The legal profession is considered one of the last true professions. However, we have one black mark against us. Lawyers are the origin of "spam" mail as we know it.

My team has been researching "spam" emails. When we made this discovery, it made us laugh and cringe. The revelation that "spam" was started by two immigration lawyers in the early 90's was too close to home for us.

Those two lawyers have since lost their license to practice, and were well known for their unscrupulous behavior. We hoped this factoid would have stuck into our collective memories, but we have forgotten.

Lawyer marketing has changed, but there are many who still send out unsolicited mass emails. The hope is they will catch one or two big cases, disregarding the cost to their reputation.

Even today on list-serves and forums, attorneys still wonder if spam email is worth it. We are surprised we have to address this question so often. The bottom line, spam emails are not a good way to get cases. The short term benefits are not enough.

The best way to build yourself and your practice is by doing long-term follow up marketing, with a dash of community marketing. That means you need to do more than buy a list and send out bulk emails. Look at your own inbox (or spam box) and read through those emails. How many are actually appealing, endearing, or pertain to your situation?

Most of the time, the goal of spam emails is to trick the receiver. There is a reason CAN-SPAM came to be. Spam emails prey on those who are desperate and are blind to their options. If this is the type of "marketing" you are interested in, then you should seek other marketing groups.

Great Legal Marketing is built on core values, and one of those values is "We Do the Right Thing, Even if There is a Cost." In the case of spam emails and marketing, the right thing is to send out emails only to those to opt-in. The cost is the time it takes to nurture and grow a list. We don't believe in shortcuts, and we don't teach attorneys to take the "easy way".

Next time you are tempted to send out a spam email to get new cases, read the story about Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel. Read their Wikipedia page, and ask yourself if you want the same things written about your life.

Bottom line, don't send spam emails unless you want your practice to be infamous.


Ben Glass
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Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.
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