A newsletter can boost credibility and deepen your firm’s relationship with clients and colleagues. But open rates are notoriously difficult to improve—and it can be incredibly frustrating to spend hours on your newsletter just to get a lukewarm response.
So how do we improve this critical KPI? By experimenting with tactics and regularly reviewing your open rate metrics, you can learn which strategies and content are the most effective.
This article offers six actionable strategies to help improve your open rates, from writing interesting subject lines to hitting “send” at the right time of day. Your newsletter is about to become one of the most powerful tools in your law firm’s arsenal!
#1 – Deliver value with the touchpoints
The cardinal rule for all content is that it must provide immediate, obvious value to the reader.
If you do not deliver something valuable just a single time, people will lose interest and stop opening your newsletter. Whenever you include a solicitation, make sure you also include something useful. Less is more! Don’t send something out just to keep your name top of mind.
Audience segmentation and unique newsletters can help you deliver strategic value, especially if you specialize in multiple practice areas. For instance, a client who retained you for a prenup probably wants very different newsletter content than the startup who retained you for help with formation docs.
#2 – Experiment with subject lines
Many firms want to include the firm’s name in their newsletter subject line—but this is neither enticing nor descriptive. A subject line should be short, expressive, and memorable.
Here are a few types of subject lines that tend to earn higher open rates:
- Personalized with the recipient’s name
- Intriguing or thought-provoking questions
- Confessional or personal opinions
- Action words
- Numbers or figures
- Relevance to pain points
Many newsletter software allows for A/B testing which you can use to test different subject lines on different segments of your email list. Remember to avoid words that will trigger the spam filters and divert your newsletter to the Spam folder.
#3 – Send the email from a trusted recipient
In general, emails sent from personal email addresses are considered more trustworthy by both people and spam filters.
Rather than sending it from a generic email like firstname.lastname@example.org, send the newsletter from the attorney associated with the recipient’s matter.
This strategy does not mean that individual attorneys should be saddled with managing newsletter responses. Most practice management software and sophisticated CRM software can handle this type of newsletter delivery where the “From” field is made to appear personalized.
#4 – Make sure it’s optimized for mobile
Over 80% of all emails are opened on mobile devices. Your carefully formatted text may look very professional on a computer screen but totally wonky on a vertical smartphone!
Just like your website needs to be optimized for mobile visitors, your newsletter needs to be optimized for mobile readers. Make sure that everything you send, from graphics to videos and event registrations, is mobile-friendly.
#5 – Keep your data clean
Your firm should have data policies in place that dictate how you handle visitor data. This includes website visitor data, newsletter reader contact info, and client data.
A clean data strategy for your newsletter should include regular times to review and clean up outdated contacts in your mailing list. Newsletters are not a one-and-done import!
#6 – Identify the best time for your audience
Think about when your target audience is active online—and when they may be most amenable to reading your content.
9:00 AM on a Monday morning may be a good time to reach colleagues with a quick industry thought piece, but 7:00 PM on a Tuesday might be better for reaching people about personal matters like bankruptcy or estate planning. Time of day can have a serious impact on your open rates!
Testing is the best way to identify the best time for your audience.
The right software can schedule and send newsletter content on your behalf so you don’t have to stay around after hours to hit send.
Review and next steps
Newsletters must be carefully crafted and strategically deployed in order to be effective. For every hour you spend writing content for your newsletter, spend a few minutes experimenting with these tactics to see what makes people open and read your newsletter:
- Deliver value, every time
- Write compelling subject lines
- Send the email from a trusted recipient
- Optimize the content for mobile readers
- Utilize clean data practices
- Send at the right time for your audience
Every firm—and every mailing list—is different. Plan to experiment continuously with content and delivery to get the best results for your law firm newsletter.