Seth Godin recently posted: Mass personalization is a trap. For those of you whose firms send email blasts designed to make clients and potential clients think it actually came from you, I suggest you take a moment to read what Seth Godin has written.

I still get emails every day from law firms, from consulting firms for law firms and from others. I think those emails which are sent to thousands at the same time actually annoy potential clients rather than draw them to a firm or lawyer. I am tired of opting out and then receiving more emails.

If I don’t want email blasts, just imagine how your clients are more busy than I feel about receiving email blasts.

Seth Godin not only posted the recent blog but a few years ago he expressed his thoughts in an interview:

Marketing is no longer about interrupting the masses with unanticipated spam: ads about average products for average people. Instead, marketing is about leading tribes – groups of people who want to go somewhere.

One of the lawyers I coached shared with me a story about an experiment one of her partners had conducted with an alert. Here is the story:

I decided to try something. I picked 40 clients that I thought might be impacted by the new I-9 forms.  I drafted a general email text about the client alert. I took the general email text and personalized it in some way for each client so that it did not appear as a mass email blast. It took about 45 minutes to send out these emails.

The result:

Fifteen clients emailed to thank me and four specifically mentioned that they were unaware of the changes.

One client used return email to schedule a call regarding an unrelated matter that directly resulted in billable work.

In 2018, the competition to attract and retain clients could not be greater. Adding a personal touch to any contact with clients will set you and your firm apart.

We frequently visit a family with a daughter who will be a junior in high school in September.  I have rarely seen her eyes as they are usually focused on her cell phone texting back and forth with friends. 

I wonder what it will be like at a law firm when the current high school students become lawyers?

Years ago, I listened to a podcast interview of Timothy Ferriss, the author of a book titled, The 4-Hour work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich.

As I listened, my first thought was it is a shame no lawyer could ever have  a four hour workweek.

My second thought was: Suppose I only worked four hours a week, what in the world would I do with the rest of my week?

I listened intently and thought Mr. Ferriss had some nifty ideas that we can apply to our own hourly billing driven careers. He coined the acronym DEAL.

  • Decide what you want
  • Eliminate things that do not lead you to what you want
  • Automate and delegate to others things they can do that enables you to do more important things
  • Liberate-use your newly found free time

Since I wanted to learn what I could do with the rest of my week, I bought Mr. Ferriss’ book and went on his webpage: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com.

iPhone

There, I found an interesting discussion of E-Mail addiction.

Mr. Ferriss noted that “Crackberry” was the official winner of the 2006 Word-of-the-Year as selected by the editorial staff of Webster’s New World College Dictionary.

He also referenced IQ tests done in 2005 by a psychiatrist at King’s College in London. The tests were given to three groups: the first did nothing but perform the IQ test, the second was distracted by e-mail and ringing phones, and the third was stoned on marijuana.

Not surprisingly, the first group did better than the other two by an average of 10 points.

More interesting was that the group stoned on pot did 6 points better than the group distracted by phone calls and emails.

If the tests reflect on the ability to concentrate, what do you suppose is happening to us as you try to do important work for clients while you are being constantly interrupted by the vibration or ding that you have gotten another email?

How to confront the addiction: I know it would be challenging, but consider only looking at email from 11:30 to 12:00 and 5:30 to 6:00, or only looking at it the last 10 minutes of each hour.

I believe we could be more focused and actually more efficient. Just suppose you created an auto-response, the kind you use when you are out of the office, that told people you are focused on an important project and will be checking email at 11:30 or 5:30.

Do you think you would lose any clients? I think clients would actually appreciate knowing you are totally focused on their matters.