If you’ve ever felt like email marketing for lawyers is a waste of time, then you’re definitely not alone. Sending out an email sequence only to find out that no one is reading your content is extremely discouraging and takes valuable time away from working on cases. You have better things to do with your time than write emails that have no impact.

But what most people get wrong about email marketing for lawyers is that it’s not the strategy itself that’s flawed. Usually, it’s a matter of execution and a simple misunderstanding of the purpose of email marketing.

If you’ve ever experienced the frustration of a low open rate, then it may be time to take a step back and reevaluate your email strategy. Here’s what you need to know about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to law firm email marketing. By following these tips, we’re confident that your open rates and referrals will start to rise.

Tip 1: Have several different email lists

If you want people to read your emails, then the content has to be relevant to them. Depending on your practice area and your client acquisition strategies, that might mean segmenting your list and having three separate email sequences. You may need to have a list for:

  • Current and past clients
  • Prospective clients
  • Other lawyers

Each of these lists will require a different approach. For instance, your current and past clients won’t want to get even a hint of a sales pitch. You want to encourage these clients to refer others to your business through entertaining and valuable content, not turn them off with sales speak after they’ve already chosen to work with you.

Having a list for prospective clients only works for high-consideration practice areas with high-end retainers. If you’re a personal injury attorney, then there’s not much point in creating a sales sequence—your clients only come to you when they need help right away. But if you are in a niche that involves a large amount of consideration, then it can be a good idea to have an email list for prospective clients that involves a lot of value and a little selling. Be careful with this, though. The hard sell is almost never a good idea.

If you get some of your clients via referrals from other lawyers, then having an email sequence for this part of your network can be a great way to keep those referrals rolling in. You can get away with talking shop a bit more with this list—after all, other lawyers will be interested in these topics and find them engaging.

Tip 2: No one reads newsletters—keep emails short

Most people are overwhelmed with emails, and they have to be very picky about what they spend time reading. There’s a lot of content out there! If you want your emails to make the cut, they have to be short and sweet. Your clients are not going to read a long newsletter, and they aren’t interested in legal jargon they can’t understand.

How short are we talking? About four small paragraphs of two sentences each, twice a week. That’s it! Not only are short emails more likely to get read, but they also take less time to write. It’s a win-win for busy lawyers.

Tip 3: Understand that the goal of law firm email marketing is capturing attention

Law firm email marketing isn’t about convincing people to use your services. It’s about capturing their attention and keeping you at the top of their mind. By popping into someone’s inbox regularly, you’ll remind them of the good experience they had working with you.

If you treat your clients well, they’ll naturally want to refer friends and family members who need your services. By engaging your audience and providing them with value, your firm will come to mind immediately when a referral opportunity comes up.

One person has the potential to refer another 10 or more other cases, yielding thousands of dollars in revenue, so leverage that word-of-mouth power with a consistent email marketing campaign.

Tip 4: Entertain and Inspire

Keep your email content light and entertaining. To get people on your list to open your emails, you’ll need a compelling subject line—one that’s intriguing, but not misleading.

Motivational, uplifting content tends to perform the best. In most cases, email marketing for lawyers isn’t intended to directly sell. Again, remember that what you’re trying to do is simply to stay top-of-mind with current and former clients.

Tip 5: Keep a consistent schedule

To keep your audience engaged, you have to be consistent and remind them regularly that you’re standing by. A good schedule for your email list is two short messages, twice per week. You don’t want to send too many emails—that’s just annoying. But only reaching out to your list once or twice a month isn’t enough to maintain rapport with your audience.

Tip 6: Show your humanity

One factor that’s missing from the majority of law firm email marketing campaigns is simple: humanity. Because lawyers are always expected to maintain professionalism, their marketing efforts can easily come off as cold.

It’s important for your clients to remember that attorneys are human beings. Email marketing for lawyers is most effective when you understand your clients’ struggles and show them your humanity. People connect with people, and without that real, human connection in your emails, your content will fall flat.

Referrals Come From a Place of Trust—Build it With Email Marketing

Unless you’re doing a sequence of sales-based emails, most of your ROI from email marketing will come from referrals. Think about how you treat your clients and consider how you can build more trust.

Email marketing for lawyers doesn’t produce instant results. It’s a way of keeping your clients’ attention and being there for them when the time is right. Building trust takes time and consistent action.

If you’re struggling to get any engagement from your email marketing, then SMB Team can help. Reach out to us on our website or give us a call at (866) 747-1336 to get a free consultation if you want to start seeing real results from your email list.