Is email marketing one of the arrows in your marketing quiver? It should be. Email marketing, or “e-marketing,” is one of the best tools for law firms when it comes to maintaining a customer base and nurturing new leads. When done well, e-marketing keeps you connected to the people who mean the most to your firm and helps to build confidence in your brand. However, if not done correctly, your email marketing efforts will fall flat, and you will fail to reach the audience you are trying to connect with – or worse, chase them away.

To ensure your e-marketing campaigns are optimized for success, here are six email marketing pitfalls to avoid.

1. No-reply Email Addresses
No-reply email addresses create problems. Not only do many spam filters like to catch those emails, but using a no-reply address prevents your clients or potential clients from contacting you – assuming they even open the email. When law firms send emails from a “noreply“ address (or an email address that never gets checked), they are really saying “we don't want to talk to you.” Using a real reply address is an engagement opportunity that many teams miss, on one of the largest direct marketing channels out there.

If you are looking to engage with your audience and cultivate relationships, it’s important to offer some sort of personal contact information. An info@ email is a great option; a personal address goes one step further to authenticate your e-newsletter.

2. Wrong Send Time & Frequency
Timing of an email contact is crucial to its success. Different times – and even days – will help enhance the email’s effectiveness. Timing is also related to the frequency in which emails should be sent. Sending on the wrong day or time, or sending too often, can severely affect your open and unsubscribe rates.

The best way to figure out when you should send your email campaigns is through A/B testing. A/B testing can help you determine the optimal time for your audience to open your email and help you build a consistent relationship with your clients.

3. Failing to Proofread
Small spelling mistakes and grammatical errors are incredibly common in marketing emails. While the occasional typo is forgivable, such errors can create an unprofessional image for your firm (see my colleague Randy Labuzinski’s recent article).

This is a pitfall that is very easy to avoid. Create a test email to double-check your template and make sure more than one person reviews it. Check to see that links work, images are loaded, and there are no grammar and spelling mistakes.

4. Poor Subject Line
First impressions count. If you don’t grab your audience’s attention in the inbox, then you are sending emails that will never be opened. The subject line is one of the most important factors in boosting your open rate. It should be relevant, brief and appealing. Subject lines must be unique and direct if you want your email to stand out in a crowded inbox. It should contain about 50 characters in six to seven words.

Also, never create a subject line that is not consistent with the body of the message. Your readers will soon recognize your attempt at a “bait and switch,” and you will see a negative impact on both your open and unsubscribe rates.

5. Failing to Use Responsive Design
While statistics vary, at least 48 percent of all people get access to their emails on their mobile devices. If your audience can’t easily read your emails on their phones, your messages will get deleted. Make sure your emails render correctly on all possible devices (smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, etc.) by using a responsive design. Don’t forget that in a lot of cases, mobile users have to use their fingers to click on hyperlinks, so make sure your call-to-action buttons and links are large enough for easy clicking.

6. Ignoring Statistics
Marketers who don’t measure the performance metrics of their email marketing campaigns are missing out. Monitoring statistics over time will help you anticipate potential issues, profile recipients, discover the best time and frequency for your mailings, and track the percentage of active versus inactive readers. Some important stats to look at are the open rate, click rate and unsubscribes.

The Open Rate is typically affected by the mailing frequency, sender/subject combination and trust-based relationship that you have established with your client base over time.

The Click Rate (within opened messages) is a great indicator of the quality of the content, effectiveness of the “call to action” and relevance of the message to those particular recipients.

The Unsubscribe Rate will help you understand the quality of your lists and of your overall communication strategy.

By avoiding these six pitfalls, you will get the most out of your email marketing efforts. Interested in adding an email marketing component to your law firm’s marketing strategy? Feel free to contact me, Jennifer Faivre, at jfaivre@jaffepr.com.