Strategies For Effective Email Marketing For Lawyers

Strategies For Effective Email Marketing For Lawyers
17 May, 2024 • ... • 20 views
Laura Nurmanova
by Laura Nurmanova

Anyone can grow their business with email marketing, including lawyers and legal agencies. With personalized messages, lawyers can share legal updates, nurture leads, and build trust with their audience. But it will only work if done right!

Read this article to learn strategies for effective email marketing for lawyers. We’ll cover everything from the benefits of emails for lawyers and law firms to essential strategies and best practices.

Why email marketing is necessary for lawyers

In the legal field, clients often have ongoing legal needs. These needs can range from receiving updates on the progress of the case to staying in the loop about legal updates related to their interests. So, maintaining regular communications is vital for lawyers and legal agencies. Social media won’t do the job for several reasons:

  • Your audience may not be on social media — they may be too old, too busy, or not tech-savvy enough for that. Some platforms like LinkedIn may work for lawyers specializing in B2B-related laws. However, if your niche is divorce or criminal law, posting Instagram Reels is not the best strategy.
  • Social media has no room for personalization — running a social media or a website page is equivalent to performing a TED talk in a crowded room, so you’ll have to talk to everyone at the same time. It’s especially important when you promote events like webinars.
  • Websites and social media require deliberate action from your current or potential customers — they have to open a separate page specifically for checking out your content. It doesn’t mean you should ditch your website or Facebook page. However, these channels have a different purpose.
  • The outreach is smaller thanks to social media algorithms. Out of 3000 Instagram followers, maybe 300 people will see your post and 50 people will click the “Like” button. 

You know which channel doesn’t have these disadvantages? Emails. They can be personalized, they’re more friendly to the not-so-tech-savvy part of your audience, they show up right in the inboxes while your subscribers check them for personal messages — and they’re not affected by the algorithms.

Interested in using email marketing effectively for your business but scared of fumbling it all? Need a starting point? Check out the best email marketing blogs out there. By the way, you’re reading one of those right now.

Benefits of email marketing for law firms

Still not convinced to start using emails for your legal business? Let’s consider some of these benefits.

Personalized communication

Emails, as we mentioned, have a personal feel and offer an opportunity to cater to the needs of a certain subscriber group or even one recipient. So, if you want to talk to each prospect separately and privately while talking to all of them at the same time, email marketing is the best channel to do so!

For example, if you’re following up with a client on a company registration case, you could hit them up with an email checking their progress and suggesting further assistance. This way, you will show the client that your firm values its customers and is committed to providing ongoing assistance.

Building trust and credibility

Consistent, informative, and relevant email content helps your potential customers see your firm as trustworthy. For example, newsletters with updates on changes in law, case studies, and legal advice showcase your firm’s expertise in the legal niche.

Let’s say, your prospect seeks personal legal assistance in dealing with a convoluted business contract. As they search for a provider, they start receiving weekly newsletters from a firm specializing in business law. Newsletters cover recent changes in contract laws and give negotiation tips. This content helps your prospect recognize the firm’s competence. As a result, when they need assistance, they choose the firm with a newsletter instead of a competitor who doesn’t have one.

Regular engagement

Emails from your law firm will consistently remind your potential customers: hey, we exist, and we’re at your service! So, once they’re in need, they’ll contact you for more intel.

Imagine a law firm specializing in taxes. The firm runs a monthly newsletter with updates on taxation laws and practical tips for businesses so they optimize taxes. They also host and promote events like webinars on the topic. Potential customers keep seeing this content, so they think of this firm regularly — they formed a connection to the company, despite not using its services yet. The former clients will contact the firm again if needed because of the constant reminders.

Targeted messaging

As we said before, any business can benefit from email marketing. For example, email marketing for dentists is a great way to increase appointment bookings through regular and laser-targeted check-up reminders. Targeted messaging like this is possible for law firms too. If you don’t just send a regular newsletter but also spice your emails up with segmentation and personalization, you’ll maximize the effectiveness of each campaign and invest every penny the right way.

How can you target messages in the legal niche? Let’s imagine a firm with no narrow specialization. It can segment the contact list based on their interests. For example, send different messages to those interested in corporate matters and those interested in intellectual property law. One gets updates on laws affecting their business, and the other gets updates on trademark regulations. Both groups get the content they need, so they engage with your emails more often, which also implies better conversion rates.

