Email has been an essential part of professional marketing since it was invented. Though tools have gotten more sophisticated and the best practices for using them have evolved, email is still one of the most effective marketing channels available. Because of that evolution, what worked 5 years ago no longer works today. There is more noise than ever before and prospects have gotten savvier about filtering email. This has led to an increase in emails that are deleted before they’re even read. Here are a few things that you can start doing – today – to boost engagement and breathe more life into your law firm’s email marketing campaigns.
Law Firm Email Marketing Tips
1. Offer More Opt-in Opportunities
Keep growing your law firm’s email marketing list by finding new ways for people to subscribe. Doing so won’t necessarily help your emails get opened more, but in a numbers game, a larger (quality) list will perform better. Plus, today’s laws dictate that only people who have opted in to receiving your email should get them, so creating more spaces for people to do that helps keep your list clean.
2. Understand Subject Line Best Practices
Your email’s subject line is a first impression that makes the difference between a user clicking to read more or letting your email sit in their inbox. Always remember that subject lines are short and get cut off around 55 characters (even less for mobile). Try to keep the most pertinent information in the front of your subject line. Also, communicate the value proposition of your email right in the subject line. Why should users want to open it? What’s inside that makes this email so important? Focus on offering a solution and communicating that in those 30-55 characters.
If you have space, you can even add personalizations into the subject line, to make it even more compelling.
3. Focus on Preview Text
This is the snippet of copy that is pulled from the body of your email and displayed with the subject line. Most emails have a line or two like “View this email in a web browser”, but It’s important to actually optimize this copy. Try to keep this section to less than 90 characters, and create either a second headline that is attention-getting or a very brief summary of what’s in the email (why should anyone bother to open it?). Use relevant keywords and a sense of urgency – but don’t simply repurpose your subject line.
4. Add Personalization
As we mentioned earlier, personalization can be pretty meaningful. After all, no one wants to truly believe their inbox is full of mass emails that go to thousands of contacts. Why should your user believe your email is relevant to them if it’s clearly something that was sent to tons of other people? Add personalizations like a first name entry in the greeting, subject line, preview text, etc. Or if applicable, include their company name in the copy as you discuss your points in second person. Above all else, make the personalizations seem natural.
5. Try a Re-engagement Campaign
Use your email tools to pull a list of those individuals who haven’t been active with your firm in a while. Consider these leads that have gone cold. Try to win them back by sending messages along the lines of “It’s been a while.” You can show them what they’ve missed by including valuable content like your latest blog posts or webinar recordings. Remember that if even one prospect re-engages with you, the campaign was worth your time.
6. Choose Your Visuals Carefully
Images are tricky in email because they can add visual interest, which makes them more likely to be read, but some email providers actually block graphics. One trend over the past couple of years has been creating simpler, plain-text emails. If you’re going to use an image, make sure you have appropriate text along with it. That means that if there is text within an image, you create separate text that replicates it. Also, avoid high-resolution photos. Though they might look better, they take longer to load, particularly on mobile or slow internet speeds. That can be frustrating or even lead to a quick deletion.
7. Leverage Exclusivity
You’d be surprised how much engagement your emails can garner when users are offered something exclusive they can’t get anywhere else. What is an exclusive offer or item you can share with your loyal subscribers to make your emails worth opening? Maybe it’s a free eBook, some industry news, a free consultation, etc. Remember to remind them this offer is only for email subscribers and watch your open rate and click-through rate rise.
8. Optimize for Mobile
81% of emails are now opened on mobile devices. Today’s world is mobile, and it’s a mistake not to take that into account when designing emails. The majority of people end up checking email on their devices, not a desktop. Use responsive email design to ensure that everything renders properly across any device. Remember what we said about images, too – you don’t want to include anything that is going to make the email take longer to load. Preview emails on your mobile device before they go out to double-check that they look good on mobile devices.
9. Play Around with Send Times
There is no set schedule that will lead to optimal results. That’s why we suggest testing and seeing what works for your firm. Too many emails become pretty easy to ignore and also tend to increase unsubscribe rates. Too few emails makes your firm pretty forgettable and also ensures you don’t have a lot of data to build future campaigns. In general, fewer, but properly targeted emails will perform better.
And don’t forget to test which day of the week and time works best for an improved open rate.
10. Segment Campaigns
Hopefully, this is something you’re already doing, because segmented lists lead to 100% more clicks. There are many ways to segment lists, such as by geographic location, job title, area of interest, company size, etc. It’s particularly important to segment people who interact with your content so that you can send communications that are relevant to their stage in a client journey with you. Automation comes in really handy here (for a more robust guide to automation, check out our guide to marketing automation for law firms).
11. A/B Test All the Time
You’d be surprised how much difference a small change can make. Test things like keywords, headlines, colors, fonts, button placements, etc. You can also test the time of day that your law firm sends emails or what emails link out to. Remember to only test one small tweak at a time, so that you can properly attribute results to the correct element. As you learn from your A/B tests, optimize future emails and keep the process going. Ideally, you will always have some sort of test running as part of your ongoing email marketing.
12. Provide Clear CTAs
Your email campaigns are only as successful as your ROI, and a successful ROI cannot happen unless users are taking next steps after engaging with your emails. Make your call to action very clear by using bold text, different colors, or better yet a bold and enticing button. Make sure the copy of your CTA makes the value proposition of taking next steps very clear. Communicate what a user will get out of taking action.
And make sure next steps are something easy like a short lead gen form, or an easy-to-use scheduling calendar. No one wants to fill out a form with 10+ fields.
13. Humanize Your Sender
Again, users don’t want to receive mass-produced emails from robots. They want to get back to human connection. Make sure your sender is the name of someone from your law firm, and the from address is the real address of that person.
Also, make sure to sign off with a natural conclusion and signature like you would any other email, always signing off with the sender’s real name. This humanizes your email and lets users know there’s a real person on the other end of things.
Use the tips above to improve your law firm’s email marketing open rates, conversions, and click-throughs. Today’s email recipients might be a little harder to impress, but they’re still a reliable source of lead generation.
Want help improving your email marketing strategy? We help law firms to create, customize, automate, and optimize email campaigns that lead to conversions. Contact us today to discuss your email marketing goals and how we can help you achieve them.
This post has been edited and republished from April 20, 2021.