Building an Email List for Lawyers – The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

In this guide, you will learn how to build an email list for lawyers or for your law firm. This is based on the way we have built and managed e-mail lists for dozens of attorneys and companies. Today, e-mail lists remain one of the most effective ways to gain or retain clients. In a study by the Direct Marketing Association, e-mail marketing was shown to give an average of 4300% (not a typo) return on investment. In other words, for every $10 you spend on e-mail marketing, you get $430 back in revenue. People that follow your e-mail list are interested in your services as a lawyer or law firm. They have given you their information voluntarily so you can contact them. This is a big difference with google ads or other advertising ways.

A more extensive version of this guide is available at: – De ultieme gids voor Email marketing voor advocaten

What is an email list?

So now you know why you need an email list, but what is it exactly? Simply put: An e-mail list is a list of e-mail addresses you have collected. Ideally, this is a list that is organized by interests and type of client that gave their e-mail address to you. Another term often used is a subscribers list. While it is possible for you to rent or buy an e-mail list it is strongly advised that you don’t. People on the list have no affinity nor trust for your firm, and in some cases, it can land you in a lot of legal trouble.

Advantages of email marketing and building an email list as a lawyer

An email list has several strong advantages that make it worthwhile to build and cultivate them.

  1. E-mails are personal, they go straight to the top of the inbox of your clients. No need to pay for a higher ranking.
  2. E-mails have meaning. You don’t send out an email to ask how their tomato plants are doing to your clients (hopefully). You have an obvious intent. To give them information or offer them a service.
  3. Nothing is more target-specific than an e-mail. People want you to send e-mails because they are interested in what you have to say. They already trust your firm. You are in a much better position to get leads than when using an ad.
  4. You own your e-mail list. Nobody can take it away from you, or ask for money from you to keep using it. Once a potential client gives you his or her e-mail you can contact them until they unsubscribe.

This shows the importance of building a good email list for lawyers or for your law firm. Attorneys and legal professionals in general have a high acquisition cost for new clients, but also a high return when getting that client. An e-mail list gives you the opportunity to tip the scale in your favor and increase your ROI.

Top 9 ways to help you build an email list for lawyers

1. Organic Traffic

Organic Traffic is people that find your site by using a search engine like Google. They enter a certain keyword, for example: ¨Divorce Lawyer¨ and click on your website. This is a way of getting free traffic and makes up about 97% of all search traffic.

This is by far the best way to get subscribers for your e-mail list. It is free traffic and is highly specific. People going to your website have specific needs and wants. They clicked your site because they think you can fulfill those needs and wants.

A good way to get organic traffic is to write blog posts that try to answer people’s questions. Keep in mind, when writing a blog post, you are posting for them. You need to write about specific topics in plain and simple English. If you are a divorce lawyer, write as if you are writing for someone whose only experience with the law is an occasional clip of Judge Judy.

Make sure you have multiple ways to ask for peoples e-mail address. Either have a separate page where people can subscribe to your newsletter or have a popup that asks them directly. Or set up both for the best results.

2. Social Media Traffic

When you start building an e-mail list as a lawyer or for your law firm you likely already have some social media pages. Whilst Instagram is not really recommended to start an e-mail list, due to the difficulty of getting people to click your links, it is advised that you still have a page to build trust. Facebook and LinkedIn are our sites of choice. Both make it pretty easy to get your law firm out in the open. You make an attractive page and you interact with related pages and people. Try to post interesting content and media and you will steadily grow. When you have a following, you can start sending people to your site. A good way to build a following is to be active in Facebook groups. If you are specialized in bankruptcy law join some Facebook groups for entrepreneurs!

3. Lead Magnets

This is a great way to build an e-mail list for lawyers. You don’t have to give away any physical product. Your magnet, or gift, is your knowledge. People interested in getting that knowledge to become your lead. A good example is writing general templates that people can modify, such as terms and conditions. Tell your followers or traffic that you have made a great template for terms and conditions for their website. The only thing they have to do is give them your e-mail and you will mail it to them.

This way you get reciprocity, which is a very strong psychological incentive to do something back. You have given them something that they want. If they use it, you will have a foot in the door. They trust your expertise enough to implement it. Next to that, you also gain their e-mail.

4. Networking at events

This is another great way to build an e-mail list for lawyers. We often go to events, seminars, and the like. When people know you are a lawyer, they will often ask you small questions. Try to answer them and then ask for their e-mail in case you have something to add. People will not say no to this in general due to the principle of reciprocity. Their e-mails are also valuable, as they have shown to trust you enough to ask you for advice. Getting two to three e-mails during each event quickly adds up. If you go to one event per month for two years you have already built a significant list of over 50 highly relevant leads.

5. Create an online community

Next to building your own page, nothing stops you from building your own Facebook or WhatsApp group. Try to leverage this group by answering simple questions and ask people to sign up for your e-mail if they want to receive relevant tips!

6. Paid Advertisement

This is the first paid option on the list. You can collect e-mails by using targeted ads on platforms such as Facebook, Google, Bing, … When using these ads try to use something that pops out, and gives the user value. There is something called ¨Ad Blindness¨. When using the internet people often unconsciously skip over ads. This is why it is important to stand out and create value and urgency. A great way to do this is by combining ads with Lead Magnets. Create something free with value, like the template for terms and conditions for webshops. Then promote it on Google and Facebook with a link to your website. When the user is on your website, tell them you need their e-mail address to send them their gift. When you build an email list for attorneys or law firms, this can be a very worthwhile investment due to the amount of revenue one lead brings in on average.

