Why Lawyers Fail With Their Marketing So Frequently

This problem is so common and so prevalent that I can almost guarantee that every solicitor reading this article has this problem in their practise to a certain degree. If you do not take the time to understand the problem and correct it with yourself, your staff, and all of your marketing communications, it will constantly damage your business. This article is here to help you make the changes and to reap the rewards for doing so many times over.

This problem revolves around the common quotation:

“Enough about me, what do you think of me?”

This quote is used to talk about somebody that loves to hear the sound of their own voice and stories about them and how well they are doing. We all know someone like this. However, it is also a serious problem for solicitors in relation to all of their marketing communications.

If I can give you an example, I once received an email from a firm of solicitors looking to join a Personal Injury Panel. We first need to consider and understand the position that this firm of solicitors is coming from; they wanted me send them more clients.

You would assume that any approach would involve a review of the website of the company that they are approaching to at least find the name of the person that they are approaching for referrals. This is the email I received.

Dear Sirs,

We have recently taken on a new fee earner with specialist knowledge in the area of asbestos claims. Therefore, we are looking for more work. Please can you tell me how we can receive some work from you.

Yours sincerely

Enough about me, what do you think of me?.

If we look at this email in more detail, it sums up very well the problem I am talking about with law firm marketing.

Dear Sirs

Comment: My name is easy to find on the website yet this firm did not even look for it. This is a solicitor looking for referrals and they did not even have the time or inclination and are not prepared to make the effort to find out the correct contact name. A poor start…. and unfortunately it did not improve.

“We have recently taken on a new Fee Earner”

Comment: The start of their email should relate to how they could have helped me, not their firm and their needs. It should explain how they have reviewed the website, found it to be of interest and believe that they could be of benefit to our clients. Instead, the communication is all about the law firm and what matters to them. Whereas that is of course the reality of their situation, it is totally, wholly, absolutely and completely irrelevant to the person that they are approaching for referrals, on this occasion me.

The rest of the email has little to be said for it. However, the next major flaw with the email is that it was the only form of communication that I received. If you have any knowledge of direct marketing then you will know that you need to send more than one communication and you need to use different methods of communication to have the best prospects of success.

The email could and should have been followed up with a telephone call (although, as they did not have a name to speak to they would not have got very far) and in addition, a letter. They should persist until they finally manage to speak to me. Even if I had said there were no opportunities at that time moment, they should make a diary note to contact me again in three months. Persistence is vital as one communication only is unlikely to lead to referrals. I cannot stress this point enough. If you are approaching a business for referrals you should make contact at least seven to ten times to stand a chance. If you only send one email or one letter, you will rarely succeed.

Where Else Is “Enough about me” Endemic In Solicitors Marketing?

1. Websites.

The next place that this problem is commonly seen with law firm marketing is on websites. The home page of the website and each page within the website frequently starts with information about the law firm, their experience and how long they have been in business. Where it should start is from my position, i.e. my position as a potential client.

If I land on a Family Law page, how am I feeling? What concerns do I have running through my head? Am I looking for a divorce solicitor or a solicitor to provide me with contact for children?

If I land on a Will page, am I concerned that my family will receive everything they are entitled to?

If I land on a Personal Injury page, am I in hospital or immobile? Have I been prevented from returning to work due to my injuries and therefore am worrying about being able to pay the next bills?

This is the position you must start with on your website; hHow has your client arrived there and what are your client’s concerns?

If I land on your website, I am not interested initially in hearing about you, what I want to know is how you are going to help me!

Once you have thought about my position, and answered my initial concerns, you can then move on to explain how the experience in your firm puts you in the best position to help me from where I am now to where I want to be, but if you don’t take the time first of all to explain that you understand where I am now, why would I think you can help me?

Applying this test to your website could increase your new enquiries by at least ten fold. I have tried this with many law firms and it makes an incredible difference. Apply the test to your website now through fresh eyes and see if you are talking about your clients position or your firm’s needs.

2. Advertisements.

Another huge problem here. Many solicitors fail to consider what their client needs. 99% of solicitors’ advertisements start with the practise name at the top followed by a list of service and contact details. Whereas this is the perfect and only advertisement you should place in the Yellow Pages (where 62% of people visit just to obtain your phone number when they already know your business name – figures confirmed by Yell.com), in a newspaper advertisement you should only be placing a direct response advertisement. These are advertisements that give people a reason to read and contact you.

They do not want to hear your firm name and a list of your services, that is all about you and what you are trying to achieve. They want to hear how you can help them. Examples of headlines that you are welcome to use (but will need to adapt to fit your needs).

Conveyancing.

Moving home – Find Out Why Most House Moves Fail Before Exchange Of Contracts.

Wills.

Will your family get what’s coming to them?

Personal Injury.

Injured in an accident? Did you know that 50% of people who use claims companies do not keep all of their compensation?

Business Services.

Thinking of starting a business? Download our free guide: 7 legal issues you must fully understand before starting a business.

In all of these advertisement headlines, not once have I mentioned the firm or the firm’s needs. You must be thinking about your client and where they are starting from and not about your firm. By taking this action in all of your advertisements you will dramatically increase the response rate and the amount of business you obtain from it.

