Online marketing is certainly becoming an important growth channel for law firms in today’s world, but most law firms still rely heavily on word of mouth and referrals. Email marketing sits right at the intersection of these two areas. It is an online marketing approach that is designed to help businesses keep in touch with a large network of people with minimal effort, fuelling the word of mouth marketing engine in the process.
If done correctly, email marketing can be a key part of your overall digital marketing efforts. It’s inexpensive and can typically bring in a high return on investment. Here are our top 4 email marketing tips for lawyers to help your next email campaign succeed.
1. Start with a clear goal in mind
The biggest mistake people tend to make with email marketing is not having a strategic plan. They just throw every contact from their network into one giant email list and then sporadically send out “general updates” whenever it feels like the right time.
This approach is highly unlikely to achieve results. You should start an email marketing campaign with a very specific goal in mind.
Without a proper marketing strategy in place, the content of your emails will be less focused and less interesting to your readers. Your audience will gradually lose interest and either tune out or unsubscribe, and you won’t achieve your goals.
In the legal sector, the goal of law firm email marketing might be keeping in touch with past clients, generating referrals from other attorneys or professionals, converting prospects into new clients, or something else.
Segment your email lists
If you are looking to achieve all of these things, it’s best to have multiple email marketing campaigns running simultaneously and segment your email lists–one for current clients, one for potential clients, one for professional relationships, and so on.
Type of email campaign
Also, decide what kind of emails would you like to send to these segments as part of your email marketing campaigns. Is it an informational piece or an aspirational piece? What does the end goal look like? Redirecting to your website or a solution to a problem through your product?
Be clear about what you are hoping to accomplish with each email marketing strategy from the start, and then keep this goal in the back of your mind when sending out emails. Every single email should include a relevant call-to-action that will help you achieve your goal.
2. Focus on providing value
With so many emails hitting everyone’s inbox on a daily basis, it’s easy for messages to be overlooked. Your goal with any email marketing strategy should always be to create content that people actually want to read.
Sounds simple enough, but this is usually the hardest part. In fact, the average email open rate for the legal industry is estimated to be only 22.49%.
Nurture email campaigns
So how can you maximize the number of people who actually enjoy reading your content and look forward to receiving it in their inbox? The best approach is to focus on providing as much value to your email recipients as possible. This can be done through nurture email campaigns.
So, what do nurture campaigns do? The idea behind it is that it nurtures your relationship with a potential client. In your case, you send a series of law firm or legal-related email newsletters to your audience. And, nurture campaigns provide consistent value to the readers and solve their problems.
With nurture campaigns, you are committing to the long game. The client may not buy your legal management product or legal service right away, but it will establish you as an authority. And when they decide to go ahead with their buying decision, you will be on top of their mind.
Here are a few ways to implement nurture campaigns:
Answer common questions
Your clients are likely to have a lot of the same questions. One legal marketing strategy you can use to make your emails valuable to them is simply to provide basic answers to these common questions.
For example, “What happens to my driver’s license if I get a DUI?” would be a perfect question to answer if you are a DUI defense attorney.
Share your perspective on relevant current events
Another idea is to share some legal analysis about current events which may be relevant to your clients. This is a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and position yourself at the forefront of your industry.
For example, for estate planning law firms, share your thoughts about how changes happening to tax policies could affect your clients’ estate plans.
Break down complex concepts and present them in a simple way
The law is complicated and it can be intimidating to navigate for those without a legal education. By presenting complex legal concepts in a simplified manner, you can help clients understand the problems they may be facing and establish credibility for yourself in the process.
For example, if you are a personal injury attorney, perhaps you could create a simple infographic that explains the process of filing and pursuing a claim from start to finish.
Repurpose popular posts on your website
You don’t always have to generate a fresh piece for different channels including your email list. You could always repurpose old blog posts in different forms through an infographic, video, podcast as part of email campaigns.
For instance, if you already have a blog post on your law firm website about patent protection for inventors, you can highlight the main points as part of your email marketing campaign and then provide a link to the blog post for a detailed article.
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3. Keep emails concise and focused
People are busy, they have short attention spans, and these days, they are checking emails on their phones much of the time. For these reasons, it’s important to keep your emails short and focused.
Lawyers can have a tendency to be long-winded in their writing, but you need to resist this temptation when it comes to law firm email marketing. According to data from Constant Contact, an email marketing software company, emails with 20 lines of text have the highest click-through rates.
