Does Direct Mail Marketing Still Work For Law Firms? Recently I was at a marketing and management conference for personal injury firms. During this conference many law firms will share their tips and tricks on what is working for them and what isn’t. It’s a candid conference and getting to hear the actual studies and tracking methods from people doing the work is helpful. One of the topics that came up during this last conference was direct mail marketing.
While I have primarily been an online marketer I have also helped law firms with offline advertising such as direct mail, Television Ad’s, newspaper advertising, yellow pages, community events and more. Over the past few years most of my efforts have shifted online, but I am a big fan of diversification. If something works and it will help you get a low cost per case, i’m on board.
As with any marketing method it’s important to track your cost per case from start to finish including man hours spent on projects. One project we discussed in detail was direct mail and some firms were able to get their cost per case down to $150 in some cases. While there is no guarantee this will work in your particular jurisdiction it’s worth looking into. In addition to this make sure you check with your state bar advertising guidelines as well to ensure you’re not crossing any lines.
This is how it worked
In states that have a 30 day limit you must wait before contacting those injured in accidents the competition can be a bit more fierce if public records are easy to get and victims names are mentioned in accident reports.
The successful law firms participating in this strategy took one of a couple different approaches:
Direct Solicitation to Accident Victims
This approach was used to successfully contact victims who have been involved in an accident. Keep in mind that you should avoid this in Wrongful death situations.
- Review online highway patrol or accident logs if publicly available. If not there are 3rd party companies that can find this information. Alternatively, you can have an intern spend 1-2 hours a week going through local newspapers and curating a list of accident victims.
- Accident victim name (If it’s a minor make sure it’s OK to contact them)
- City of accident
- State of accident
- Online research for contact information
- They immediately send them information related to their type of case via the mail. Keep in mind that speed resulted in a 9% increase in cases. Getting there first has some merit.
- The packet sent out that had the highest return included a pen in the packet of information. The speculation is that this made it bumpy and therefore more likely to be opened. The bumpy packets resulted in a 11% increase in conversions.
- The most successful packets also included a handwritten note from the attorney with a personal message such as “We’re thinking about you”.
Solicitation to Those With Hospital Liens
This approach was used with success when the plan was followed closely. Hospitals send out lien letters were sent out via certified mail.
- Start with creating a partnership with a local hospital. It’s easy to make these relationships if they don’t have one already because you’re helping them collect more money.
- Review the public information they post. They should be required to post the date lien letters are sent out. Once these are mailed it’s the perfect time to send out a direct mail packet with how you can help. It will be fresh on their mind and they will probably be confused and scared when they receive the hospital mail.
Contacting Past Clients and Vendors
Do you depend on referral business from your firm? The best way to get that business is to have another touch point and always be in the clients mind. Once a quarter send a postcard or letter to every single person in your database. Timing is everything. One firm out of Kansas did this and was able to attribute 44 new cases to these simple mailings in a single year.
I of course also recommend that you do this via an email newsletter 🙂
So is it working?
Out of all of the firms I spoke with the cost per case seemed to vary between $150 and $600 per case. This is not necessarily a volume approach but it’s an approach you can take, start implementing, and diversify your efforts to get more cases each and every year.
If it’s worth it for your firm to try, please do so and let me know how it goes. Alternatively i’m happy to hear about stories that didn’t work as well. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.