Summary. Always ask the question “What does the referrer or potential client care about”? If you find yourself starting an email, advertisement, website page with your firm’s name or information about your firm, you can be confident you are starting in the wrong position. As the famous quote goes when asking for directions, “Well, if that’s where you want to get to I wouldn’t start from here”.

What is Direct Response Marketing? And How Can it Help Your Business

Well here’s probably the simplest explanation. There are two types of marketing. There’s the type most ad agencies promote. Build your brand name. Use fancy creative ads and logos. And keep your business name in front of the people.

Typically these types of ads don’t ask from a response from the reader. There’s no call for action.

This is the type 99% of marketing most business owners use. They put their company name at the top. And have a list of features of their business. You’ll see these types of ads when you read newspapers and magazines. Keeping your name in front of your audience.

This type of marketing is great if you can afford it. If you’re a large company. If you’ve got deep pockets. Not so great if you’re a smaller to medium sized company and you need your marketing to generate immediate sales. To see a return on your money.

Then there’s direct response marketing.

This is where you run an ad with a headline which captures the attention of your target market. And the ad explains the benefits of doing business with you. Typically these ads involve lots of copy. And ask for a response form the reader – fill in a form, request a coupon.

Or they can sell write off the page. It’s not uncommon to see 10 page (and longer) sales letters. Or see an A4 page full of copy in a small font size.

These ads are like your sales person. They capture your interest. They explain the benefits. Overcome your objections and ask for the sale. These are the same techniques sales people used 100 years ago. And guess what? They’re still as effective today.

Why’s that?

Well here’s the thing. You’re only interested in selling to somebody who would be interested in buying your products or services. Right? You’re not interested in selling to everyone. Somebody who wouldn’t be interested in buying from you.

Makes sense doesn’t it?

So the same rules still apply today. Especially if you don’t have a large marketing budget.

So use direct response marketing in your ads, web pages and sales letters and see your response rates soar.

Achievements in Advertising – Optimize and Track Ad Response With a Direct Response Tool

College enrollment is expected to continue setting new records throughout the current economic environment as people look to change careers or further their educations and start their own businesses.

With over six thousand institutions of higher education in the United States, there is no question how tough the competition is in reaching potential students and enrolling them in your institution. So, what is the best way to reach these individuals, and what will make them respond to your advertising?

For the Texas Barber Colleges and Hairstyling Schools the answer was advertising with a memorable direct-response tool, 1-800-NEW-CAREER. The school had a goal to increase leads and enrollment by 10% in 2008. They also wanted a sure-fire way to track the response to their advertising campaigns. The Director of Marketing and Admissions, Esty Merlo, decided to try listing a vanity 800 number in his ad campaigns, with the thought that the “word” phone number would be easier for people to remember.

After activating the vanity phone number, Texas Barber Colleges and Hairstyling Schools saw a 23% growth in leads from 2007 to 2008. According to Merlo, “The results have been phenomenal. We’ve doubled the goals we set for ourselves once we made the move to using multiple vanity numbers and a call center.”

To get results like Texas Barber Colleges and Hairstyling Schools, just follow the advertising tips below:

1. Use a Phone Number as the Direct-Response Tool in Your Ads
Recent research shows that survey respondents have a 45 percent higher recall rate of vanity phone numbers like 1-800-NEW-CAREER than they do of Web addresses. By offering a phone number along with your URL, you are providing people with a one-on-one experience, giving prospective students a direct route to your admission specialists. Getting a prospective student to call and speak with an admissions representative brings you one step closer to enrollment

2. Feature an Easy-to-Remember Direct-Response Tool in all Marketing Materials
A phone number will not be much help if folks cannot remember it. Get a vanity 800 number, like Esty Merlo did. A vanity 800 number that relates to your school’s student mission, like 1-800-NEW-JOBS or 1-800-NEW-CAREER, will assist in reinforcing your brand image, deliver a consistent message, and give people the ability to contact you immediately. Another benefit of a vanity number comes out when someone who hears or sees your ad with a memorable phone number, but is not ready right now to go back to school. But, if they find themselves three months down the road in pursuit of a career change, they will remember your vanity 800 number from the advertising campaign and call you before they call another school in your area. You’ll stand out from competing schools.

3. Prominent Placement of the Direct-Response Tool
Don’t bury the contact method in your ads. Feature your phone number prominently in all of your advertising and marketing materials. For example, mention it at least three times in a radio ad, make it the focal point of a print ad, and display the number on screen throughout a television ad. Make sure it is easily heard and understood, clearly visible, and easy to read, and your ads will pull higher response rates than ever before.

4. Test and Track Your Advertising Campaigns
Finally, when developing a new ad campaign, create two separate ads using the same creative elements, just switch up a toll-free phone number for a vanity 800 number in one of the ads. Track the response you get from each ad. You’ll see that vanity 800 numbers will generate 30 to 60 percent better response rates than numeric phone numbers.

Mr. Merlo shares that his advertising efforts with the vanity 800 numbers are really paying off. “In this economy, more and more people are thinking about a new career and making changes to become their own boss. Our advertising is reaching more of those people, drawing in more leads, and our enrollment levels are increasing every month.”

When using a phone number as a direct-response tool there is no question that true vanity 800 phone numbers are easier to remember and produce higher response rates. Just ask Esty Merlo.