9 Ways Lawyers Can Build Relationships Through Email Marketing
by Tyson Downs
Despite being one of the oldest tools of the internet, email remains an impressive marketing channel, delivering an ROI of 3800%.
And while newer platforms like social media are valuable for any B2C business looking to build relationships with their audience, remember that email is still 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Twitter or Facebook, according to McKinsey research.
Regarding firms, research has shown that 77% of them manage to generate new leads online:
Image via Hinge Marketing
Have you wondered what email marketing for lawyers entails? Or perhaps how it can benefit your practice?
You're in luck.
Here are some best practices you can use to jumpstart your campaign.
1. Automate Your Email Sending
Even if you’re just sending out a monthly newsletter, you should use an email marketing automation tool to do it.
Automated email messages average 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than regular marketing messages.
Here are some popular email automation tools you can use:
And setting up email automation for your attorney marketing will give you an understanding of how your audience reacts to your messages, such as:
- Open rate
- Click through rate
- Unsubscribe rate
- And more
You can use these metrics to improve future messages and tailor them to your audience’s interests. Here are some ways to use email automation to optimize your email marketing for lawyers content:
- Subject line
Your email automation tool can help you A/B test different types of subject lines with your actual audience to see which ones get the most opens.
You’d be surprised by how even the smallest changes in wording can affect how many people open an email.
- Send times
It’s well known in email marketing that people react to content differently at different times of the day, and your potential legal clients are no different.
Use your email automation tool to test your send times. You might find that emails sent out in the morning have better open rates than those sent at 5 PM, and then you can optimize future emails to go out at the best times.
- Types of content
If you’re sending out a newsletter to your email list, industry update or blog post updates, you’ll want to know which type of content gets the most interaction from your audience. Pay attention to the types of content get the most clicks. You should also consider which content types trigger the most unsubscribes, and eliminate them from your campaign.
- Call to action
Just like your subject line, you can A/B test the wording on different calls to action you include in your attorney marketing emails. Identify which one is the most effective and use it in all of your content.
Law firm Goldberg Jones has 4 CTAs on their landing page alone:
All of these can be incorporated into their email campaign to see which one’s the most effective.
2. Optimize Attorney Marketing Material For Every Platform
There are a lot of flashy design elements you can take advantage of to make an attractive email newsletter but tread carefully. About 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices today, so your content needs to be optimized for every device.
Test your design across different browsers and make sure your website marketing is readable on smartphones and tablets as well.
Here are some best practices to follow:
- Make it mobile responsive
Use a responsive email design that will adapt to whatever device the email is opened on (smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop). This will adjust the text size, format, and layout.
- Optimize images for high resolution displays
Your firm’s logo, banners, and icons might look great on your desktop, but if someone views them from a high-resolution display, they could turn out grainy or blurry.
Supersize images in your email campaign to ensure they have a positive impact on your audience across devices.
- Customize your pre-header text
Pre-header text is displayed at the top of your email and appears just below the subject line on mobile inboxes.
Image via Campaign Monitor
You can take advantage of this real estate to increase your open rates on mobile. Use your pre-header text to give people an incentive to open, and provide more information on what the email’s about.
- Don’t over rely on visual content
Visual elements can enhance your email marketing, but make sure your message is understandable without them. Many people choose to block images from loading in their inbox, so you need to cater to that as well with your website marketing.
3. Segment And Personalize
Segmentation is a powerful attorney marketing tool you can take advantage of with your email automation. If you organize your audience into segmented lists, you can send out specific emails relevant to each of them to drive results.
Here are some examples of segments you can make:
- Demographics (age, gender, family situation)
- Drop-offs in your sales funnel
- People interested in a specific legal service
- Prospects who came from the same lead magnet (a whitepaper download, ad campaign, etc)
- Frequency of engagement
Use segments to deliver targeted emails that are more relevant to particular audiences.
You can also create more segments in your campaign that help personalize your content.
Check out these statistics:
- 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement.
- 50% of companies feel they can increase interaction within email by increasing personalization.
Here are a couple of ways to personalize your content:
- Use their name in the subject line and body content
- Highlight the legal services that would interest them most
4. Humanize Your Website Marketing
Law firms have an extra task in relationship building that most regular businesses don’t need to focus on as much - building trust.
You need to convince your audience that they can trust you with their legal issues. Your email campaign is a great way to work on this by making efforts to humanize your law firm.
Here are a few ways to do this:
- Be a person
An email from such and such law firm isn’t personal. But an email from John Smith, Attorney at Law, can be.
