Email can be a really powerful channel for promoting your firm, nurturing leads, and nurturing relationships. The challenge is that your firm isn’t the only organization that has figured that out. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 69% of marketers send email newsletters, and 68% send emails with other content. That means there are a lot of emails landing in your recipients’ inboxes. Here are some of our best tips on how law firms can improve email open rates.

1. Always ask yourself: “Does this content help our readers?”

Your content should deliver what your audience wants or needs. If not, they are less likely to keep opening your emails. Before every send, take time to consider if the content inside provides value. Consistently sending emails that do not provide helpful material is a good way to have people unsubscribe. A good practice is to devote 90% of your content to educational or editorial material, and 10% to promotional information. 

Try using brackets or parentheses. According to Worldata, using these elements in your subject line can boost open rates by over 30%. Remember that people scan their inboxes and are likely to see a lot of text. They’ll notice something that’s different. Make sure you use brackets or parentheses around personalized or timely words. 

2. Make sure comparison images are close enough together.

If you ever use two photos to compare a scenario, ensure they are not spread out. Research has shown that when images are not directly next to each other, people are not as likely to draw conclusions around them. 

3. Use numbers, but don’t spell them out.

There’s been a lot of research that supports using numbers in subject lines. As we mentioned above, people see a ton of text in their inbox, and anything that breaks up that text is more noticeable. It’s a good idea to use numbers, but write the numeral instead of the word. Otherwise, it’s just more text and less likely to have the desired effect. 

4. Include the word “because”.

This is a surprising tip with a lot of research to back it up. Essentially the research proves that people are more likely to assume whatever comes after the word “because” is logical. The word is known as a compliance trigger, which means people are more likely to take a requested next step when they see it. Try phrasing a subject line as “Because of your recent….” Using this type of logical explanation is an easy tip on how law firms can improve email open rates.

5. Capitalize carefully.

People see all capital letters as shouting. That doesn’t mean using capital letters more liberally is a bad thing though. Try capitalizing only one or two words that you want to really stand out on your subject line. You could also try an all-caps “from” address for added impact. 

6. Don’t be afraid to be negative.

In many cases, it’s helpful to highlight benefits and advantages in emails, but people are also likely to take note of negative verbiage as well. People are highly motivated to avoid pain and discomfort, so try testing a negative phrase, such as mentioning a potential fine. Focusing on getting rid of this discomfort is how law firms can improve email open rates with ease.

7. Experiment with rhyming.

You probably don’t want to write an entire email using rhyming, but it can be impactful in a subject line, headline, or call to action. Rhymes are easier for the brain to process and can be more likely to be viewed as truthful since reading and processing them feels subconsciously “right”. 

8. Remember to proofread.

This seems like a step that wouldn’t require a reminder, but you’d be surprised how often typos make it into final drafts. And even if readers can still make sense of the text, they may have a tarnished perception of your firm if they see errors. Take time to proofread and proofread again. 

9. Humanize communications.

Your newsletters will be more effective if marketers write them as if they’re writing to a friend. Consider introducing each newsletter with a personalized note from someone at your firm. Include a unique point of view along with helpful resources – not just repurposed blog content. You may also want to include a photo of the person the note is from. You might even want to change the person featured for each send so that your audience can better get to know your entire firm. Humanizing your email marketing is another important aspect of how law firms can improve email open rates.

10. Begin a two-way conversation.

It’s a good idea to send emails from a real person’s address that is monitored for responses. That’s a smart tactic, but don’t stop there. Take the time to review responses and reply to them. You can encourage a dialogue by asking a question in your email and having people just hit “reply” to send answers or ideas. This is particularly effective for event-centered emails where recipients are already invested. Think of emails as just one more way to facilitate a genuine relationship with readers. 


The truth is that there’s more competition in your readers’ inboxes. That only means you’ll need to be a little more creative about getting your emails noticed. Follow these tips to learn how law firms can improve email open rates, and always make sure that your subject line stands out and your content is relevant. Law firms of every size and type can benefit from an integrated email strategy. Are you still unsure how to improve your email marketing strategy? Contact us today for a free consultation. We can help with everything from segmentation to personalization to automation.