Email has been an essential part of professional marketing since its invention. Although the tools have become more sophisticated and the best practices for using them have evolved, email remains one of the most effective marketing channels available. Because of this evolution, what worked 5 years ago no longer works today. There’s more noise than ever, and prospects have become savvier about email filtering. This has led to an increase in emails that are deleted before they are even read. Here are some things you can start doing — today — to boost engagement and bring more life to your law firm’s email marketing campaigns.
Email Marketing Tips for Law Firms
1. Offer more membership opportunities
Keep growing your law firm’s email marketing list by finding new ways for people to subscribe. This won’t necessarily help your emails open more, but in a numbers game, a bigger (quality) list will work better. Plus, today’s laws dictate that only people who have opted in to receive your email should receive it, so creating more spaces for people to do so helps keep your list clean.
2. Understand subject line best practices
The subject line of your email is a first impression that makes the difference between a user clicking to read more or leaving your email in their inbox. Always remember that subject lines are short and cut off around 55 characters (even less for mobile). Try to keep the most relevant information at the start of your subject line. Also communicate the value proposition of your email directly in the subject line. Why should users want to open it? What’s inside that makes this email so important? Focus on offering a solution and communicate it within those 30-55 characters.
If you have the space, you can even add personalizations in the subject line, to make it even more compelling.
3. Focus on preview text
This is the copy snippet extracted from the body of your email and displayed with the subject line. Most emails contain a line or two like, “View this email in a web browser,” but it’s important to really optimize that copy. Try to limit this section to less than 90 characters and create either an attention-grabbing second title or a very brief summary of the email’s content (why should anyone bother to open it ?). Use relevant keywords and a sense of urgency, but don’t just reuse your subject line.
4. Add personalization
As we mentioned earlier, customization can be quite significant. After all, no one really wants to believe that their inbox is full of bulk emails that are sent to thousands of contacts. Why should your user believe your email is relevant to them if it’s clearly something that’s been sent to tons of other people? Add personalizations like first name entry in greeting, subject line, preview text, etc. Or, if applicable, include their company name in the copy when discussing your points in the second person. Above all, make the customizations look natural.
5. Try a re-engagement campaign
Use your messaging tools to compile a list of people who haven’t been active with your company for a while. Consider these leads that have gone cold. Try to win them back by sending them “It’s been a while” messages. You can show them what they’ve been missing by including valuable content like your latest blog posts or webinar recordings. Remember that even if only one prospect reconnects with you, the campaign was worth it.
6. Choose your visuals carefully
Images are tricky in emails because they can add visual interest, making them more likely to be read, but some email providers actually block graphics. A trend over the past couple of years has been to create simpler plain text emails. If you are going to use an image, make sure you have the appropriate text with it. This means that if there is text in an image, you create a separate text that replicates it. Also avoid high resolution photos. Although they look better, they take longer to load, especially on mobiles or slow internet speeds. It can be frustrating or even lead to quick deletion.
7. Take advantage of exclusivity
You’d be surprised how much engagement your emails can generate when users are offered something exclusive that they can’t get anywhere else. What’s an exclusive offer or item you can share with your loyal subscribers to make your emails worth opening? Maybe it’s a free e-book, industry news, free consultation, etc. Be sure to remind them that this offer is for email subscribers only, and watch your open rate and click-through rate increase.
8. Optimize for mobile
81% of emails are now opened on mobile devices. Today’s world is mobile, and it’s a mistake not to take that into account when designing emails. The majority of people end up checking their emails on their devices, not on a desktop computer. Use a responsive email design to ensure everything displays well on any device. Also remember what we said about images – you don’t want to include anything that will make the email take longer to load. Preview emails on your mobile device before they are sent to ensure they display well on mobile devices.
9. Play with send times
There is no set schedule that will lead to optimal results. That’s why we suggest experimenting and seeing what works for your business. Too many emails become quite easy to ignore and also tend to increase unsubscribe rates. Too few emails makes your business rather forgettable and also ensures that you don’t have a lot of data to create future campaigns. In general, fewer but well-targeted emails will yield better results.
And don’t forget to test which day of the week and which time works best for a better open rate.
10. Segmented campaigns
Hopefully it’s something you’re already doing, because segmented listings drive 100% more clicks. There are many ways to segment listings, such as by geographic location, job title, area of interest, company size, and more. It’s especially important to segment the people who interact with your content so you can send communications relevant to their stage in a customer journey with you. Automation comes in handy here (for a more comprehensive guide to automation, check out our guide to marketing automation for law firms).
11. A/B test all the time
You’d be surprised at the difference a small change can make. Test things like keywords, titles, colors, fonts, button placements, etc. You can also test the time of day your law firm sends emails or the links to which the emails link. Remember to only test a small adjustment at a time, so that you can correctly attribute the results to the correct item. As you learn from your A/B testing, optimize future emails and continue the process. Ideally, you’ll still have some kind of test running as part of your ongoing email marketing.
12. Provide Clear CTAs
Your email campaigns are only successful based on your ROI, and successful ROI can only happen if users take the following actions after engaging with your emails. Make your call to action very clear by using bold text, different colors, or better yet, a bold, eye-catching button. Make sure your CTA copy makes the value proposition of the next steps very clear. Communicate what a user will get out of an action.
And make sure the next steps are something simple, like a short lead generation form or an easy-to-use planning timeline. No one wants to fill out a form with more than 10 fields.
13. Humanize your sender
Again, users do not want to receive mass-produced emails from bots. They want to return to human connection. Make sure your sender is the name of someone in your law firm and the shipping address is that person’s real address.
Also, be sure to sign with a natural conclusion and signature as you would any other email, always signing with the sender’s real name. This humanizes your email and lets users know there’s a real person on the other end of things.
Use the tips above to improve your law firm’s email marketing open rates, conversions, and clicks. Today’s email recipients may be a little harder to impress, but they’re still a reliable source of lead generation.
This post has been edited and reposted from April 20, 2021.