Lower costs

Finally, emails are very cost-effective compared to other channels. For example, let’s compare it to direct mail. Direct mail requires spending a buck on professional design, printing, and postage. Meanwhile, emails in most cases require only paying for marketing software. 

Even better, email is not just cheaper — it pays off better. Email marketing tends to have a higher ROI compared to social media, let alone paid ads. And it keeps growing — according to Statista, more than 50% of marketers reported a double increase in email ROI by December 2023.

Crafting a targeted email list for attorneys

You can get excited and imagine all the beautifully designed newsletters with cool content you’ll send — but it will be futile if you don’t have a contact list. It’s especially important if you consider sending personalized or segmented emails: you don’t just need email addresses but also lots of additional data.

This short guide may not cover everything you need to know but you can use it as a starting point and build a list of your dreams.

Define your target audience

Before building a contact list, you need to answer one question: who will be on your list? This will define your future list-building strategy and the email content you’ll send. Understanding your audience and empathizing with it is the key to engaging emails and strong customer relationships. 

Here’s how you can narrow down your target audience:

  • Legal specialization. For example, if your niche is corporate or intellectual property law, your audience will consist of business owners and individuals who create something that needs to be protected by copyright. The latter group is rather broad and can involve scientists and inventors, artists, writers, musicians, and so on. This is some room for narrowing down as well!
  • Demographics. These include age, gender, location, and so on. People of a certain age or gender are quite a broad group, so it might not be the best choice for law firms. However, if you’re a feminist attorney specializing in domestic violence cases, you can target women. Or, if you provide services exclusively offline, you can target those residing in the same area where your firm is based. These examples are way too specific though — but we’re still including them just in case.
  • Industry or occupation. For example, if your services mostly target tech workers or business owners, you can look for ways to attract these people to your list.
  • Former customers and referrals. Those who contacted your firm in the past may come back for more. They’re also more likely to engage with your email campaigns since they’re “warmer” than your regular new subscribers — they already know you.

Create lead magnets for groups

Once you define which people you want on your list, it’s time to think of how you get them to subscribe. One great way to build your contact list is a lead magnet. It’s a freebie that people will get for subscribing to your newsletter. It can be an e-book, a blog article that’s only available via a link you sent in an email, or a video tutorial. You can choose any format but the content needs to be interesting to your group of interest and somewhat exclusive.

As an example, let’s take a look at some potential lead magnet ideas for a firm that provides services related to employment law.

  • For employers. How about a free e-book about workplace compliance? The book can cover key employment laws, regulations, and best practices for ensuring compliance at your workplace.
  • For small business owners. Small business owners will appreciate a book called “Small Business Legal Toolkit”. It can contain customizable employment-related templates and resources, like employee handbooks, job descriptions, and performance evaluation forms.

For example, Shoosmiths provides a recorded webinar on employment law developments — you can even download notes, which is great for accessibility. If you have recorded events you haven’t published on your website or other channels yet, use these recordings to lure leads into your contact list.

A screenshot of the Shoosmiths website showcasing a webinar on employment law developments and a link for downloading notes
Source: Shoosmiths
  • For legal professionals. This group is a bit harder to please — for example, you can provide a report on recent developments and emerging trends in employment law. Or, if your audience is less experienced lawyers, you can teach them how to represent their customers in employment-related disputes.

Another way to introduce a lead magnet for collecting email addresses is inviting website visitors to a webinar. Once they register, you get the addresses and additional information depending on the sign-up form. Here’s an example of RCM&D inviting users to register for its upcoming webinar. 

A screenshot of the RCM&D website page promoting a webinar on risk management and workers’ compensation
Source: RCM&D

Segment your existing contacts

List segmentation is an awesome practice because it allows you to send more relevant emails based on your customers’ relationship with your law firm, current sales funnel stage, interests, and more. The easiest segmentation criteria that would require no additional data are subscription dates, dates of the last email opened, and other variables related only to email addresses and their activity. These criteria will allow you to run a retention campaign for those who lost interest in your emails or a thank you campaign for those who have been with you for a long time.

The simple segmentation we mentioned above is already a great strategy. However, things get a little more nuanced when you want more complex segments. In email marketing software like Selzy, contact lists don’t contain email addresses alone — each contact comes with additional information stored in default or custom fields. For example, default fields may include names and other basic information. And when you create custom fields, you can get as creative as you want. Then, you can use these fields and their values to filter out contacts for targeted messaging and spice up your email marketing strategy.

