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, fueling the word of mouth marketing engine in the process. If you do it correctly, email marketing can be a key part of your overall marketing plan. Here are our top 4 email marketing tips for lawyers to help your next 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 not very likely to achieve results. You should start an email marketing campaign with a very specific goal in mind.
For attorneys, the goal of 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.
If you are looking to achieve all of these things, it’s best to have multiple email campaigns running simultaneously and segment your email lists – one for past clients, one for prospects, one for professional relationships, etc.
Without a proper plan 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.
Be clear about what you are hoping to accomplish with an email campaign 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 email marketing 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%.
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 readers as possible. Here are some ideas to consider:
Answer common questions
Your clients are likely to have a lot of the same questions. One 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, if you do estate planning, you might 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.
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 email marketing. According to data from Constant Contact, 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. Measure your results and iterate
The 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. 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.
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 your law firm. It can help you maintain strong relationships, drive repeat business from existing clients, generate more referrals, and more.
Just be sure to keep these 4 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
If you are looking to get started with email marketing, also see our email marketing guide for lawyers for more information. Good luck!