Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Website Design and Marketing for Attorneys, Doctors, and Other Professionals
Below are some questions many clients have when they first contact Foster Web Marketing about the online marketing world.
The questions below may address many initial concerns you may have. If you don't find your answers here, you should contact us for answers to any questions specific to your firm.
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What is the difference between email clicks and opens?
Tracking and analyzing performance is crucial to the success of your email campaigns, but it isn’t easy to make sense of the numbers you see when you’re first getting started.
One of the most frequent sources of confusion is the difference between the similar-sounding email “opens” and email “clicks.” While they represent very different actions from your recipients, both are key numbers to look for in your analysis and to aim to improve as you move forward.
Any email marketing solution worth using will give you reporting about these metrics, but for the purpose of answering this FAQ, here is what a version of this data would look like in our DSS CRM software email marketing dashboard:
The first step, though, is understanding what you’re looking at. Is “opening” an email really different from “clicking” on it? The answer is yes—and here’s why.
What Do Email “Opens” Mean for My Email Campaign?
“Opens” or “open rates” measure how many people opened up your email and looked at it. Hopefully, they read it, but there’s no guarantee they did any more than glance at it, and there is no way to track how long they looked at the email.
While that may seem really straightforward, there is a hitch. The number of “opens” you see may not represent everyone who viewed your email.
To collect data on the “open,” the recipient must allow HTML and images in their emails. Some people do not, especially on mobile, so you have no way to know if those recipients opened the email you sent. Instead, you’ll see a separate section of your CRM email reporting data that shows those emails were “delivered, not tracked.” This is something to keep in mind as you review an email campaign’s performance, especially if it was targeted for mobile-heavy audiences.
It also worth noting that, since “opens” happen before the recipient has read the content of the email, open rates often have more to do with how your compelling your subject line is and the relationship your law firm has with the recipient.
If your open rates are struggling, you can work on improving your numbers by improving the subject lines you write for your emails.
What Do Email “Clicks” Mean for My Email Campaign?
“Clicks,” “click-throughs,” “click rates,” or “click-through rates” measure how many people clicked on a link within your email.
While “opens” only measures how many people look at your email, your “clicks” represent how many people read the content of your email and were compelled to click through to your target page. For example, the “clicks” for an email about your new book might represent how many people clicked on the link to the offer page from the email you sent.
This is an important number because it helps you measure how effective your emails are at driving traffic to your website and convincing readers to take action.
If you’re getting lots of “opens,” but your “clicks” are suffering, you need to look at the “meat” of your email campaign:
- Do your emails look good? Find out how to build eye-catching emails with the DSS Advanced Email Editor.
- Does your email content speak directly to your audience? Does it make sense and explain how your message or offer is relevant to their lives?
- Did you include a call to action that asks readers to click on the link or button? Do they understand why they’re clicking and what they’ll find when they get there?
Your “click rates” have everything to do with what people see (and how they feel) after they’ve opened your email and started to read, and everyone’s “perfect clients” are different. As you improve and adjust your email content, keep testing your ideas and measuring the results. Good tracking and analysis are the only ways to make sure you’re hitting the mark with the people who matter most to your business.
Do you know how well your emails are performing? Are you happy with the numbers you see when you look at your campaigns? If you need help tracking, analyzing, or improving the emails your law firm sends, reach out to our team at 888.886.0939. You can also learn more about how to do it yourself in DSS.
How can you create effective subject lines for email marketing?
It doesn’t matter how relevant and compelling your email content is if people aren’t opening your emails in the first place. Are your subject lines the problem?
The subject line you choose for your email is one of the first things your audience will see as they scan through their inbox:
It’s also one of the first parts of your email you’re prompted to write when creating a new email campaign in DSS:
Ultimately, subject lines are a key part of what captures attention, motivates people to open your email, and makes them want to learn more. They may only consist of five or ten words, but they are a powerful part of email marketing success!
To make the most of it, every email you send out to your contact lists should feature a unique subject line that not only meets some basic functional guidelines, but also gives readers a reason to dig deeper.
Basic Guidelines for Email Subject Lines
Before we get to the fun part, let’s talk about some of the most basic guidelines for crafting an effective subject line:
- Don’t use spammy words or punctuation. At best, anything in a subject line that sounds overly sales-y is likely to make you look untrustworthy. At worst, your email will be filtered out and marked as spam. Stay on the safe side by avoiding excessive punctuation, buzzwords like “free” or “guaranteed,” words in all caps, and anything else that might be read as dubious in your subject lines.
- Keep it short. While opinions vary on exactly how long your subject lines should run, the consensus is that concise is typically better. Shorter email subject lines tend to be easier to scan and understand, so they’re more likely to grab readers’ attention. Plus, shorter subject lines are less likely to be weirdly truncated on mobile devices.
- Experiment and evaluate. Email marketing lets you hone in on narrow target audiences that are highly specific to your goals, so it’s important to track and test different ideas until you hit the “sweet spot” for your perfect clients. You might try a few different subject lines for each email campaign, and then modify your strategy based on how your unique audiences react. Find out more about how to evaluate and optimize your email campaigns.
Get Creative With a Simple Exercise for Compelling Subject Lines
Once the basics are locked down, it’s time to think about what you can say—in just a few words—that will introduce your email content and compel readers to click.
If you’re not sure how to get started, here’s a quick exercise that we recommend:
- Open your favorite magazine, blog, or article site.
- Write down a few headlines that jump out at you. For this example, let’s say you wrote down “The Secret History of the Vikings,” “Nine Disturbing Facts About Milk,” and “How to Choose the Best Running Shoes.”
- Break each headline down into a formula. For example, “The Secret History of [Topic],” “[X] [Adjective] Facts About [Topic],” and “How to Choose the Best [Product or Service].”
- Under each formula, construct a few potential subject lines based on your practice areas. For example, “The Secret History of Estate Planning,” “Five Honest Facts About Auto Accident Claims,” and “How to Choose the Best Treatment for Heel Spurs.”
- Don’t be afraid to change things around or come up with your own formulas. In the end, you should have a great list of potential subject lines for your email campaigns!
This exercise will definitely give you a good idea of current trends and general expectations, but it doesn’t have to be the limit of your creativity. Some other ideas for crafting subject lines might include:
- Using questions. For example, “Do You Know Your Rights After an Accident?”
- Highlighting deadlines. For example, “Last Chance to Sign Up!”
- Offering a results-oriented preview. For example, “We Helped 43 Truckers Collect Unpaid Overtime”
It’s okay to be creative and have a little fun with your subject lines, where appropriate. The most important thing is that you keep your audience in mind while creating them. Think about who you want to reach with your message. Think about what’s important to them and what motivates them. Always write subject lines that are meant to be read by real people.
Do you need help writing stronger subject lines? Do you have questions about how to succeed with your email campaigns? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our marketing experts to talk about how we can help you optimize your email marketing success.
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