Email is a powerful tool in the legal marketer’s arsenal. However, emails that people don’t actually want to read won’t help your strategy. Here are our best tips to help law firms strengthen their email programs and improve email open rates, click-through rates, and lead generation.
Law Firm Email Marketing Tips
1. Never Buy Email Addresses
This is a mistake many firms make early on in building their email program, but it can be a costly one. These addresses didn’t opt-in to communications from you and they might not be a fit for your services (and may even mark you as spam).
2. Create an Opt-in Process That Complies with GDPR
This law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is meant to protect internet users’ personal data. These measures are particularly important if any of your recipients live in Europe. It’s important to have a process that allows people to opt-in or out of your communications.
3. Reach Out to New Contacts Within a Day
There is a short window of opportunity when you are at the top of people’s minds. As soon as someone signs up for your newsletter, registers for an event, etc. you should email them. If possible, set up automated workflows to manage this process so you don’t miss this window.
4. Make the “From” Address a Real Person
Don’t email from your firm account or “firm-name-marketing”. When an email is sent from a real person, open rates increase.
5. Add Preview Text
The iPhone Mail app, Gmail, and Outlook platforms all display the first few lines of text from an email. If you don’t set the preview text (and optimize it), the email provider will simply pull a few lines from the email. Letting the email provider default to those lines means missing a real opportunity to entice readers.
6. Write Clear and Compelling Subject Lines
Clickable subject lines are an important part of standing out in a reader’s inbox. Subject lines should be less than 50 characters so they don’t get cut off. They should also include language that recipients will understand and action-oriented phrases.
7. Keep Emails Concise
Remember that everyone is busy and their inbox is already full. People tend to prefer short, to-the-point emails with an obvious focus. If your email must be lengthier, make sure to break it up into paragraphs and use visual elements to make it interesting.
8. Focus on One Call-to-action per Email
People tend to scan emails, not read them in-depth. That’s why it’s important to have simple clear CTA’s for law firm email marketing campaigns. Choose one per email and make sure it is in a location that’s highly visible and stands out.
9. Use Alt Text on Your CTA Images
Some email clients block images by default. By setting the alt text, you can show readers what action you expect them to take even if the image doesn’t show up.
10. Hyperlink the Images in Your Email
You can increase your clickthrough rates – and avoid cluttering the copy with links – by hyperlinking the images in your email to corresponding web pages. For example, if you are asking readers to download content, have a picture of the content with a hyperlink included.
11. Make Text Links Noticeable
Even though you only want one distinct CTA, you can still include your suggested action in other places. In your copy, include a hyperlink or two, but make sure they stand out.
12. Place Clickable Items Above the Fold
If you want your emails to be more clickable, make sure you have at least one clickable element above the natural fold. That could be a CTA button, a text link, a clickable image, etc. This is particularly useful for mobile users so that they don’t need to pinch, zoom, or squint to read the email.
13. Add Alt Text to Other Images
Similar to point number 10, keep in mind that many providers block all images. In those cases, images won’t load unless the reader clicks a button. Adding alt text to every image helps your recipient understand your entire message, even if it doesn’t render properly.
14. Don’t Use Background Images
This is particularly true if your clients tend to use Outlook for email. That’s because the platform doesn’t recognize background images at all.
15. Include Social Sharing Buttons
Adding more options for people to click on will certainly raise your click-through rates. Most email tools have built-in templates that can help you add these to emails. Furthermore, make a point to include sharing buttons, not just follow buttons. This makes it easier for readers to pass on content instead of just following your firm.
16. Create Tweets to Make Sharing Easy
If you want people to act, you have to make it really simple for them. You can create “lazy tweets” for people to send with tools like ClicktoTweet, a free custom tweet link generator. Add that link to your Twitter sharing button.
17. Include an Email Forwarding Option
If you want to extend the life of your email, you can prompt people to forward the content. One study found that the most forwarded emails were 13X more likely than other emails to include “Share With Your Network” calls-to-action. You can even edit the email to have a postscript at the end that makes it easy for recipients to send to others.
18. Tidy up the Plain Text Version of Your Emails
Many people won’t see crisp, clean HTML versions of your email. For that reason, some people may choose to only view plain text versions. Eliminate extra text, shorten long tracking URLs, and keep the body copy simple.
19. Optimize for Mobile Users
Over 50% of emails are now opened on a mobile device. It’s essential to optimize for this audience. Focus on reducing image file sizes, ensuring the CTA buttons and links are larger than 45-57 pixels, and investing in responsive email templates.
20. Always Preview and Test Emails Before Sending
Make it a habit to double-check everything about your email before sending it to your database. Chances are your email marketing tool will let you preview the email, so make sure to do that. We also suggest having an internal test group that gets each email before it goes to a wider audience.
21. Clean Up Your Contact List
Resist the urge to keep every person on your list. Just because someone hasn’t opted out of your communications doesn’t mean they’re actually interested, or even a good fit. Take the time to periodically weed out subscribers who have become inactive so they don’t drag down your metrics. In general, it’s important for law firm email marketing databases to have a clean and healthy list at all times.
22. Review Each Email’s Performance
What worked once before may not work again. Similarly, trying something new could improve your overall efforts. Consistently check on your emails’ open and click-through rates for opportunities to improve. Keep a record of your email analytics and look for trends over time.
Law firm email marketing is a science. It requires sending the right offers to well-researched audiences at the correct time. Paying attention to the little details of each email campaign can help you to do just that. Follow these tips to improve key email metrics like open or click-through rates.
If you need help boosting your email marketing strategy, talk to our integrated email marketing professionals today.