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Direct Mail Marketing for Lawyers: Is Print Media Still in the Game?

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If our client requests constitute indicators of the legal marketing landscape, print collateral, direct mail, brochures, business cards, print advertising, and all things print-related remain in high-demand at law firms.  As lawyers, our print marketing materials must comply with the applicable state bar advertising rules; therefore, these rules need to be considered at every stage of print collateral creation, especially considering the initial review process for pre-approval can take 30 days or longer. 

Print Options for Law Firms 

  1. Letter – A letter from a named partner or a lawyer that is personally known by the contact sent in a branded law firm envelope.
  2. Brochure – Brochures can range from specially sized small pieces of a few pages to large-scale, bound items with professional photography and infographics.
  3. Self-mailer – An item that can be sent by mail without the need for an envelope by using a gummed sticker to hold it together.
  4. Postcard – A card with a message and/or image printed on one side that is sent by mail without the need for an envelope.
  5. Mainstream newspaper or magazine advertising – Each periodical will have its own design specifications and pricing for print advertising.
  6. Legal industry publication advertising – Each legal industry publication will have its own design specifications and pricing for print advertising.
  7. Client “take-aways” and branded enclosures – You can mail your clients items including a calendar, a magnet, a bottle opener, or another branded item as an enclosure with your marketing materials.
  8. Holiday and/or birthday cards – You can track former client, active client, and referral source birthdays and send them a card to celebrate, as well as to recognize certain holidays.

Stacey’s Top 10 Steps to Direct Mail Campaigns 

  1. Review historical collateral – Check out what your firm has done before and how well it worked. Make sure to send items that remain consistent with the firm’s branding and messaging.
  2. Write marketing copy – Write copy for the marketing piece itself and/or any cover letter or other enclosure you plan to include.
  3. Design marketing piece to appropriate specifications – Determine the type and size of your marketing piece, which may be dictated by a periodical or industry publication.
  4. Compile your marketing list – Mine your law firm database, but be sure to run it through an NCOA check. NCOA stands for National Change of Address. Checking your mailing list against this system will help your law firm avoid extra costs due to undeliverable mail and keeps your contacts fresh. We recommend doing an NCOA check once a year.
  5. State Bar approval – Submit the final draft design through your state bar advertising review process.
  6. Ethical editing – Make any subsequent edits recommended by the state bar to ensure your print materials are in compliance.
  7. Run print – Determine the number of items to be printed, the paper stock, ink colors, and other such items. Supervise the actual printing and/or binding at the printer (if locally sourced).
  8. Fulfill mailing – Print material fulfillment can involve anything from address labeling, to obtaining appropriate postage, to printing law firm branded envelopes to match your brochure.
  9. Follow-up sequence – No marketing campaign would be complete without a preplanned follow-up sequence. If your law firm is going to invest the time and money into print advertising, direct mail, or a brochure, you should certainly plan for how you are going to best monetize your marketing expenditure.
  10. Measure your success – Of course! Look at cost per mail piece, cost per acquisition, and response rate. You can track your success more easily with the use of specific landing pages, designated email addresses, and tracking numbers for each campaign.

If you are a bankruptcy lawyer, read more specific information about how you can conduct a direct mail marketing campaign on a great blog, Legal Practice Pro.

No Time For Direct Mail?

I have handled small and large-scale print marketing campaigns for lawyers and law firms both on a local level and nationally. I help your law firm with selecting the appropriate target demographic, designing and writing for that demographic in compliance with state bar rules, and with overseeing the perfect printing and fulfillment job. Unless you have a large staff and powerful printers in-house, your direct mail should be outsourced and managed by marketers and printers.  Contact me at stacey@staceyeburke.com for more information on how we can work together.

Sidebar stacey e burke About Stacey Burke

Stacey E. Burke is both an experienced trial lawyer and law firm business consultant. She works with lawyers and law firms around the world to improve their business development, marketing, and infrastructures.


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