If you’re new to email marketing, it can feel overwhelming. A science all its own, it differs from other marketing channels in many important ways. Lawyers responsible for their own marketing often need a crash course in email marketing for law firms.
Below are some of the most common questions lawyers ask about email marketing for law firms (and the answers):
10 Common Questions on Email Marketing for Law Firms
1. Can’t I Just Buy a List to Get Started with Email Marketing for Law Firms?
In short: no. This is never a good idea. Even if people opted in to be on that list, they didn’t opt in to hear from your firm. Not only are they less likely to click on your email or read it, but they can also flag your email as spam. This is a sure-fire way to decrease your deliverability score, which will hurt your email efforts long term.
In the past couple of years, new regulations regarding privacy and consent have also made it more important than ever to limit email marketing to people who have specifically opted in to receive your emails.
2. If I Can’t Buy Lists, How Do I Grow an Email Marketing Database?
We can’t overstate the importance of growing your email list organically. One of the more successful approaches to email marketing for law firms is creating something that people want and would be willing to exchange their contact information to obtain. For example, promote some truly helpful content and require that users provide their email address to access it.
There are many other tactics you can use to build your list organically, such as:
- Asking email recipients to share or forward your email
- Adding an email opt-in to staff signatures
- Promoting lead generation offers on social media
- Sharing newsletter teasers on social media
- Adding engagement features to video and other content
3. What is the Role of a Newsletter in Email Marketing for Law Firms?
You’ll find that there are plenty of different emails to send. The more sophisticated your strategy gets the more workflows and audience segments you’ll create. Email newsletters usually cover one specific topic while promoting other pieces of content. They may also feature ads or special offers, but those items shouldn’t be the focus.
While they are an excellent way to highlight content that’s already been created, you shouldn’t spend too much time developing an email newsletter when you’re just starting out. Instead, your time is probably better spent segmenting your lists and tailoring content to these audiences. Try sending emails that focus on one area specific to your recipients, with the goal of getting them to progress further down the marketing funnel.
4. How Often Do I Need to Send Emails?
The answer to this is simply ‘it depends.’ The best advice is to send emails as frequently as people want to hear from you. Running tests will help you determine how often your target audience is receptive to hearing from you.
Don’t go overboard, and don’t send emails merely for the sake of sending them. Initially, consider issuing just one per month, and increase your sends only when you have content to justify doing so.
5. How Can I Avoid the Spam Folder?
If you check at any given time, there are probably at least a few messages in your spam folder. You definitely don’t want your marketing emails turning up in there!
Sending emails only to those who’ve opted in is the best way to avoid the spam folder. Build a list yourself, focus your efforts on that group, and follow best practices like:
- Identifying who you are in the sender name
- Making unsubscription easy
- Segmenting lists and sending tailored content
- Regularly cleansing your lists
- Not emailing too often
6. How Can I Make Sure My Emails Look Nice Once They’re Sent?
Many people struggle with design elements when it comes to email marketing for law firms, as messages may render differently in certain inboxes, on different providers, etc.
To protect yourself, you simply must test emails over and over. Some email marketing providers can enable this. For example, HubSpot customers can test different providers right within the tool. Otherwise, you’ll need to create accounts on the various email platforms and include those addresses in your test sends. From there, you’ll just tweak and optimize your messages until they appear as you intended. Of course, that can take some time, but it’s worth it.
Once you find a layout that works for all platforms, keep using it. You’ll find it’s most efficient to have templates on hand that prevent you from having to recreate the wheel for every campaign.
7. What Are Open Rates and Click-Through Rates? Are They The Only Metrics That Matter for Email Marketing for Law Firms?
Open rates and click-through rates are the most common benchmarks you’ll hear regarding email marketing. The open rate is the percentage of people who opened your email, out of the total number of recipients. A click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of people who clicked on a link in your email among those who opened it.
It’s worth noting that the open rate can be a little unreliable. There are also other metrics worth tracking. Consider the goals of your email sends and find key performance indicators that help you understand the bigger picture. Do you want to generate leads? Get people to register for an event? Figure out how you can measure your email’s impact on these objectives. Since most email marketing platforms provide these metrics and several others, it’s possible to consistently measure your efforts, gauge their effectiveness, and optimize.
8. How Do I Know if One Subject Line is Better Than Another?
Subject lines can be tricky, but they are powerful when it comes to finding success with email marketing for law firms. The best subject lines tend to be short, sweet, and action-oriented. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, as target audiences typically differ greatly from one another.
Use subject line best practices as a starting point, and then run A/B tests to pinpoint what’s working best. Make A/B testing an integral part of your email strategy.
9. Is a Hard Bounce the Same as a Soft Bounce?
An email bounce occurs when your message can’t be delivered to a specific email address. A hard bounce means that the delivery failed for a permanent reason, such as a fake or invalid address. A soft bounce means that the failure was temporary; for example, the recipient had a full inbox.
To keep your list as healthy as possible, regularly cleanse it of hard bounces. Also, keep an eye on soft bounces to make sure they don’t become hard bounces. If you don’t take the time to clean your list, your bounce rate – both hard and soft – will increase and hurt your overall deliverability.
10. How do I Make Sure People Don’t Unsubscribe?
Making it difficult for people to unsubscribe from your emails is a terrible idea. It’s also illegal. Read up on CAN-SPAM, the latest email marketing regulations. These laws say that email marketers need to make it simple for people to unsubscribe from their communications. However, you do want to ensure your unsubscribe rate remains as low as possible.
Generally speaking, creating more customized and tailored content will lead to a more intrigued audience that actually wants to hear from you. Focus on segmentation and engagement, and your unsubscribe rate should remain low.
These are a few of the basic questions marketers will want to address as they begin to explore email marketing for law firms. For other questions, you can always reach out to us. We focus on implementing integrated email marketing strategies that help firms generate leads, connect with their target audiences, and automate email efforts. If you’d like help with your email marketing strategy, contact us today for a free consultation.