Email marketing service provider MailerMailer provides an annual report on email marketing metrics across 34 different industries, including legal services.
They recently issued their 2016 report, based on data gathered from 49,000 email campaigns totaling almost 1 billion emails sent between Jan. 1, 2015, and Dec. 31, 2015. Here are the results – and your new minimum benchmarks – for your law firm emails:
Open rate (what percentage of your recipients opened your email): 16.5%
Click rate (what percentage of your recipients clicked on a link in your email): 1.3%
Click-to-open rate (of the recipients who opened your email, what percentage of them clicked on a link): 7.9%
Bounce rate (the percentage of emails that cannot be delivered): 2.7%
Every email service provides these statistics for each e-newsletter you send out. If your e-newsletters are not delivering at rates that meet or exceed the benchmarks above, you have a problem. If you have a lot of experience sending e-newsletters, like we do, you should easily exceed those benchmarks.
If you’re not meeting or exceeding these new email marketing benchmarks for legal services, 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 –those with between 28 and 39 characters — ranked first for highest open rates at 14.6%. Those with more than 51 characters were second highest, at 14%. However, emails with subject lines of more than 51 characters yielded the highest average click rate at 2.3%.
Are you sending emails on the right day and at the right time? The highest open rates vary widely depending on your audience. In general, Mondays and Tuesdays between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. garner the highest open rates. However, it’s important to test different days and times to see if you can find ones that are better because every audience is different.
Is your email list updated regularly and cleaned of old, undeliverable email addresses? Bounce rates reflect when an email is unable to be delivered, making it bounce back. There are different reasons for your email to bounce, but three common ones are the person’s inbox is full, their Internet service provider has a problem with your email (perhaps misidentifying it as spam) and bounces it back to your server, or they have changed email addresses. Bounces are inescapable, but can be improved if you send out emails on a regular basis. The less frequently you send out a newsletter, the higher your bounce rate will be. If you are just starting out, we recommend going back through your client files and getting emails addresses, but only from those who you have done business with in the last two years; otherwise you will get a significantly higher number of spam complaints.
Have you segmented your email list so you can tailor your content to different audiences? Targeted emails deliver 18 times more revenue than general blast emails. We recommend at least two lists: one for your current & former clients and another for everyone else (referral sources, networking contacts, colleagues), just in case you want to send something different to each group.
Are your emails personalized? Personalizing the message content can boost open rates significantly. Something as simple as using their first name in the body of the newsletter goes a long way.
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. Be sure to preview your e-newsletter on your smartphone before you send it out.