From writing content to perfecting design, creating law firm marketing emails takes time and effort. However, email marketing is a waste of time if your newsletters and client alerts are landing in the spam box. Luckily, preventing your emails from being marked as spam is fairly easy once you understand these best practices:
Know and Follow Spam Laws
In 2003, the FTC passed the CAN-SPAM Act to make sending unsolicited email illegal. However, under this act as long as emails meet the following criteria they are not categorized as spam:
- The sender’s physical address is listed in the footer of the message.
- There is a clear and accurate “from” name.
- Subject lines are not misleading or confusing.
This means that when your law firm is sending marketing emails, they must include the firm’s address, a “from” name that accurately reflects who is sending the email, and appropriate subject lines. It’s important to note that even a single “trigger” word in your email’s subject line can flag it as spam. For example, the phrases “free”, “100%”, and “guarantee” are all typical in actual spam emails, which means if your law firm uses one it exponentially increases the chance your email will and in the spam folder.
While the CAN-SPAM Act was an early attempt at cracking down on spammers, it neglected a huge aspect of spam – did an individual actively give permission to a company to send them emails? In 2018, GDPR changed the world of digital marketing. Now it’s non-negotiable, all businesses – including law firms – must ask for explicit permission to send clients and prospects marketing emails. This means tactics like purchasing email lists to target certain demographics or even using your LinkedIn contacts as an email list are no longer allowed. Instead of risking hefty fines by using old email strategies, try encouraging people to subscribe to your newsletter or sign up for client alerts by attracting them with quality content on your site or social media networks. This way you ensure that you comply with GDPR and that those on your email list are actually interested in your services.
Understand Formatting Best Practices
Once you’re complying with the necessary email marketing laws, there are additional steps to take to avoid the spam box. In law firm email marketing you want your emails to catch and keep your audience’s attention. However, content and design formatting are more meaningful than just aesthetics. While emails full of images, buttons, videos may seem like a good idea – in terms of spam – they’re not. In fact, you want the least amount of complicated coding and text formatting as possible. Simple email formats are the most likely to be read and least likely to go to spam. While we encourage visuals, including video, it’s important to stick to just a few impactful images.
Provide Valuable Content
What exactly is spam? It’s an email that is considered misleading, unwanted, or not valuable to the receiver. You can avoid a lot of emails being marked as spam by simply providing your email recipients with valuable content. Instead of just updating clients with firm news, try thinking like a client. What will they find useful? Newsletters with industry relevant articles or guides to tackling a difficult legal situation are much more likely to be read by your audience than updates on new lawyers at your firm. Develop a client-centric strategy for your law firm marketing emails to assess what content is the most appropriate for this channel.
Create Re-Engagement Campaigns
Following GDPR, it’s now necessary to always include the option to unsubscribe from your email list – and this is a good thing. If individuals on your email list aren’t interested in the information you’re providing, they’re probably not interested in your law firm’s services either. In order to maintain a healthy email list, we suggest re-engagement campaigns. A re-engagement campaign is an email campaign specifically for the purpose of cleaning up your email list and ensuring recipients are receiving the right types of content from your firm. By giving individuals on your email list the explicit option to unsubscribe you’re able to eliminate inactive users from your database as well as reduce the chance that uninterested recipients will mark your law firm marketing emails as spam.
If your law firm is going to invest the resources into email marketing, it’s important to make certain that your emails are being delivered to recipients’ inboxes – not their spam folders. By adhering to spam laws, following formatting best practices, and providing valuable information that your audience actually wants to read, you can prevent your law firm marketing emails from ending up in the spam box. If you’re interested in developing a more client-centric email marketing strategy for you law firm, contact us for a consultation.