Law Firm Email Marketing Explained

It’s not a common marketing tool for lawyers doing their own marketing, but law firm email marketing can produce respectable results. But don’t jump in without understanding the rules you must comply with under the CAN-SPAM Act and your state bar’s ethics rules. If you’re not familiar with the CAN-SPAM Act, note that any commercial or promotional are covered and violations of the act can be very costly.

Here’s a brief overview of the Act’s compliances:

  • Must be from the original sender: This means you cannot disguise or obscure the sender’s email address . Your law firm email marketing should display the message’s origination.
  • Subject cannot be misleading: The subject line must accurate reflect what is written, displayed, or attached to the body of the email. Don’t try and increase “open” rates by using tricky or misleading subject lines. And if you use an email marketing firm, don’t let them do it either.
  • Must be presented as an advertisement: There are many ways to interpret this, but your law firm email marketing must be clearly and conspicuously depicted as an advertisement. Most states also require “Attorney Advertisement” in the subject line, so make sure you research and understand your state’s rules before launching an email marketing strategy.
  • Address must be displayed: You must clearly display your business’s physical address in the email message.
  • Must offer a way to opt-out of receiving future emails: This function must be clear and noticeable to the reader. You can have recipients email you their opt-out demand or you may provide an even easier way to opt-out by using a simple click method. Be legit by giving the recipient the option to cease all messages from your law firm email marketing.
  • Opt-out requests must be honored in a timely fashion: All opt-out requests must be processed within ten business days. You may not (a) charge a fee to opt-out, (b) require further identifying information other than an email address or (c) create more steps beyond the readers emailing or visiting a single site for them to successfully opt-out. Other than a situation directly involving compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act, you may not sell or distribute opted-out clients’ information.
  • Must monitor the third-party outsourcer sending the emails: Sometimes, you might not be the one sending out your emails; you might have hired a third-party source instead. That’s fine, as long as this person or company adheres to the same rules and standards that are required of you and your law firm email marketing. Just make sure you keep your service provider apprised of all opt-out demands and other specific campaign details.