, these 5 suggestions can likely lead to the success of just about any implementation.

Support from Firm Management
The sole determining factor of success when implementing a new piece of software is adoption and the adoption rates are undoubtedly going to be higher when the firm’s management is invested in the product, excited to use it and ready to encourage the rest of the firm to follow suit.

Dedicated Project Manager
Implementing ContactEase will require a team effort between Marketing and IT, but it’s easy to fall into the too-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen trap. Designate a project manager at the start of the implementation who will lead the charge and keep the rest of the team working seamlessly toward the finish line.

Clearly Defined and Realistic Timeline
Be sure you map out your timeline at the start of the implementation and set realistic goals for completing each step. It’s important to move the implementation forward in a timely way to be sure you maintain everyone’s interest, but you also don’t want to fall behind schedule. Build sufficient wiggle room into your timeline and if you complete the implementation ahead of schedule, I assure you, nobody will complain.

Internal Communications Strategy
By nature, people resist change. Even the members of the firm who are enthusiastic about implementing a CRM system will need encouragement to incorporate it into their routine. The communication strategy to introduce and promote your CRM system can make or break the success of the rollout. Be sure you are clearly communicating with all users throughout the implementation and for some time after. Keep their tasks to a minimum and be sure the instructions for each step are clear. Continue to provide them with user tips/tricks to ensure they are making the most of the software. And, most importantly, be sure to communicate the benefits. The firm made a major investment and they want to see a return. Let them know how many hours the firm is saving now that you have an efficient system in place to manage the firm’s contacts and how many new opportunities you’re leveraging now that you can see the relationships that exist among the members of the firm. Be sure they understand how the CRM system benefits them.

Incentives
Offering incentives boosts participation and ups the fun factor. And the list of ideas for incentives is endless, so be creative. If your budget allows, have contests or raffles throughout the implementation to energize people and meet your overall goals. Reviewing your contacts to be sure they are ready for synchronization seems like more fun if you know you might win a gift certificate for being the first to complete the task. A pizza lunch for the first practice group to finish categorizing their contacts could go a long way. Incentives don’t require a budget. You can encourage users by sharing their successes too. Look for successes to share in the firm newsletter or at practice group meetings.