Most sales and marketing teams are working hard to develop targeted customer communication plans. Rather than casting a net, we're learning how to become spear fishers.

It makes complete sense in the legal market, where 59% of firms say broad market outreach has not been successful. Firms are reducing their efforts things like events and conferences.

Personalization at scale

There are two ways to narrowcast. The traditional way is by working through contact lists in pursuit of meetings, and while meetings are certainly the best way to connect with prospects, a business development professional has to spend a lot of time on the phone hearing “no” in order to set a single appointment.

A better way to target prospects is through automated personalization. This approach enables a law firm to reach out to many prospects with customized messages that appear to be written solely for each recipient. Today’s customization goes beyond simply incorporating a prospect’s name in the salutation; it can incorporate different messages, attachments, and images based on what is known about a prospect’s interests. Prospects can be tagged by industry, social connections, size, social media activity, etc., to create a highly specific picture of their identity and concerns.

Beef up your CRM with deep personalization

Once the prospects are categorized, create modular messages composed of, for example, a greeting that mentions a mutual acquaintance, a body that comments on a recent industry trend, and a conclusion that offers a link to a case study, video, or the firm’s blog, depending on what is most relevant to the prospect’s category. This sounds like a lot of work. Certainly, getting everything setup from scratch is intensive, but if a CRM system is already in use, set up may be relatively easy. Most CRM systems contain much of the required functionality, such as the ability to tag prospects, in which case all that may be needed is to layer on a solution that provides additional personalization.

If more information about a particular prospect is needed, there are companies that sell dossiers on the people a firm wishes to target. Some of these dossier services can connect to the calendars of attorneys or sales representatives, understand who they are meeting, and automatically send the relevant dossiers in advance.

Once a personalization solution is in place, all that remains for the business development professional is to make decisions and evaluate results. Automation handles the execution.

This article is an excerpt from our latest legal marketing and business development guide. Download the full guide below for more practical advice.