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Attorney Marketing Improving Email Newsletter Performance

You can improve your email newsletter performance easily and quickly by fixing your email subject line. This is something that most attorneys never give any thought to. In fact, most attorneys are not even sending out an email newsletter at all. But if you are reading this, there is a good chance that you are either sending out an email newsletter or thinking about sending out an email newsletter.

The way to get your email newsletter opened is to make sure your email subject line does one of four things:

  • Attracts Attention
  • Sounds Outrageous
  • Is Self-Deprecating
  • Causes Confusion

As long as the subject line has one of the four qualities listed above, your email will be opened.

Here is a brief description of each quality and why they are successful.

Attracting Attention

This is pretty obvious. If your subject line attracts attention your email will get opened. The problem these days is that most of the words that attract attention will force your email right into the spam filter. I am talking about words like FREE or NAKED.

The best way to attract attention these days is to use a word or phrase that is in the news. You can even use the name of a celebrity. Many people have had success with subject lines like:

“What would Oprah do?” or “Tiger Woods would not have gotten caught if…”

Sounding Outrageous

It is not really too hard to sound outrageous. Simply go to the supermarket and look at the headlines on the checkout stand tabloids. Those headlines work. But obviously an attorney will need to be more conservative (yet still outrageous for an attorney). Some examples:

“How a bonehead attorney won a $14 million verdict” or “Man flunks out of law school and gets elected as a judge”



These subject lines are my favorite because they always work and nobody is ever offended by them. You simply use the subject line to put yourself down. People always open those emails because delighting in the misery of others is human nature. Here are some examples:

“How I Got So Fat” and “I was Wrong”

Causing Confusion

The clinical term for it is cognitive dissonance. The technical definition is: Holding two conflicting ideas at the same time. My definition: Confusing the crap out of someone.

When the mind sees two conflicting ideas together it has a psychological need to reconcile them. We see this in the phenomenon known as buyers’ remorse. If a buyer is not instantly reassured that his purchase was valuable he will feel badly about making it. This feeling is the cognitive dissonance between spending money and obtaining a new product.

The way to solve this is to provide the purchaser the opportunity to return his purchase immediately. This will endear it to him and he will immediately find ways to justify it.

The way to leverage this in an email is through email is by placing the opposing beliefs in the subject line. Some examples:

“Why Smart Lawyers Fail” or “The fastest runner lost the race” or “Lost boy found at home”

People will resolve this conflict by opening your email.

There are some other techniques used for developing good subject lines but these are some of the most common.

If you want your attorney marketing to take off, begin using these subject lines in your email. You will be amazed at the results.

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