LetterMark for Outlook Version 5.0

Thanks to LetterMark, a robust Web-enhanced e-mail service from Research Triangle Software, law firms can convert ordinary text e-mails into sophisticated and professional-looking communications that go far beyond the capabilities of e-mail stationary and signature files. With LetterMark, attorneys can send e-mails using customized and interactive templates that integrate with their firms’ Web site without embedding graphics, adding attachments or scripts or rerouting e-mails to another server. LetterMark doesn’t require new hardware or changes to firewall settings and will not compromise privacy.

One of the best features I found with LetterMark is e-mails can include a dynamically updated vCard with contact information that recipients can add to their e-mail address book in two mouse clicks. If any contact information, such as an e-mail address, phone number or mailing address changes, LetterMark automatically updates the information the next time a recipient opens the e-mail, keeping contact information current.

My company began using LetterMark a few months ago and we have had excellent results. Within a few days of communicating with the company’s sales department to set up the templates, mockups of our proposed templates were sent to us for review. LetterMark was quick to accommodate format requests, and within three days the company provided four templates based on our requests for various e-mail communications we send to clients and prospects. Each template fully integrates access to our Web site into each e-mail we send, making it easy for recipients to click through to our Web site. Since installing the LetterMark system, visits to our Web site have increased by more than 40 percent.

Installation of the LetterMark system took a matter of minutes via a license key that was sent by e-mail. The setup installs a toolbar in Microsoft Outlook. You compose and send e-mails directly to a recipient in the usual way and they are not intercepted or rerouted. As an
e-mail is composed, you don’t see the template until you actually hit the “Send” button, revealing a preview window. This allows you to send the e-mail with the default LetterMark template chosen during setup, or you can select a different template on the fly via a drop-down menu on the LetterMark toolbar. Pressing the “Send” button a second time sends the e-mail to the recipient.

You easily can disable the “Preview” option within the program setup to automatically send the e-mail from within Outlook. A user can send an e-mail without the LetterMark template by choosing “No Template” from the menu or the “Text Only” option for text-only recipients. The LetterMark template and contact information isn’t sent with the e-mail and is retrieved from the LetterMark data center when the recipient opens the e-mail. One option I would like to see added is the ability to automatically send the first e-mail to a client or a prospective client using my default template and send replies and forwards using another template I specify during setup.

From an administrative standpoint, the system is easy to manage. In the rare event the LetterMark data center is down, there is no interruption to incoming or outgoing e-mail; only the availability of a template is affected during that time. The data center is managed by Hosted Solutions, a large-scale data facility with fully redundant switches and routers between multiple data centers using many security checkpoints to gain access. The system also gives access to various reporting features that show the number of click-throughs to your firm’s Web site and vCard downloads. Technical support for LetterMark is excellent, with quick call backs and resolution to almost any issue.

LetterMark is a great solution for law firms and solos looking to stand out from the crowd by turning ordinary e-mails into professional-looking communications that will reflect your brand identity, drive visits to your Web site, strengthen relationships and enhance future marketing efforts each time you or a staff member hits the “Send” button.

Reviewed by arry W. Salavantis, a legal software applications specialist and president of Resource Advisors for Computers Corp. in Albany, N.Y. He can be reached at harry@resource-advisors.com.

Information

LetterMark for Outlook
Version 5.0

Research Triangle Software
www.lettermark.com
((919) 657-0850
Price: $208 for a single-user license.
Annual per seat licensing varies depending on firm size.

Outlook 98/2000/2002/XP/2003;
Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP.

Overall

Pros
Provides a polished look to each e-mail. Maintains the most recent contact information for extended periods of time.

Cons
Needs the ability to specify and automatically use a template for replies and forwarding e-mail.

Verdict
It’s easy to use and promotes law firms’ brand identities consistently and at an affordable price.
 
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