This article received the SmallLaw Pick of the Week award as a must-read for solo practitioners and those who manage and work in small law firms.

Sending a regular email newsletter continues to be one of the most effective and least expensive ways for attorneys to market themselves to prospects, clients and referral sources. Every year, email marketing service provider MailerMailer provides a report on email marketing metrics across 34 different industries, including Legal.

They have just issued their 2015 report, based on data gathered from 1.1 billion opt-in email newsletters sent between Jan. 1, 2014 and Dec. 31, 2014. Here are the results — and what should be your new benchmarks — for your law firm email newsletter:

Open rate (what percentage of your recipients opened your email): 14.6%

Click rate (what percentage of your recipients clicked on a link in your email):: 1.7%

Click-to-open rate (of the recipients who opened your email, what percentage of them clicked on a link): 12%

Bounce rate (the percentage of emails that cannot be delivered): 2.2%

Every email service (Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, iContact, etc.) provides these statistics for each newsletter you send out. If your newsletters are not delivering at rates that meet or exceed the benchmarks above, you have a problem.

Here’s what you should consider to improve your click, open and bounce rates:

Are your subject lines engaging to entice people to open your email? Short subject lines — no more than 39 characters — generate the highest open and click rates.

Are you sending emails on the right day and at the right time? The highest open and click rates occur on Mondays. Open rates peak are at their highest from 8 a.m. until noon and peak between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Is your email list updated regularly and cleaned of old, undeliverable email addresses? Bounce rates are inescapable but can be improved if you send out emails on a regular basis.

Have you segmented your email list so you can tailor your content to your different audiences? Targeted emails deliver 18 times more revenue than general blast emails.

Are your emails personalized? Personalizing the message content boost open and click rates significantly.

Do you use a responsive design template so your emails are displayed properly for every screen size? More than half of emails are now opened on mobile devices.

If your law firm newsletter is performing at or above these benchmarks, you still have some work to do: by discovering the exact reasons for your success, you can repeat it.

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