April 2003  Volume 29, Issue 3
April 2003 Issue
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Practice Development / Marketing
Practice Development: Clips
by Larry Bodine

Thoroughly catchy. The Boston firm Ruberto, Israel & Weiner had powerful data. It had conducted client surveys and, according to marketing director Catherine Alman MacDonagh, knew, "(a) what clients liked about us and (b) what distinguished us from other firms." She and communications coordinator Alyssa Napoleon distilled these points into a series of six advertisements for the 30-lawyer firm. "The ads cost us zero dollars-we designed them in-house. The only money spent was to purchase stock illustrations online." One ad features a lawyer raising a giant baseball glove and reads, "Does your lawyer catch everything? We're thorough." Another shows a lawyer covered in sticky notes, with the text, "Does your lawyer forget to call you back? We remember our clients." The ads are intelligent, original, funny and eye-catching.

A sign-up facelift. E-mail newsletters are powerful marketing tools and offer easy methods for capturing demographics on Web site visitors. So when Boston's 500-lawyer Hale and Dorr gave its site (www.haledorr.com) a facelift, it decided to encourage visitors to sign up for any of its 38 newsletters right on the home page. Before the revamp, visitors had to dig deep to find the sign-up form. Now the link to the opt-in form is the first thing that visitors see. And the form is simple: It captures name, job title, company name, and land and e-mail addresses. The e-newsletters themselves contain links to the site and are very effective at driving traffic back to it. Nancy Kostakos, the firm's marketing publications manager, says this simple change has multiplied signups for the newsletters.

CLICK TO RSVP For its "2002 Health Plan Checkup" for employers, Chicago firm Neal, Gerber & Eisenberger sent a branded e-mail invitation to clients. Recipients were able to respond via an e-mail-based RSVP form in the e-invite. Eighty percent confirmed they would attend the seminar-and the firm's marketing staff was saved time and trouble in the process. See www.emailmessaging.com /clients/neal/health.htm.

Branded e-bulletins. When Benesch Friedlander, a 130-lawyer firm in Cleveland, sent an e-mail bulletin to notify clients of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, it was able to determine that 66 percent of recipients opened the e-mail and that 38 percent also clicked through to the firm's Web site. That's because the bulletin was formatted in HTML, making it fully trackable. Even more clever, the e-bulletin-formatted by the services of eLawMarketing ( www.elawmarketing.com)-looks and performs like the firm's home page, with its sophisticated graphics, hyperlinked images and, most importantly, its logo and other branding elements. The firm is putting out more e-bulletins. See the current one at www.envoyglobal .net/cm/archive.cfm?sui= 92&mui=638&use=ve.

Larry Bodine ( lbodine@lawmarketing.com) is a Web and Marketing Consultant who advises law firms on how to get more business. Based in Glen Ellyn, IL, he can be reached at (630) 942-0977.