When someone opens up your email and sees that it’s eight paragraphs long without any images or other content, they won’t be very likely to read it. Keep your emails concise and focused, and try to include other media assets like photos or videos whenever possible to make the content more interesting.
If you have a lot to say, try linking your email to a full article or post on your blog, and just include a snippet of the text in the actual body of the email. This is an excellent way of keeping emails short, and it also helps drive website traffic.
4. Pick the right email marketing service for you
Unfortunately, not all email marketing services are made equally. A good one should be reliable and at the same time, enable you to create highly engaging email content easily. It needs to have marketing automation that can send bulk emails that are actually personalised and targeted while saving a lot of time. Also, it should be able to manage your contact list, segment users into groups and provide reliable analytics to track performance.
We recommend using Mailchimp for your email newsletter. It’s free upto 2000 contacts and has beautiful email designs to choose right out of the box. It’s one of the most popular email service providers out there and it also provides integration with Clio Grow to sync law firm contacts, track leads and monitor growth.
There are also other service providers like Constant Contact, Aweber, Autopilot which have their own features as well. So consider doing your own research and decide the one that meets your law firm’s goals.
5. Measure your results and iterate
Last, but not least, of our email marketing tips for lawyers is to measure your results and adjust your plan accordingly.
Most email marketing software, such as MailChimp or Constant Contact, will give you some decent analytics right out of the box. You should be analyzing two important metrics for all your campaigns:
- Open rate: the percentage of recipients who actually opened the email
- Click through rate: the percentage of those people who opened the email that also clicked a link inside
Why do these numbers matter? Because they help you measure whether or not you are achieving your goals!
You don’t necessarily have to do an in-depth analysis, but just pay attention to your numbers. The open rate is a good indicator of how compelling your subject lines and email topics are.
Also, understanding where the email will reach will help in increasing the discoverability of emails. For instance in Gmail, the probability of open rate is higher when it’s delivered straight to the email recipient’s inbox as opposed to the updates or promotions tab. So, then the question is how would you make sure the emails are delivered straight to the inbox? Some factors to consider would be things like spam complaints, volume of emails, email content, and so on. Find the full list here.
The click-through rate is a measure of how engaging your emails are, because some people may just open it and not read it. If they click through, they are definitely interested in what you are writing about.
Use these metrics to find out what kinds of content your audiences like to consume, and then send more emails like that in the future. It’s really that simple.
6. Optimize emails for recipients
Optimize for mobile
As we are all well aware, an increasing number of people are reading emails on the go. So, it’s imperative to test emails on mobile and tablets along with Desktop. Especially, if your email template is media intensive or configured heavily in HTML.
Understand limitations of Email Service Providers
There might be technical limitations and best practices to consider when it comes to email service providers. For instance, in Gmail attachments cannot exceed 25MB. Also, it’s recommended to have a maximum of 100KB in html size to have easy deliverability and no display issues.
Also, keep in mind that mobile data is dependent on network coverage and may be slow in certain areas. Consequently, having large email sizes may end up ruining the experience of mobile users when the email doesn’t show up properly.
7. Grow your Email List
So far, we talked about meaningfully engaging with end users and nurturing prospects into future clients. But all of that would be irrelevant if you don’t have a high-quality email list to begin with.
Why would a potential client sign up to your mailing list? As Dan Miller, author of Marketing Made Simple said, “Give prospects a reason to give you their email address, otherwise they wouldn’t.”
The best way to do that is to provide a free asset that would help solve a problem for your users that will help you build authority and trust. The free content could be a PDF, video series, or a webinar in the area that you specialise in. Suppose you are focussed on real estate law, then the free asset could be “things to consider while buying a new house from a legal perspective.” You can collect email addresses from your website through a lead magnet.
Email marketing is one of the best ways to market to people who are already in your network and keep them up to date with the latest events happening at law firms. It can help you maintain strong relationships, drive repeat business from existing clients, generate more referrals and potential clients, and more.
Just be sure to keep these four email marketing tips for lawyers in mind when you are starting your next campaign:
- Always start a campaign with a goal in mind, and create a strategic plan to accomplish it
- Write content that provides value for your audience to increase engagement rates
- Keep your emails focused and short, since people will be more likely to read them
- Track your open rate and click through rate to find out what kinds of content your audience is most interested in
- Pick the right Email Marketing Service that works for you
- Track your open rate and click-through rate to find out what kinds of content your audience is most interested in
- Optimize emails for end users
- Grow your email list
We published this blog post in August 2017. Last updated: .
Categorized in: Marketing