Before we discuss seven effective strategies for writing an email subject line that gets opened almost every time, it’s vital to understand why lawyers and law firms should care about direct email marketing.

Consider the following statistics:

  • As of 2021, there are 4.1 billion email users
  • A staggering 248 billion emails are created every day
  • 80 percent of readers never make it past the headline

With numbers like these, if you’re not leveraging the power of direct email marketing correctly, you’re missing out on a perfect opportunity to create top-of-mind awareness in your clients and prospects. An effective email marketing strategy also establishes you as the authority in your area of law, increasing the likelihood of your readers contacting or referring people to you when the need arises for your legal services. However, it all hinges upon your emails’ clickthrough rates.

Clickthrough Rates: Who Opens What and When?

The average open rate for emails across all industries is 2.3 percent. Interestingly, the day you choose to send out your email matters. According to, Tuesday is the clear winner for sending marketing emails to your database. Emails sent on Tuesday achieve the maximum number of open rates, resulting in a better CTR (click-through rate) and increased site traffic. An Experian study found that Tuesday emails boast an open rate of 18 percent, with Thursday a close second.

However, depending on the marketing survey, Friday is the perfect day to email your database. For example, a GetResponse study cites Friday as the best day for open rates at 20.58 percent.

What are the worst days? Saturday and Sunday because your clients and prospective clients are most likely focused on their personal lives, reducing the odds of them opening your email.

Make Direct Email Marketing Work for You By Implementing 7 Effective Subject Line Strategies

Now that you understand the power of direct email marketing, have you incorporated it into your law firm marketing plan? Suppose you’re considering an email campaign or already have a database to which you send regular emails. In that case, you can inform your readership about new legislation in your practice areas, get client referrals, and expand your practice by implementing the seven strategies below. I cannot overemphasize the importance of subject lines when it comes to proven digital marketing strategies for attorneys.

1. Ask a Question

The first technique is to ask a question in your subject line. Asking a question sparks curiosity and often prompts a reader to open the email for more information. Here are some examples of email subject lines that support effective marketing for lawyers:

  • How do new mandatory minimum laws affect convicts in jail?
  • What are the steps to legal separation before divorce?
  • What if I can’t get a call back from insurance after an accident?

These types of email subject lines are an excellent way to direct traffic to your blog and website for legal clients looking for information relevant to their cases.

2. Create Scarcity

While this tip usually helps other industries promote one-day sales or exclusive offers, it’s harder to utilize effectively in law firm marketing due to ethics concerns. However, scarcity can also mean a rare opportunity for involvement.

For example, maybe you want to host a small promotional event for your criminal defense firm where you’ll speak about the importance of having an experienced lawyer and how your state’s laws can make life difficult for a convicted criminal. Of course, your goal is to have new clients attend and sign a retainer for your services to prevent those hardships.

Your legal marketing email to existing clients should say, “Life after conviction: Criminal defense attorney speaks. Bring a friend!”

3. Make an Announcement

“Breaking news: President signs new tax policy into law!”

Can your firm keep up with the latest news and announcements? Can you direct readers to pertinent information about how new legislation affects them?

Announcements with relevant subject lines attract readers’ attention and lead to your clients opening your marketing emails. You can describe new legislation that affects your practice areas, announce recent awards from Avvo or local “best of” awards, and promote events where members of your team will speak or participate.

4. Keep It Short

Subject lines between 6-10 words perform best, with an open rate of 21%. For subject lines of five words or less, the open rate averages 16%, while the open rate averages 14% for subject lines containing 11-15 words.

So to review the examples earlier:

  • How do new mandatory minimum laws affect convicts in jail? (10 words)
  • What are the steps to legal separation before divorce? (9 words)
  • What if I can’t get a call back from insurance after an accident? (13 words)

Can you reduce the length of the 13-word subject line to between 6-10 words? You can probably try something like, “Hear back from insurance about your accident with one call,” which is now 10 words.

5. Use Numbers and Results

Statistics give authority to email subject lines. Rather than saying, “Many marriages end in divorce,” use a subject line that announces, “The U.S. has the 6th highest divorce rate globally.”

In a Conductor poll, 36% of customers opened an email with a number in the subject line, while the next highest open rate featured a reader-addressing solution subject line with only 21%.


6. Personalize It

Use automation to put your clients’ names in the subject line. Many email services allow you to use a name replacement code to address your mailing list directly. Seeing their names spelled correctly in a subject line led to higher open rates than the same subject line without personalization.

7. Use A/B Testing to See Trends in Your Email Open Rates

What if you don’t know which subject line will perform better? Use both with A/B testing! Your software will test open, and reading results from your same email sent with two different subject lines. Group A of your mailing list will receive one, while Group B will receive the other.

That means you can test between these two subject lines:

  • What if I can’t get a call back from insurance after an accident?
  • Hear back from insurance about your accident with one call.

Bonus Strategy: Avoid All Caps in Your Email Subject Lines

It’s true. People perceive all caps as you yelling at them, which is the quickest way to alienate your potential and existing clients. Furthermore, because all caps look like spam, all-caps emails often end up in the junk or spam folder. In short, using all caps will derail your email marketing efforts and achieve the opposite of your desired result—more leads, more clients, and more profits.

Law Firm Marketing Pros Can Help You Implement An Email Marketing Campaign that Yields the Best Possible ROI for Your Law Firm

Does the thought of beginning a new email marketing strategy or improving your existing one feel overwhelming? We get it. At Law Firm Marketing Pros, an award-winning digital agency, we have over a decade of experience working with attorneys. We know what works and what doesn’t work with all vital aspects of digital marketing—not just direct email marketing. If you’re ready to focus on what you do best and let us help your ideal clients find you, contact Partner and Co-Founder Josh Konigsberg to schedule a 15-minute discovery call at 561-948-5001 or complete our online form.

Copyright © 2022. Law Firm Marketing Pros. All rights reserved.

This blog is not intended to be legal advice for a lawyer or law practice. No special relationship or privilege exists between you and the Blog and/or its owners, Law Firm Marketing Pros, or its Affiliates (“LFMP”). LFMP IS NOT A LAW FIRM, and THE AUTHOR IS NOT AN ATTORNEY. You will be representing yourself and your law practice in any legal matter you undertake or any Client you represent as a result of your use of the information provided in the Blog, including any Services offered through the Blog and content available on the Site the Blog is published on, and in all other matters relating to you and your businesses. This Blog may provide audio-video content, referenced articles, newsletters, and other content for informational purposes only. In the process of providing this information, the Blog is engaged in the publication of information regarding business and management issues that may be commonly encountered by law firms. This blog is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. This Blog does not review any of your answers to questions for sufficiency, provide legal advice, or analyze applicable law and apply it to your specific requirements. Accordingly, if you need legal advice for a specific issue, you are advised to seek the advice of your local, state, and/or national Bar Association.

Do you still have questions about digital marketing? Schedule an appointment with us today at 561-948-5001. Click here to download one or more of our free tools, including a Digital Marketing Checklist for Law Firms.

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