While this can be an expensive option, it also is a very powerful one. Using very targeted ads can help you reach hundreds if not thousands of people for a reasonable price that are looking for firms like yours. While you might not see a direct return of investment, having their e-mail addresses in your e-mail list is very useful. When people look for a lawyer when their webshop goes bankrupt, you will be the first on their mind if you have to send them the occasional (like once a month) interesting e-mail.

7. Guestposts on Blogs

Depending on the size of the blog, this can be free or paid. Small blogs would be happy to have you write an interesting article for them and in exchange, you can put a link to your website in the post. People who are interested in your article will click the link to your website and if you have interesting content will leave their e-mail address when you ask for it. The best way to get in touch with small blog owners is simply to e-mail them. Tell them what you want from them and what you will give in return. Tip: we accept guest posts.

Larger blogs are in a position to ask for money for you to post on their site. They have a high amount of traffic that reads their articles. A lot of people will thus try to get on their site to sell a product or a service by content marketing. Supply and demand is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? Try to find a medium-sized blog that is very relevant to your niche. These blogs often have the fairest prices and get a good amount of relevant traffic. some might even work with you for free!

8. QPR-Codes

Another easy way to get people on your site and on your e-mail list is by putting QPR-codes on your printed communication. Whether you send a flyer, a letter, or any kind of print ads include a QPR-code straight to your e-mail signup page. Every form of printed communication is a potential source for new subscribes to your list.

9. Webinars and Youtube

Using webinars and youtube is quickly becoming more popular. When building an e-mail list for lawyers or law firms this is another way to connect with potential clients and get an e-mail address from them to follow up. We are a fan of webinars because they create a connection with your audience. They see your face, your verbal and non-verbal communication, your intonation and it is interactive. There a few tips to follow when giving a webinar (or making a Youtube video). You can also use Zoom.

  1. Offer Value

Your time is valuable and so it the time of your clients. Make sure your content is something people want to watch and listen too. Have an engaging titel. Awnser a question or solve a problem.

2. Be genuine.

Don’t be too formal. When giving a webinar, your viewers are often in informal settings, like their homes. Don’t be too stiff, use normal and simple words that are easy to follow and dress to relate, not to impress.

3. Create a sense of urgency.

Give people a limited amount of time to subscribe to your next live webinar. Give people 24 hours to register for your webinar by getting them to give your e-mail address. Make sure that when people are too late they still have a way to view the next webinar. Ask them to leave their e-mail address so you can notify them in the future.

4. Spread the word.

Don’t be shy to promote yourself when giving a webinar. Post the signup link in Facebook groups and make sure you give a good reason to people why they should watch you. Consider using paid posts to promote your webinar if you are confident you provide enough value to get a return in the long run.

An Email list for lawyers: How to use it?

Using one or more ways mentioned here will get you well on your way to make a profitable email list. So now it is time to put the addresses into action.

First of all, it is important to use good e-mailing software to send mass emails. We recommend Emailoctopus to manage your mass e-mails to your clients. Software like this comes with an autoresponder. It helps you automate the entire process while still maintaining a personal touch through customization of the emails

Best practices for your Subject Line

  1. When sending an e-mail, try to use a personalized address. Instead of your standard pick your first name or name of your firm.
  2. The subject line of your e-mail should be personal and to the point. No more than 45 characters are the norm for a good e-mail subject. Try to make it personal, instead of using your, or dear client, use their name if you have it. Tip: Check your email list for profanities when doing this.
  3. Make a responsive e-mail. It has to look good on the desktop, but also on tablets and phones. Using Emailoctopus you don’t have to worry about this as it is automated.

Best Practices for Your Email Content

  1. When subscribing to an e-mail list of a lawyer or law firm, people want interesting and to the point content that they can’t easily find somewhere else. Make sure you have an interesting newsletter or send useful gifts and freebies for your subscribers.
  2. Give people a reason to remember you. Are most of the people on your list entrepreneurs? Send them interesting content regarding their business and the law. Building an email list for lawyers or your law firm should be your secondary goal. When your content is of high quality and useful, people will remember you!
  3. Give them a reason to forward your e-mail or to interact with it. Offer value to your subscribers. Make sure you include links to other e-mail lists if you have them. When making a second e-mail list, make sure it is a niche list. That way you have less overlap with your general list and are able to curate your content. More targeted content makes for happier subscribers and fewer people that unsubscribe.


Building an e-mail list for lawyers or your law firm is not easy. However, it is very rewarding. Your leads are worth a lot when you can convert them to clients. The time and effort you spend in building it are well worth it. Choosing great e-mail management software like Emailoctopus can save you countless hours, so you can concentrate on making captivating content.

When sending e-mails try to keep it personal. Don’t come across as an ad. Offer value and a reason to stay subscribed to your e-mail list. Make sure you don’t send e-mails too often. Always ask yourself what your goals are when sending this e-mail and if you provide value to your reader.

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