Nowadays, law firms put a lot of emphasis on new marketing opportunities, such as crafting videos on Instagram and LinkedIn, to reach their prospective clients. While there is nothing wrong with contemporary communication methods, they shouldn’t distract you from one of the oldest and most effective messaging channels — email newsletters.
Your law firm’s email newsletter should be strategically designed in a way that captures someone’s attention right off the bat and resonates with your database of clients and prospective clients. Since recipients spend less than 2 seconds scanning an email on average, it’s crucial that your emails are attention-grabbing, organized, and on-brand. The following are some tried and true tactics for improving your law firm’s email newsletter design.
1. Create the strongest subject line possible.
This is how people will decide whether they want to click on your email or not. It should be short, appeal to readers’ own interests, as well as emotions, and be newsworthy. Remember that less is more: you want to grab attention in as few words as possible.
2. Pay attention to the pre-header.
As a preview of what your email is about, the pre-header is the second thing readers will see. Almost as important as the subject line, you should customize copy to show readers what they will see in the email. Your email preheader text should be between 40-130 characters long.
3. Keep it short and sweet.
In other words, be concise. Remember the 2 second statistic we mentioned above? Prove you value readers’ time by keeping your messages short. Entice them with the value you can provide for them without getting into the weeds.
4. Make sure emails are on-brand.
When people open an email newsletter from your law firm, they should know they are receiving something from your firm. It should be branded to the point that people don’t need to look at the “from” address to know who sent the email. Incorporate familiar colors and fonts and use the same tone as your other content, and add a logo or other visual elements that signal your brand.
5. Design the layout with UX in mind.
No one wants to dig into a cluttered or unorganized email. Leave white space and make the email easy to navigate.
6. Personalize each email.
Using individual names makes emails feel more tailored, professional, and personal. Personalizing also helps you humanize your brand, and statistics show that personalized emails help improve retention.
7. Leverage unique visual content.
Though there has been a trend lately toward text-only emails, generally speaking, people don’t want to open an email and see simply text. Gain more attention by using images, videos, GIFs, and animations that break up the written content.
8. Emojis are ok sometimes.
While you don’t want to appear as a teenager texting, an occasional emoji is alright. Research has shown that using emojis in your subject line can even lead to higher open rates. Make sure you know the correct meaning and connotation before using them, and use sparingly, but don’t fear emojis altogether.
9. Responsive design is important.
Responsive design means that your law firm’s email newsletter will change and adapt to fit the screen it’s being viewed on. Since many people open emails on personal devices, it’s essential that emails can be viewed with ease using that medium. Responsive design ensures your email presents properly whether on a computer, laptop, tablet, or phone.
10. Add calls-to-action (CTA).
Effective emails are optimized with a CTA that encourages a next step. These should be visible, enticing, and clearly show why they’re valuable to click. Include a button that people can click to schedule a free consultation on every email. Other CTA’s can be “Read More,” “Download Now,” “Sign up for our Webinar,” etc. depending on what you are promoting.
11. You must include a ‘manage preferences’ or ‘unsubscribe’ button.
According to the Federal Trade Commission and CAN-SPAM Act, you’re legally required to include a “clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt-out of getting emails from you in the future”. Add this option at the bottom of the email in a small but noticeable area.
12. Always A/B test your ideas.
Email newsletter creation should be an iterative process. To optimize email performance, test things like subject line, format, CTA, colors, buttons, etc. Use the version that “wins” and then test it against another version next time. See: A Legal Marketer’s Guide to A/B Testing for Optimal Campaign Performance.
Bonus tip: Make sure the emails you send come from someone’s name, not your law firm name or “marketing”. People are much more likely to open an email from an individual vs. a company.
Savvy design is essential if you want to make the most of your law firm’s email newsletter. There are several ways to set yourself apart from the noise that clouds a recipient’s inbox every day, but it takes a thoughtful and intentional approach. If you need assistance addressing your law firm’s email strategy – contact us for help today.
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