law firm content marketing

Best Practices To Improve Your Law Firm Email Marketing Open Rates

by Noreen Fishman • April 18th, 2023 • Digital Marketing | Blog

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 our tips on how to improve the open rates for your law firm email marketing efforts.

Best Tips On How To Improve Your Law Firm’s Email Open Rate

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 best practice is to devote 90% of your content to educational or editorial material, and 10% to promotional information. Make sure your subject line emphasizes what content is being included and leverage the preview text to emphasize how this content provides value.

2. Use Parentheses

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 timely words or when you’d like to give more granular information on what’s in the email.

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 inboxes, 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 on email marketing for law firms 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.

law firm email marketing

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 the first letters of words in your subject line. This makes your subject line more visually appealing.

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Negative

In many cases, it’s helpful to highlight benefits and advantages in emails, but recipients 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 of emails. 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 as the preview text from someone at your firm. Include a unique point of view along with helpful resources – not just repurposed blog content. 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 for law firm email marketing, but don’t stop there. Take the time to review responses and reply to them. You can encourage 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. 

11. Include Personalization

Including personalized elements like the subject’s first name or company in subject lines increase open rates by 22.2%. Personalization is becoming more of the norm nowadays for law firm email marketing and makes readers feel like an email was curated personally for them, not just another mass send.

You can include personalization in your law firm email marketing by using automation. Not sure how to get started with marketing automation? Check out this complimentary, on-demand webinar: What Is Marketing Automation and How Can It Benefit Your Firm?

12. Focus on Timeliness

Is there something timely going on in your industry that your audience needs to know about? Make this timeliness known in the subject line and preview text. For example, if a high-profile divorce case recently happened, bring that up in your subject line/ preview text with something like ‘How the ___ Case’s Latest Ruling Says About the Future of Divorce Court’.

13. Create a Sense of Urgency

Do you have an event where your audience is running out of time to register? Is it only one day before the launch of your podcast? Is a very high-profile case about to take place and you’re providing insights? Is there a deadline relevant to your audience? Make this very clear in your subject line and preview text and include in the preview text how you’ll be adding value or helping them in this email.

14. Follow the ‘How to’ Format

One of the easiest ways to convey that your email is educational rather than promotional is to start your subject line with ‘How to…’ This will make clear to readers that your email is providing value and explaining something important. Ex: How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in 4 Easy Steps

15. Use Buzzwords

Certain copywriting buzzwords attract attention and evoke emotion when used in subject lines. Try using some words like easy, simple, quick, last, now, today, soon, best, valuable, etc.

16. Avoid Spammy Words

Certain words will trigger your law firm email marketing to get caught in spam traps by many servers if used in your subject line. Avoid words like free, money, and % off.

17. Test Send Times

Certain send times will allow you to get a much better open rate than others. Test out various send times until you find the one that works best for your firm.

18. Generate Curiosity

Try generating curiosity in the subject line by asking a question.

19. Use Statistics

A shocking or interesting statistic in the subject line or preview text can also help generate curiosity and entice the reader to open your email.

20. Don’t Over or Under Send

Your firm must figure out the number of emails that your audience prefers. You don’t want to hound your audience with far too many emails, but you also don’t want to go a month without a send. Test out a formula for how many emails are best to send a week and when you figure out what works, stick to that.


The truth is, there’s more competition in your readers’ inboxes than ever before. That only means you’ll need to be a little more creative about getting your emails noticed. Follow these tips on law firm email marketing to learn how you 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.

This post has been edited and republished from Jan. 20, 2022.


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