Email marketing is an important part of building relationships with clients. It’s the most popular marketing channel across all firm sizes, including, according to the American Bar Association. Approximately 40% of all attorneys engaged in marketing are using email.

Because email has a median ROI of 122%, it makes for a stronger investment than social media and paid search. That said, it’s not enough to simply send out an email. In order to build the connections that will grow your business, you need to convince recipients to open your messages and interact with them, whether that means clicking through to your website, downloading a resource, or attending an event.

Here are four email marketing tips for attorneys who are looking to engage and reach more clients.

1. Create a Dynamic Subject Line

Of all marketing emails sent for legal services, fewer than one out of every five are opened. To make it into that elite set, you need to craft a subject line that is concise, yet compelling.

Mailchimp, an email marketing provider, recommends that your subject line include no more than nine words and 60 characters. Any longer and the subject line will be difficult to read on mobile. Use that space to be as specific as possible about what you’re offering or announcing.

2. Personalize Your Content

Another way to improve engagement in your emails is by tailoring the message to the recipient. Start by personalizing the subject line, a quick change that can increase your open rates by up to 50%. Then make sure that your sender field lists a person’s name rather than the name of the practice.

Personalizing the content itself can improve your results even more according to digital marketing company Instapage. The most effective way to do this is through segmentation, a technique that involves dividing your audience into interest groups and gearing your messages to those specific interests.

With segmentation, you’re making sure your email is relevant to the specific person who’s receiving it. You can segment your audience based on any characteristic that you choose. For many firms, the most logical way to segment is by practice interest. Others might segment by location, especially if they have multiple offices. You may also find it useful to segment your list by leads and clients. 

3. Highlight Value to the Reader

People get dozens or even hundreds of emails per day. To convince someone to click through to your website, you need to convince them of the benefits that you have to offer.

First of all, know why you’re sending the email. Are you trying to book consultations? Do you want to invite people to an open house or workshop? Perhaps you’re offering an ebook download or other resource that you hope will start conversations with potential clients.

Once you know what you’re offering, introduce it at the beginning of the email, then devote the rest of your text to explaining the value of your offer. Keep it as concise as possible and use best practices for readability — short paragraphs, bullet points, and bolding of important phrases or sentences.

4. Include a Clear Call-to-Action 

Every email you send should have a call-to-action (CTA) inviting the reader to take the next step toward working with you. The way you phrase your CTA makes a big difference, so you’ll want to spend some time making it intriguing or valuable. .

Avoid words that sound like requests. These are words like sign up, buy, and submit. They make the person think of taking on an obligation, whether that’s an obligation for money, time, or energy. Copywriting experts sometimes call these “friction words” because they lead to mental friction in the reader. 

The more friction your CTA creates in the reader’s mind, the more convincing you have to do. 

If possible, use low-friction words:

  • Discover what our office can do for you.
  • Get your free consultation today.

Sometimes it will make the most sense to use a word that’s more middle-of-the-road in terms of friction. These words can still convert well as long as you focus on the benefits rather than the work:

  • Learn more about the settlements we’ve won for clients.
  • Join us for this exciting and enlightening webinar.

In most cases, the CTA will go at the end of your message, after you’ve had the chance to explain why people should get in touch with you. If you can, create a visually distinct button for people to click. If not, design the CTA so it’s a different color.

Email Marketing for Law Firms: The Takeaway

In the end, email marketing is all about providing value. When you show recipients that you can solve a problem or provide a clear benefit, you increase your chances of getting conversions. These email marketing tips will help you to communicate those benefits, build relationships, and grow your practice.