law firm content marketing

How to Build a Quality Email Database for Your Law Firm

by Noreen Fishman • December 28th, 2020 • Digital Marketing | Blog

Email ListSince email is still important, so are email lists. Email has one of the highest returns on investment of any channel, but to see those results you need a broad, engaged email list. Without a strong email list, you could be missing out on thousands of opportunities for gaining attention and connecting with prospects. 

Should I buy an email list? 

Since email lists are so important, many firms are tempted to buy a list to kick-start their email outreach. Even though it can take time and effort to build a quality list, buying one would be a mistake. For one thing, you rarely get what you’re paying for. Many of the “subscribers” on the list used fake emails, and many others don’t have an active interest in your business and will quickly unsubscribe. Furthermore, you can run the risk of being flagged as a spammer, which is terrible for your email program. Even sources that seem reputable may provide lists that put your firm at risk. 

How can I build a quality list? 

The best way to grow a thoughtful email list is to develop one using organic methods: 

    1. Collect emails on your website. Your own website should be the first place you attempt to gain more contact information. Here are some of the most successful tactics: 
      1. Floating email forms – These items appear in your website sidebar, navigation, or footer and ‘float’ along with the user to ensure the form and CTA are always visible. That keeps the option visible without feeling overly intrusive. 
      2. Pop-up email forms – These windows appear on websites to ask visitors for their email. They tend to be more effective than floating forms, and we’d highly recommend adding some kind of incentive, like an exclusive discount or free ebook for signing up, to make them even more useful. 
      3. Calls-to-action in content – Place subtle or more direct requests to sign up for email within your web content. This keeps the conversation going with visitors who are engaged. 
  • Create valuable gated content. Online users are aware their data is worth something. They’re typically not willing to share their information unless they can receive something they view as equally valuable. Gated content is that which can only be accessed by providing information like your email, or filling out a lengthier form. Items like ebooks, checklists, and white papers are common forms of gated content that work well. 
  • Use social media to create email lists. If someone interacts with your firm on social media, they will be more receptive to emails or other communications from you. Use your social platforms to generate a list of accompanying emails either organically, or using paid options. 
      1. Organic methods – You can add a CTA to your social pages and ask people to sign up. Facebook allows an actual signup button. You can use a CTA in posts or stories, and you can also pin the more popular posts with that CTA to the top of your page. 
      2. Paid methods – Social platforms also offer tools that can reach people outside of your current followers. In addition to having the ability to serve your ads to audiences you want to sign up to your email list, sponsored posts and paid ads can be optimized specifically to generate leads. 
  • Collect emails at events. Eventually live, in-person events will start up again. Things like conferences, trade shows, and panels tend to offer high quality, targeted leads. If you have a brand representative present, they should obtain emails by initiating genuine conversations and collecting business cards. 
    1. Expand your audience with guest blogging or native advertising. You can significantly increase your reach with a presence on other websites.
      1. Guest blogging – Identify websites that align with your brand and inquire about a collaboration. You are likely to find a few companies that are not competitors, and have a similar audience. Also, try legal publications or community websites that are firm-agnostic. In your conversations, ensure that you can keep any email information that is generated. 
      2. Native advertising – This is a form of content written by you or your firm that appears on other websites or online publications and matches their unique style. Your goal is to “blend in” and resemble other content on the site. Even when marked as sponsored, this form of advertising can see a 15% higher click-through rate than other types. 
  • Expand your current email database. In addition to adopting strategies like lead nurturing, segmentation, and optimizing content for your audience, you can leverage your current email base to obtain new contacts. 
    1. Encourage sharing – Include an option for forwarding at the bottom of each email you send. 
    2. Update your email lists Begin by deleting out-dated addresses, and create a workflow for attempting to re-engage those email contacts you haven’t heard from or engaged with lately. 
    3. Stay current on regulations – Security and privacy of personal data is important and the rules for handling that information sometimes change. Make sure you know the latest rules for managing your email list data so that you can take steps not to break any. 

Best email software

List building is one part of your overall email strategy, but there’s certainly more to be done. To make creating and managing email campaigns easier, consider investing in an email service provider. Here are a few we recommend:

  • HubSpot – HubSpot is an all-in-one, easy to use marketing automation platform best for small and mid-sized law firms. HubSpot integrates customer relationship management, social media scheduling, automated email marketing, and much more.
  • MailChimp – This is a free option that still includes a robust set of features. Their free version lets you send up to 12,000 monthly emails to 2,000 contacts, and it includes all the features you need to create and manage a great campaign.
  • Constant Contact – With a user-friendly interface and multiple price points, this platform makes it easy to create professional-looking campaigns and provides detailed analytics to keep you up to date on how your campaigns are doing.
  • Marketo – One of the best known and most mature tools, Marketo is a robust platform that works best for large law firms who will take advantage of the full features the tool offers. Though the interface is more complicated, it is a powerful marketing automation tool. 


Your email list is a key component of an overall marketing strategy. If you take the time to build one from scratch, you can have a high quality, powerful database that generates leads and nurtures them into clients. If you need help executing tactics to build your list, or if you need some guidance on implementing email software, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are familiar with all of the key systems and can help you find one that meets your needs. 


Are you ready to get started generating new, qualified leads?

Contact us to get started and let us help you energize your digital marketing and business development efforts.

Contact Us