Email Best Practices to Keep Readers Informed

You’ve probably noticed that your inbox is suddenly overloaded, and many of these emails have similar subject lines and content. It’s easy to understand how someone quickly skimming their inbox before getting started for the day could easily miss an important message under this deluge.

However, it’s our job as professionals to make sure that nothing important gets missed. This is even more crucial for law firms sending critical updates their clients and prospects are waiting for.

So how do you cut through the noise? You can’t expect people to go searching for your messages. Instead, create an email strategy that stands out from the crowded inbox by following these email marketing best practices.

1. Segment your list for specific targeting.

It’s tempting to send announcements regarding your firm to every single contact on your list. But an unexpected increase in recipients can hurt your deliverability and even if it doesn’t, you won’t see good results.

No two of your clients are the exact same. That’s why you should segment your list of contacts into appropriate groups, allowing you to send certain content to specific groups.

When your inbox is overwhelmed, you probably skim the few emails you choose to open. Your readers will do the same. If your subject line and preheader don’t seem to be relevant, your contacts are more likely to ignore your message and miss the important update within.

2. Create a newsletter for COVID-related content.

If your firm needs to send updates often, consider starting a new newsletter dedicated to those email sends. That way, the contacts who are interested in hearing all the details can stay informed while others who might not be as concerned can opt-out.

If you aren’t sending that much crisis-related content, you might want to create newsletters around general firm updates so people can choose their level of engagement. Overwhelming subscribers is a great way to see a bunch of unsubscribes. While it might seem like more work to create a new email newsletter, you’ll see a great return for your time. Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about sending long or in-depth messages every single time.

Offering a quick, regular pulse check might be exactly what your clients are looking for.

3. Keep messaging focused on your readers, not yourself.

When you create an email, you should have a goal in mind. That goal is probably specific to your law firm.

That makes sense.

However, it might not be the most effective way to communicate. Ultimately, your clients probably care about your law firm, but their main concern is how your law firm affects them. Your messaging should take a client-first perspective.

Information that seems important to you might not be as important as you think. For instance, a lot of companies are sending out COVID updates. But if you haven’t done business with that company in a while, you probably don’t care. During this crisis, many of us have received emails that, instead of resulting in a click-through or earning trust, made us wonder how they got our email address in the first place.

While those companies meant well, they vastly overestimated how interested their subscriber list would be in those updates.

To avoid the same mistake, focus on serving every segment’s individual concerns.

4. Optimize the details for quick recognition.

Another way to stand out in a crowded inbox is to make sure it only takes a glance for your contacts to realize a message is from your law firm. If they see a name they don’t recognize in their sender list with a vague subject line, your contacts are likely to ignore the message at best and mark it at spam at the worst.

In order to be as clear as possible, make sure your “from” field is something readers can recognize, whether it’s a person’s name or a person’s name as well as your law firm. For instance, we sometimes send emails from “Matt from Vuture”: that way the message clearly states that it is from our company while maintaining that personal feel that makes email so powerful.

Similarly, your subject line and preheader text should work together to identify what your email is about. If your contact recognizes your name in the sender list and your subject line claims to have important news to share, they’ll be more likely to open up and take a peek at the contents.

5. Design emails with a clear hierarchy.

Don’t bury the lede. Just because someone has opened your email doesn’t mean they’re entirely focused on it. They’re just as likely—if not more so—to skim for the most important parts, only stopping to read in detail if something catches their eye.

This means you need to keep your important news front and center. It’s also important to keep your email confined to one major topic and/or update. If you stuff your email too full of information, they still won’t catch the most important bits.

Your best bet is to keep your message confined to one large point and to make this point clear by using headlines and bullet points to expand where you need to. That’s not to say you can’t include details in your emails. Just make sure your key points are easily understandable with only a glance.

Wrap up

These tips only scrape the top of the iceberg when it comes to email best practices. If you want to learn more and gain a deeper understanding of email best practices, register for our June webinar. In the webinar, we’ll help you plan your strategy, taking into account your various needs.

A good email strategy and indeed a grasp of email best practices will help you design any email with any purpose, whether you’re trying to entice contacts to sign up for a webinar or update them on a policy change.

Email has been one of the most powerful tools in a marketer’s toolbox and now people are seeing this value in full force. But with an increase in email comes an increase in competition for your contacts’ limited time and focus.

Cut through the noise by following email best practices and after you’ve developed a reputation for sending crucial, relevant emails, your contacts just might go searching for your messages after all.