A law firm email newsletter is one of the most effective ways to provide real value to your readers and encourage them to engage more with your firm. They tend to be a high-performing tactic in a well-developed email strategy. That being said, there are a lot of steps necessary to make sure your newsletter is successful. Here’s a quick checklist to help you make sure your law firm’s email newsletter is driving results.
1. Choose an Email Newsletter Platform
There are a variety of email tools that can meet different goals, budgets, and needs. Start by choosing one that can create well-designed, optimized newsletters (and measure them).
2. Decide On Your Newsletter’s Goal
There are many types of newsletters. What do you want yours to achieve? How does an email newsletter fit into your larger digital strategy? Some examples are: driving traffic to your website, getting more subscribers to your blog, or generating leads. Make sure you understand what the key performance indicators (KPIs) will be for measuring each goal.
3. Select a Template (and collect content)
You can create your own or use a pre-designed format (this is obviously the quicker route). Many tools offer pre-made templates (for example, look at HubSpot’s options). Depending on how often you plan to send a newsletter, you should have time to gather content between editions. You can actively hunt for content or create new content, or just collect content that you’ve seen and find interesting.
4. Personalize Templates
A template is a great starting point, but it’s important to take the time to customize them. Your newsletter doesn’t have to be flashy – minimal text and colors can work well as long as it’s easy to scan, read, and click on.
5. Size Your Newsletter
There are plenty of devices and email servers that people might open their email on. That’s why it’s important to understand what size and resolution your newsletter should be. Most providers will default to 600px wide, with email body padding another 30px wide on all sides. That makes it more important to ensure your newsletter design fits inside that universal 600px measurement.
6. Add in the Body Content
Time to start filling your template with copy and pictures! This is the real meat of your law firm email newsletter, so take your time. Most experts agree on keeping text concise to encourage click-throughs, and adding images where they can support your content. Don’t forget to proofread (and maybe even send to a select group for feedback as well).
7. Add Personalization Tokens and Smart Content
In order to get the best performance from your emails, segment your emails to send to specific audiences. If the software you’re using supports personalization tokens, now is the time to use one or two of them. Also, smart content (that is, content that changes based on who the email is being sent to) such as a dynamic call-to-action (CTA) should be added now.
8. Create a Compelling Subject Line and Sender Name
Research shows that using a real name as the sender helps with open and click-through rates. Use subject line best practices as a starting point, but don’t be afraid to experiment through A/B tests.
9. Include Alt Text and Plain Text
At this point, your email should be in pretty good shape, but there are still some important steps to consider. Alt text is the copy that appears when an image isn’t loaded, which can be helpful depending on how the mail loads. Remember that some readers won’t render HTML properly, so having a plain text version that looks great will support your email efforts.
10. Ensure You Have Your Legal Bases Covered
Before you hit send, remember the laws you need to follow. Those are CAN-SPAM and GDPR. CAN-SPAM dictates that senders must have a footer in their email with an address and an easy way to unsubscribe from emails if people don’t want to receive them anymore. GDPR covers a lot of things but the biggest is that marketers can only send emails to people who have opted-in to receive them. That means people need to deliberately check a box to subscribe to emails from you.
11. Perform Tests for Browsers and Email Providers
Emails may render differently in Gmail and Outlook, and they may even look different in Gmail on Chrome vs. Gmail on Firefox. Some tools will allow you to perform these tests right on the platform, but you may also need to create email accounts with different providers and include them in your tests.
12. Send Your Email
Once you’ve completed all the steps above (and tested and possibly retested), you can hit send!
13. Monitor Results, Analyze, and Optimize
You never want to just send your law firm email newsletter and then forget about it. After a few days, you should have some data from your send that you can collect and evaluate. How did the email perform against the goals you set in step two? Which parts got the most clicks? Gather those insights to help make your next email newsletter even better.
Following a checklist will make sure your newsletter strategy is scalable as well as successful. Are you still unsure how to put together an effective email newsletter for your firm? Contact us today and we can discuss how to put together an email marketing strategy that works for your law firm.