Why should I offer an e-book? Doesn’t it look more professional if I have my firm’s legal guide published and printed?

If you want to spend your law firm’s marketing budget on printing your book, by all means, do it. Many sites offer an electronic or a paper copy, and it’s ultimately up to your client which one he would rather have.

But consider this: an online visitor fills out the web form requesting a free copy of your law firm's promotional book. You get the email and send an automated response telling him to check his mailbox in five days. Then you (or your staff), put the book into an envelope, print a label, pay for postage, and wait for the mailman to pick it up.

Meanwhile, the customer keeps searching online for more attorneys in his neighborhood. He finds one of your competitors, who also has written a legal guide with a catchy title. He asks for a copy, and boom: it is instantly delivered to his inbox in an easy-to-read electronic format. The customer sees the email, and begins to read the book, abandoning his web search and becoming closely acquainted with your competitor.

While you spent your ad budget on postage and printing, the competition has won the client from you—and it has cost him nothing.

This is why you will always lose a waiting game with your customers. You’ve convinced them to ask for more, then abandoned them when they took action. The client may be confused, hurt, or angry—but they will be certainly be looking for someone else. It doesn’t matter if you’ve written a better book, have a lower fee, or are a better attorney than the next guy—if the next guy is faster than you, you’ve already lost.

For more insider tips on converting web visitors into customers, join the Great Legal Marketing team at our 2012 web marketing conference. Call 888-791-2150 today to reserve your space.

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