While many lawyers are tempted to think the only marketing items that matter anymore are digital or online, print marketing materials remain of paramount importance for law firms across a variety of practice areas. While some lawyers are considering phasing out business cards in favor of digital options like DOT or QR codes, other print assets cannot be replaced. So, what print marketing materials does a law firm need to succeed in the current legal industry landscape? Below are some of the most important print collateral pieces your firm may need and why.
Common Print Marketing Materials for Law Firms
While the print items any one firm needs will truly vary according to its business development and marketing plans, some industry standard pieces remain crucial to successfully capitalizing on your professional interactions, including:
- Pocket folders
Print Marketing: Pocket Folders
In the past, law firms often created 8.5 x 11” bound brochures to serve as marketing collateral for potential clients and referral sources. While these large format brochures looked slick and professional, they generally came with some major problems. For one, they are expensive to print. Secondly, they are less expensive to print if you print in bulk, but printing in bulk often leads to issue number three (and the biggest problem): they become outdated quickly. Practice areas evolve, attorneys leave a law firm, new attorneys join a law firm, lawyers’ titles evolve across the lifespan of their careers, and law firm names change with the addition of new partners. Really, any number of things like this can impact the longevity of a bound brochure.
Instead, creating a dynamic marketing piece utilizing a pocket folder can alleviate many, if not all, of these issues. While you might be envisioning the old, flimsy folders from your school days, we’re talking about professionally printed and custom branded pocket folders. Pocket folders can (and should) include slots to insert a business card, and be fully branded in your firm’s colors – including the company logo on the front and the law firm’s contact information on the back.
A pocket folder can hold a variety of different print marketing materials, including one-sheets (see more on those below) which can provide the bulk of the marketing messaging. Pocket folders can also be used as part of the new case intake process, with relevant paperwork and contracts for a new client to sign placed inside. Because the inserts included in a pocket folder can change or be updated at any time, they have a longer lifespan than a traditional bound brochure, but without sacrificing a professional look and feel.
Print Marketing: One-Sheets
Because of how law firms and their marketing needs can evolve over the years, one-sheets are a great medium for conveying relevant and noteworthy information to potential clients and referral sources. A one-sheet is exactly what it sounds like: one 8.5 x 11-inch sheet – either one-sided or two-sided – that details your law firm’s most impressive selling points. You can showcase specific, targeted information you want to convey, and can do so both visually and through text.
Common types of one-sheets we make for law firms:
- Attorney biographies
- Practice area pages
- Industries served
- Regional expertise
- Awards and recognitions
- Case studies
One-sheets are the perfect insert into a pocket folder. They can also be used at events as handouts, or even sent as a PDF file via email. By keeping the dimensions of the print marketing piece standardized to a letter size piece of paper, printing can even be done on an office printer for extreme cost effectiveness.
A print shop, however, can provide a far more professional final product. For instance, a professional printer can print edge to edge on a sheet of paper, while your office printer will always have a bit of a white margin around the edges. Using a professional printer will also allow you to print on heavier stocks of paper and/or provide additional finish options (e.g., an aqueous coating for a slicker look).
Ultimately, the biggest selling point for one-sheets is their sheer flexibility. Because you can segment information onto individual sheets, you can mix and match the pages together to customize a packet for a potential new client, in response to an RFP request, or to deliver to a referral source.
Print Marketing: Trifold Brochures
While large format bound brochures might be out, trifold brochures are very much in. Trifold brochures are the size of a single sheet of paper folded into thirds. Because of the smaller size, they are much cheaper to design, print, and mail.
Trifold brochures are great for conveying high-level bullet points about your law firm. Because of the reduced amount of space, you should focus on the elements that truly differentiate your law firm from its competition and stay away from the minutiae that may not be relevant to those consuming the material.
These types of brochures can be self-sealing and serve as direct mail pieces, which is particularly useful for criminal defense law firms, for example. Or, they can be great to display in reception areas or event booths for easy pickup. If your lawyers conduct informational seminars as part of the firm’s business development, leave some blank space on the back panel for clients to jot down a few notes.
Print Marketing: Advertisements
Depending on your target demographic, the best way to reach some potential clients is through print ads. A great example of this is those living in rural communities or smaller towns that have a weekly circular or a regularly published local newspaper. Furthermore, if you are targeting a specific industry, some trade associations have print publications with available space for paid advertising.
Additionally, the legal industry itself has a multitude of industry publications, such as individual state bar publications (e.g., Texas Bar Journal) and resource materials such as ALM’s Corporate Counsel guide. These are excellent vehicles to market to other lawyers.
Regardless of the publication, make sure to ask all of the relevant questions before advertising:
- What are the publication’s circulation numbers?
- Who is the publication’s primary demographic?
- Is the ad in color or black and white, and is there a cost difference between the two?
- Is there a discount for committing to run a certain number of ads in a row? For example, many monthly publications will offer a cheaper per ad rate if you agree to run three, six, or 12 ads in a row. Generally speaking, the more ads you commit to, the cheaper the per ad price will be.
- Will the publication provide the artwork / graphic design or are you responsible for providing it?
- What are the exact ad dimensions, and do you need bleed on the ad?
- What is the deadline for ad submission?
Print publications often struggle to fill ad space, and will therefore offer incentives to potential advertisers. Be sure to ask if they have digital properties and will offer a corresponding free digital component in addition to your paid print advertising.
Law Firm Print Marketing Experts
While most legal marketing companies focus on digital only, we have years of experience handling offline marketing and business development components as well – and we have won awards for our print collateral designs. If your firm needs help creating or refreshing print marketing materials, contact the experienced legal marketing team at Stacey E. Burke, P.C.