First Class Letters Seize Attention, Generate Ongoing Interactions
In these days of electronic communication, lawyers often overlook one of the most powerful methods of contact: First class mail.
First class letters from lawyers are effective for many reasons:
For clarification, I'm not suggesting that you use outbound direct mail sent to mailing lists that you rent or buy. That type of direct mail often proves to be costly and ineffective. Instead, I'm talking about sending first class letters over your original signature on your nicest law firm stationery to prospects, clients and referral sources.
- Since many people use e-mail for quick communication, when you take time to write and mail a letter, you make a powerful, personal impression.
- An envelope with a lawyer or law firm as its return address always commands attention.
- Upscale law firm stationery can and should reflect your confidence, integrity and success.
You can send to everyone on your list -- or to a select handful of recipients. Either way, you may be surprised at how favorably they respond. Here are examples of how you can use first class letters:
No doubt, you can think of letters I didn't list here. The point is to communicate frequently with prospects, clients and referral sources.
First class letters give you the opportunity to increase your credibility, spell out important ways you differ from other lawyers, identify sound reasons for prospects to act now, and build long-term loyalty from clients and referral sources.
- Send a letter that offers (or accompanies) your new educational handouts.
- Send a letter that invites prospects, clients and referral sources to an upcoming seminar and encourages them to bring friends and colleagues.
- Send a letter that offers to add your readers' friends and colleagues to your mailing list.
- Send a letter that invites prospects, clients and referral sources to send you new clients.
- Send a letter that invites questions that you can include in the Q&A section of your newsletter.
- Send a letter that invites prospects, clients and referral sources to suggest topics for your newsletter.
- Send a letter that invites readers to respond to surveys and offer their suggestions.
- Send a letter that invites everyone on your mailing list to a wine and cheese party or another social event.
- Send letters offering greetings to everyone on your mailing list at holidays throughout the year.
- Send a letter to everyone on your mailing list that describes a case or transaction you recently completed for a client.
- Send a letter to everyone on your mailing list along with a copy of a published article that you wrote -- or in which you were quoted.
- Send a letter asking former clients to write a testimonial that you can share with prospective clients. (Some bar associations do not allow the use of testimonials, so be sure to check your rules of professional conduct.)
- Send a letter asking referral sources to write a letter of recommendation that you can show prospective clients.
- Send a letter to former clients explaining when they should contact you to review and update work you have done on their behalf.
- Send a letter to everyone on your mailing list describing other practice areas within your firm and inviting them to contact you for an introduction to a lawyer in that practice area.
- Send a letter to everyone on your mailing list introducing new lawyers in your firm and offering information about their background, qualifications and experience.
- Send a letter to everyone on your mailing list introducing new employees in your firm, describing their duties and inviting clients to meet them whenever convenient.
- Send a letter to everyone on your mailing list discussing pending legislation that could affect their interests, suggesting action they can take and inviting them to contact you.
- Send a letter to everyone on your mailing list explaining a case history about a client who acted in time to protect his interests -- and another client who did not, describing the consequences he endured.
- Send a letter to everyone on your mailing list requesting their opinion and suggestions about a new service you plan to offer.
- Send a letter to everyone on your mailing list along with a copy of your latest newsletter inviting comments and suggestions.
- Send a letter to everyone on your mailing list asking their opinion about a new office location you're considering.
- Send a letter to everyone on your mailing list inviting them to support or take part in a non-profit activity in which you're involved.
- Send a letter to clients and referral sources thanking them for their confidence and assuring them of your continued help in the future.
About The Author
Trey Ryder is a law-firm consultant who specializes in Education-Based Marketing for attorneys. He offers lawyers three free articles by e-mail: 7 Secrets of Dignified Marketing, 11 Brochure Mistakes Lawyers Make, and 11 Ways to Turn Your Fee and Billing Policies into a Competitive Advantage. Send your name and e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for his free e-mail packet of articles.
The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.
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