Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Announcing a New Law Firm (continued)

Yesterday we talked about ways to issue an announcement about a new law firm using direct mail. There are certainly many other steps that can be taken to get the word out, including:
  1. Issue a press release or prepare a company release for distribution to the local media. Target the "People on the Move" columns in the business publications. Also send this release to your city, county, state, and/or national bar association.
  2. Post your new site on legal directories like Martindale, FindLaw, Avvo, Justia, and others.
  3. Get a free listing on Google Maps
  4. Polish up your "elevator pitch" and tell everyone you meet
  5. Send an email announcement using Constant Contact or a similar inexpensive email service
  6. Take advantage of social media, like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and others
  7. Consider publishing articles about your new practice areas on sites like JDSupra,, or online article distributors
  8. Reach out to your referral network and let them know how to reach you
  9. Join a leads club like BNI, or create your own leads group
  10. Look for speaking opportunities to attract clients

Have fun, and remember: Never stop marketing!

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.