Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How to Announce a New Law Firm

Today's "Ask a Legal Marketer" question comes from an attorney in California who plans to open a new criminal defense law office next month.

Attorney referrals will play an important role in new business development, so he is thinking of acquiring a list of attorney names from the local county bar association for a mailing. So far, so good.

This campaign could become expensive quite quickly, however, based on postage alone to an anticipated list of thousands. Here are a few ways to manage the roll-out cost for this direct mail campaign:
  1. Stagger the mailing so that announcements are sent over time, like a certain amount every week or month. This will provide a better chance to gauge the response rate.
  2. Rather than mail to an entire Bar association list, use "selects" that enable you to limit the list to particular "sections" of interest or zip codes.

While you want to manage costs, there are certain expenditures that can help improve your return.

  1. Use first class postage. It may cost a little more, but you will get returns to determine the bad addresses that should be removed from your list.
  2. Your mail will be more favorably considered by the recipient.
  3. The Post Office takes extra special care of first class mailings, particularly in delivery timing.

We also had some discussion of the format for an announcement. Postcards are inexpensive, but a printed invitation card on a heavier card stock, mailed in a closed face envelope will generally make a better impression on a legal audience. Local printers can help, or national legal printers like Blumberg, Tuttle Printing, Crane's, or others.

There are many nuances to direct mail, but these are some immediate thoughts. Of course, you don't want to undertake any promotional campaigns for a new law firm until your website and email address are fully up and running.

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