The standard way of writing attorney ads looks something like this:
Joe Smith, Attorney at Law – For help with personal injury, wrongful death, product liability or medical malpractice, call XXX-XXX-XXXX for a free consultation or visit www.mysite.com.
What’s Wrong With This Ad?
There are several things wrong with this advertisement. Before I get into what’s wrong, let me say that yes, I used a personal injury ad but you can just as easily apply this advice to any ad that lists the attorney name, practice areas, and contact information.
- Too generic – The ad includes a laundry list of practice areas and expects that prospects will be able to figure out what benefits he provides just by reading the ad. There’s no target audience and the ad is all about the lawyer.
- No differentiating factor – What makes Joe different from other lawyers? Why should someone choose to call him rather than another lawyer? The ad doesn’t give reasons why Joe is a good choice to call.
- Poor offer – What incentive does someone have to pick up the phone and call? Nothing. Most prospects are hesitant to call a lawyer. They may be embarrassed by their legal situation, feel legal services are overpriced, or believe that lawyers are more motivated by money and “ambulance chasing” than genuinely helping out their clients. Lawyers also tend to use legal jargon that prospects might not understand when explaining what they do. The result – your prospect doesn’t understand how you can help and may feel intimidated.
With attorney ads, what seems “logical” generally is ineffective at generating leads.
7 Tips for Creating More Effective Attorney Ads
Before you create your attorney ads, consider this. You are not your target market. Chances are, your target market didn’t go to law school and is clueless about the legal process. They generally only think about calling a lawyer when they are in a legal mess or are extremely mad and want to sue. Here are 7 law firm advertising tips that generate leads.
- Understand your target audience - What is the main key benefit clients receive when they hire you? Do they save money? Gain peace of mind? Recover damages? Avoid penalties or jail? How do they describe those benefits in their words?
- Focus on one service - Rather than give a laundry list of practice areas, keep your ads focused on one service you provide. Your ad should have a clear focus and purpose. Don’t confuse prospects by describing everything you do and hoping that they have a need for something.
- Avoid legal jargon – Your prospects don’t have time to stop and consider what your legal ad means. If your ad sounds like a legal brief or peer-reviewed article, your prospects probably won’t understand what you do or how you can help them. This is true for obscure practice areas as well. You may call your services “product liability” but the average person thinks in terms of “my car seat just injured my kid.”
- Sell the next step – Your ad should sell the next step in the buying process. When prospects read your ad, they have a number of questions. Is this lawyer credible? Friendly? Knowledgeable about my particular problem? Asking them to call for a free consultation may be too big of a step, so give them an alternative sample of your legal services like a free report or audio program they can download on your website. When you educate them before they contact you, you can pre-qualify leads and help them prepare for an initial meeting.
- Make the next step easy to take – Give prospects a risk-free way to learn more about you. Educate them with free resources on your website or by calling a toll-free hotline. Use lead-capture forms on your website to give more information in exchange for their contact information. This way, they can learn about how you can help them at their convenience and without the pressure of talking with someone.
- Have a way to capture leads – Create a contact database for prospects who request your free information so you can follow up. On your website, you can do this with email service providers like Aweber. They will provide you with code to place a subscriber form on your website so you can start capturing leads.
- Follow up – It can take 7-12 contacts with a prospect before they feel comfortable requesting a consultation. Have a follow up system to educate and keep in touch with prospects over time.
By following these 7 tips, you can dramatically increase your response rates from the attorney ads you run.