Having spoken to thousands of solo and small firm lawyers at our events, I can tell you that Direct Mail is woefully underutilized in our industry. I use direct mail to great effect at my own small law firm just outside of Washington, D.C., but I rarely see others in my market taking advantage of it. Direct Mail is not just for DUI attorneys, and I’d like to give you some guiding principles to make good use of this “old world” medium.
1. Know Who You’re Writing For
When someone receives your piece of mail, what are they going through, and what determines whether they KEEP or TRASH your advertisement? In many cases, you are writing for the person in the household sorting the mail. In other cases, you’re writing for a gatekeeper (receptionist, etc.) who you hope will pass it on to the potential client.
Many folks just have a KEEP and a TRASH pile, but some will have a third SAVE FOR LATER pile. No matter how good your marketing copy is, it’s no use if it doesn’t get opened! Make sure that the outside of your envelope/package/box screams “Open me!” In many states, it’s required for you to put “advertisement” on the mailer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with the remainder of the space. If you don’t get their attention before it’s opened, all of your hard work will be wasted.
2. Shock and Awe Your Potential Client
You aren’t just being compared to other law firms. You’re being compared to ALL mailed packages that they receive. You need to impress them as if they ordered a subscription box from you. You need to show up like Amazon and Birchbox. When in doubt, go above and beyond the call of duty. You’d be surprised how adding just $10 worth of goodies to a mailer can increase its open rate and conversion rate dramatically.
At my firm, we’ve used phone wallets, ice scrapers, pain diaries, teddy bears, candy... You want the opening of your package to be a fun experience, no matter what you’re selling. When you “show up like no one else” in someone’s mailbox, you will be remembered when it comes time to call a law firm. Most attorneys didn’t mail them anything at all!
3. Get the Headline Right
The headline is your one shot at grabbing their attention. Good headlines enter the conversation that is already going on in their minds. Demonstrate that you understand what someone is going through by writing about the most urgent, top of mind problem they are worrying about. If you don’t know what they’re thinking, you’re either new to your practice area, or aren’t scheduling many client meetings.
You can use your headline to “myth-bust” a misconception they have about your area of law. You can create urgency by saying that time is limited to file. You can reinforce the fact that handling these cases without a lawyer can lead to disaster. Remember, if someone in your community has a legal problem, and harm is coming their way if they do nothing, you have a responsibility to let this person know you can help them!
Direct Mail is alive and well in the legal marketing industry. You just have to know how to leverage it properly. To learn more proven strategies that are working at successful solo and small law firms across the country as we speak, check out my Power Tools program, which gives you everything you need to start building real marketing systems at your practice.