Make your email newsletters a personal letter from a person at your law firm.
Including a real signature to the message is a nice touch, and you might even consider having the “from” line be a person’s email address at the firm, instead of something generic.
Faces add a personal touch to marketing materials, and can help humanize your email newsletters as well.
Include a headshot in the “from” section and consider including faces (maybe a shot of all the law partners) as part of your header as well.
Family law firm McKinley Irvin uses a rolling header on their website, with images of people on every slide, really highlighting the human elements of their firm.
- Relate to your audience
Use a tone of knowledge and authority when speaking about legal topics, but otherwise, turn the letter into a personal message that conveys empathy and understanding.
Use personal pronouns (I, we, you) when discussing your legal philosophy, and why representing others is important to you.
5. Highlight Social Proof
Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law did a survey last year to see how most people find lawyers. After speaking with more than 1500 people, here’s what they found:
The most popular method across demographics by far is through a friend.
People trust the opinions of their friends and family over business selection, which is why your email marketing needs to include visible social proof.
Of course, you can’t get endorsements from your audience’s actual friends, but endorsements from any real client of yours is just about as good. 92% of people trust recommendations from people (even those they don’t know), over brands.
Including endorsements in your email messaging isn’t the only way to show social proof. You can also:
- Show ratings and reviews
- Highlight case studies
- Include badges and legal certifications
- Link to your social accounts
Here’s some social proof a Seattle law firm displays on their website:
Screenshot via McKinley Irvin
Badges like these can appear in your email campaigns too to show leads you have the proper credentials they can trust.
6. Think Beyond The Monthly Newsletter
If you’re considering investing in email marketing for lawyers to build relationships with potential clients, you should consider thinking beyond just a monthly newsletter.
Research in email marketing has shown that sending out four emails a month instead of one significantly increases the number of people who open more than one email.
And most people never need a lawyer until they really need one, which means your firm needs to stay fresh in their minds if they’re going to become clients.
Here are some emails you can send out besides just a monthly newsletter:
- Blog post digests highlighting a popular post or series of related posts
- Triggered emails that are sent out when prospects complete an action, such as downloading a case study
- Interactive surveys (which you can then turn into content)
- Industry news
Look for ways to integrate your blogging efforts into your email campaigns to get more payoff for your content marketing efforts.
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7. Effective Email Marketing Should Provide Value
Ultimately, if you want to build relationships and draw in new clients with your email marketing, you need to consistently offer value with your content.
Instead of focusing your content on why someone should seek legal services with your firm, educate your audience with information about the legal process in general.
Here are some topics you might cover in your blog posts and email content:
- What hiring a lawyer entails.
- The possible outcomes of certain kinds of cases.
- Factors to consider when hiring an attorney.
- Notices about changes in legal regulations.
- Answers common questions related to your specialty (e.g. What should you do if you’re injured at work?).
Here are some examples of topics that offer value from a law firm specializing in commercial litigation and corporate planning:
Screenshot via Vethan Law Firm
8. Include A Next Step
Your email marketing campaign may be geared towards building relationships, but if you don’t include a next step in every email, then it will be difficult to get a return on investment from your marketing effort.
According to Wordstream, emails with a single call-to-action get 371% more clicks and drive 1617% more sales.
Include a call-to-action prominently in every email, encouraging your audience to click through to your website or call for a consultation. Try offering a free consultation to new newsletter sign-ups as part of your triggered campaign to encourage them to become new clients.
Depending on the automation software you use, you can optimize your call-to-action based on device. For example, emails opened on mobile devices can include a click-to-call button to encourage people to contact your firm directly, then you can use call tracking to monitor prospects.
Image via Email Design Review
9. Email Marketing For Lawyers: The Takeaway
Email marketing is a tactic no law firm should ignore. Attorneys often take advantage of lawyer marketing services to help build relationships with prospects, so they can gain trust and stay relevant when they choose a lawyer. Email marketing is an affordable and effective way to do this.
If you want to get the most out of marketing for lawyers, remember to:
- Test your content with email automation tools
- Optimize across platforms
- Humanize your law firm
- Highlight social proof
- Offer value with your content
- Commit to more than just a monthly newsletter
- Include a next step
What do you think about email marketing for relationship building? Can your law firm benefit? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
About the Author
Tyson Downs, the owner of Titan Web Agency, has years of experience working with small businesses and helping them meet their revenue goals. Prior to starting Titan Web Agency, he freelanced in SEO and Web Design while working in the corporate world. Tyson is a graduate of Brigham Young University, the father of 5, and enjoys spending time with his family. Particularly on the baseball field.