How do you fill these fields, custom or not, with data? If you’re using a list of former clients and referrals, you can do it manually — but, as you scale up, this solution is not feasible. One way to do it is to create a sign-up form that includes the information you need. For example, in this form by Trollinger Law, subscribers can choose why they want to download the car accident guide — out of curiosity or necessity, for themselves or someone else.

A sign-up form on the Trollinger Law website inviting people to get a guide on car accidents, the form has fields for a name and an email address, and also a question on reasons why you’re downloading the book with three answer choices
Source: Trollinger Law

Composing engaging email content for legal audiences

So, you collected a high-quality contact list, and it’s time to run your first email campaign — but you will end up losing subscribers if your content isn’t engaging enough. Here are some tips on how to ace your legal newsletter.

Use clear and concise language

You may be tempted to use legalese thinking it would make you seem smarter but it won’t do any good to your marketing emails. Unless your audience is fellow legal professionals, you shouldn’t gatekeep knowledge by writing convoluted sentences and using vocabulary that would require excessive googling or checking every word in a dictionary. 

The thing is, you’re writing emails for your subscribers, not yourself — so, it’s your job to come up with simple explanations that everyone from your audience will understand. If you use the “explain like I’m 5” approach, more people will finish your emails and not drop off after the first paragraph out of frustration.

Answer common questions

If your subscriber list mostly includes laypeople who don’t know a lot about laws, they’re likely to have similar concerns and questions. To help your audience sort things out, you can answer these questions proactively in your newsletter. 

Also, if your company’s tone of voice allows you to do fun stuff, you can make an entertaining newsletter out of the whole FAQ premise. For example, you can answer weird but surprisingly common questions like “Is it legal to swear in public?” or create a list of hilarious questions from your customers.

Show your qualifications

Law is a field where credibility is vital. So, in law firms’ brand communications, it’s important to show that you’re qualified and trustworthy. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Just say it directly. For example, you can list your credentials in a welcome email. Things worth mentioning include degrees, years of experience, areas of expertise, the professional events you took part in, and notable achievements if any. Just don’t brag too much about it.
  • Mention professional experience. You can share successful outcomes, legal case studies based on your practice, and other insights into how you work and what you can do for your customers.
  • Highlight your education. If you don’t have notable professional achievements yet, highlight academic achievements like published articles, degrees, additional education, and so on.

Provide calls to action

A crystal clear call to action is essential for conversions, may it be an email or a website. Your subscribers or site visitors won’t click a button if they don’t know what they’ll get in return, right?

If you’re in doubt, you can always use the simplest CTAs like “Get a consultation” or even “Learn more”. It’s a no-brainer but it doesn’t mean you can’t experiment. For example, you can implement “user POV” CTAs that are written from your subscribers’ perspective with first-person pronouns and active voice. Here’s an example:

Email from The Legal Paige with a $25 discount off the first contract purchase and a CTA that says “Take me to The Legal Paige shop”
Source: Flodesk

Another thing to consider is the CTA hierarchy. Take a look at the email below. It’s mostly about the arbitration report, and it urges you to learn more about it and download a PDF. These are the main CTAs of the email. Meanwhile, the newsletter also contains secondary “Read more” CTAs under article descriptions. These buttons look slightly different — they’re grey and not as noticeable. So, if you have multiple buttons in your email, think of the most important ones and highlight them visually.

an email from Norton Rose Fulbright presenting their latest International arbitration report with the option to access the full version by clicking “Read more”.

Final Thoughts

Email marketing has proven efficient compared to other channels, and it can do a lot for a law firm. However, starting a newsletter from scratch, especially if you’ve never worked with email marketing software, is a rather complex task. Here’s where you can begin:

  • Define your target audience — think of who you want to be in your contact list and an acquisition strategy.
  • Create lead magnets for different subscriber groups of interest.
  • Segment your existing contact list manually or at the subscription stage, using a sign-up form with custom fields.

Also, don’t forget these tips on how to make your email content more engaging:

  • Use clear and concise language — no legalese!
  • Answer common questions — this will help laypeople on your list a lot.
  • Show your qualifications and prove you’re a professional by providing case studies or showcasing academic achievements.
  • Provide calls to action— and don’t be afraid to get creative!
17 May, 2024
Article by
Laura Nurmanova
Freelance writer at Selzy, from a legal background. I’m interested in marketing and enjoy writing about complex things in simple ways. In my spare time, I love learning something new, traveling, and listening to music.
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