The Most Misunderstood Aspect of Law Firm Marketing

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There is one aspect of law firm marketing that is totally misunderstood.  In fact, most people disregard it completely.  They think it is a waste of time. They forget to do it, or the just flat out discount its effectiveness.

This critical component is FOLLOW-UP.

Yes.  You read that correctly.

The simple basic process of following up with a prospective client, colleague or referral source will make you more money than any other marketing technique you will ever employ.

Need some proof?

Follow-up Success Story Number 1

An intellectual property attorney gives between 6 and 10 talks each year to business owners in the publishing and Internet marketing industries.  He collects business cards at these talks in exchange for a free report he distributes via email.  He then proceeds to email these SENIOR EXECUTIVES a weekly email newsletter.  About 3 percent unsubscribe over the course of a year.  About 26 percent of his recipients open his email each week.  On average, he has retained two new clients per month from this follow-up process during the past two years.  His client lifetime value exceeds $20,000.  So each month, on average, he is acquiring $40,000 in assets from sending four emails.

Key points in this story:

Frequency:  This guy sends an email every week.  Most attorneys tell me that is too often.  Most attorneys tell me their clients will get annoyed.  Yes.  About 2-3 percent will get annoyed and unsubscribe.  So what?

Recipient Sophistication:  This guy sends email to senior executives (some of them are in Fortune 500 companies).  Most attorneys tell me their clients are too sophisticated to read and respond to an email newsletter.  That is not true.  We have had success using this at every level with people in every industry.

Follow-up Success Story Number 2

A divorce attorney in Illinois meets about 20 new lawyers each month.  She religiously adds them to her database in a list marked “colleagues”.  Each week she sends them an email giving them an update on some of the happenings around the local courthouse.  (Apparently this attorney has a knack for getting all the latest news and gossip directly from the source).  Her emails have an astonishing 44 percent open rate and even though her list is relatively small, she receives an average of 10 new referral cases per year in direct response to her emails.

Key Points in this story:

Content:  People will read things they find interesting.  Although most people will turn up their nose at gossip, they will not hesitate to listen to a good story about someone else.  If you add a “human factor” to your email, people will read it.

List Composition:  Most lawyers tell me they do not want to put other lawyers on their email newsletter lists.  This is a mistake.  Your colleagues are some of the best sources of referrals.  Make sure every lawyer you know gets your email.

Follow-up Success Story Number 3

A personal injury attorney in Virginia sends a weekly email newsletter to past clients, friends and family.  In the newsletter he only discusses things that have happened to him.  He then transitions this experience into a “life lesson”.  He closes his email with the line:  “Remember, you have a lawyer in the family.  Please do not hesitate to call me for any of your legal needs.”  This attorney has a list of about 1,300 people.  He consistently receives 3-5 calls to his office after the email goes out each week.  He makes at least 2 referrals to other attorneys from those calls.

Key points in this story:

Trust: People want to feel connected to you even after their case is resolved.  They placed their trust in you.  That does not happen easily.  Allow them to remain a part of your life afterward and they will call you when they have a legal need.

Give Referrals:  Passing a good, qualified referral to another attorney is like handing him some money.  He will want to return the favor.  Do not turn away your former clients when they bring you a need outside your area of expertise.  In fact, you should use your weekly email to solicit those issues and refer them to others.

Here is the bottom line when it comes to follow-up:  IT WORKS.

You should immediately begin to send out a weekly email newsletter.  Even if you only have a small list of people to send it to, it will pay dividends.  I have at least 25 more stories like the ones I listed above.  There is no reason; I repeat no reason, (other than your own stubborn refusal to take good advice) for you not to implement this strategy immediately.

If you like attracting more clients, no matter what your practice area, this will work for you.